Fadia Javed – BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development

Name: Fadia Javed

School: Meán Scoil Mhuire Longford  

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choose your course? 

From a young age, I always had a keen interest in science, discovering what’s in the universe and how those things work but my interest grew when in the first year of my secondary school we were brought to Abbott’s in Longford as part of Science Week. We were shown around the facility and shown how you have to gown up when going into the cleanroom. All day that day in my head I was thinking about how I would love to work there one day. Loving laboratory classes in school, I knew I had to pick a course that had lab work, doing different experiments and learning about different compounds. Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development, a course offered by ATU Sligo, provided all that I was looking for.  

What specifically about the course do you particularly enjoy? 

There are several aspects of this course that I enjoy. My favourite aspect is that this course has a nice split between theory and laboratory-based classes where the theory and the lab work are split 50:50. This is great as we get to apply the theory in a lab setting environment. Getting a first-hand experience in a lab is how I learn the best, so the labs are very enjoyable for me.  

What is the best thing about your course that you think new applicants should know? 

I think the best thing about the course is getting to go on a placement in the 3rd year where we have the opportunity to work in a pharmaceutical company.  I was fortunate enough to join VistaMed for the 3 months during the summer and it was a great experience. It gave me a good insight into how the clean rooms work.  

What are your favourite modules on the course? 

My favourite module at the moment in my 4th year is drug structure. In this module, we get to learn how a lead compound is discovered. It is based on knowledge of the drug’s three-dimensional structure and how its shape and charge cause it to interact with its biological target, ultimately eliciting a medical effect. I also like pharmacology, especially learning about different diseases and how genetic faults lead to disease.  

If you were speaking with the first year, a student about to start your course, what advice/information would you give them? 

I would advise the first year to try and go to all the lectures, even if it is at 9.00am, because if you attend lectures and pay attention in class, you may be surprised by how much you can cut your study time later on. I feel as though no textbook can explain something to you as another person can. Even if lecturers seem as though they are just going through the material on the slide, there will always be added clarification and insights that you can discover during the lecture. 

If you are involved in sports, volunteering, working or have other passions you pursue outside of your academic life, can you tell us about that?  Especially mention any Teams, Clubs or Awards. 

I enjoy playing sports. Growing up I played GAA, football and basketball for my school. As for now, I enjoy the occasional running and playing football with my cousins just for fun though.  

What are your plans after ATU Sligo and any long term goals you are aiming for? 

After completing my degree, I hope to work in the industry for some time and return and complete a master’s degree so that I could progress in my working career. My long term goal is to get a PhD and maybe one day discover/develop a drug to help patients.  

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