Classnotes - 2000's

Phil Abramson (BFormSci 2002) works for Acrux in Melbourne. He is an R&D scientist working on formulation development for transdermal drug delivery systems. Phil's role includes formulation design and in vitro feasibility studies of drugs permeating the skin. October 2008

Anthony Agnew (BFormSci 2003) is a formulation scientist in the Injectables Development Formulation Group at Mayne Pharma. He specialises in the research and development of injectable drug formulations for the treatment of cancer (oncology) and infectious diseases. October 2008

Cathy Amarantidis (nee Smith) (BFormSci 2003) works as Project Coordinator at Cardinal Health, managing major projects for multinational drug companies within Australia and Asia. She also looks after local OTC projects, including leading vitamin and mineral supplement brands within the Australian market. This includes everything from speaking with the customer to making sure the product is delivered on time. October 2008

After graduation, Steve Baraz (BPharm 2007) decided to continue working with the My Chemist group, progressing to a trainee pharmacist position on rotation between Doncaster, Chirnside Park and Lilydale pharmacies. After completing his trainee year in 2007, he continued to do a rotation all over Melbourne and even ventured to Traralgon. Recently, he commenced in a permanent position as pharmacist manager at My Chemist in Greensborough. October 2008

Max Boyarovsky (BPharm 2002) For the past year, Max has been working part time in an Irish pharmacy. He hopes to spend next year travelling around Europe before returning to Australia. October 2008

Kimberlee Collins (nee Sanderson) (BPharm 2003) is now working in rural Victoria and NSW. In partnership with two other pharmacists, Kim reopened a pharmacy in Berrigan in Southern NSW that had been closed for over 10 years and, in 2007, opened another pharmacy in Mulwala. Kim said she loves working in small rural towns and getting involved in her local community.

Jana Dostal ( Pharmacy 2006) is completing her pre-reg year at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Jana returned from East Timor earlier in the year. Read more about her experience in Alchemy issue 10. September 2006

After registering as a pharmacist in 2007, Rachelle Downie (BPharm 2006) commenced a graduate law degree, the Melbourne Juris Doctor, at the University of Melbourne. In addition to study, she continues to work part time as a community pharmacist. After graduating from law, Rachelle intends to combine the knowledge she has acquired from both degrees by practising in the area of intellectual property law. October 2008

Elizabeth Dyson (GradCertWoundCare 2006) was a clinical nurse consultant for the Northern Chronic Wound Service and is now Clinical Specialist and Assistant Lecturer for the Wound Foundation of Australia. This involves being a Graduate Certificate unit advisor and delivering educational programs for practice nurses and nursing homes. Elizabeth is also a committee member for the Wound Management Association of Victoria. October 2008

Bronwyn Flanagan (BPharm 2002) practised in Gippsland for a number of years after graduating and now works as a pharmacy manager in Kensington. Heavily involved with the Pharmaceutical Society of Victoria (Victorian branch), she is an active member of the Young Pharmacists Committee and was its chair until she was elected to the role of councillor of the society. Bronwyn was recently selected by Rotary International District 9800 to take part in a vocational group study exchange to Nebraska in March 2008. She hopes to visit the Pharmaceutical Society of Nebraska and establish links between pharmacy professionals in Nebraska and Victoria. October 2008

Khay Fong (BFormSc(Hons) 2008) decided not to start a full time job or a PhD immediately after completing her studies, so her 2008 has been an eclectic mix of work and travel. She worked at Orica Mining Services in Kurri Kurri (NSW) as a summer vacation research assistant, enjoying the opportunity to apply her knowledge and to 'blow things up'. Khay is currently on a six-month trip in Asia doing some volunteer work and travelling. She spent two months in Indonesia and is currently in Chennai teaching English/music/kindergarten and running holiday programs for an orphanage. Khay will be applying for a 2009 PhD scholarship and hopes to return to the faculty next year. October 2008

Amanda Galbraith (PharmMgtCert 2006) recently completed the Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Management. Amanda is the first recipient of this award from Monash University and the Victorian College of Pharmacy. She commenced this course to help her before she purchased a pharmacy, to make sure she had sufficient business and financial knowledge. She has since been busy running her pharmacy in Canberra, which won the 2005 QCPP Pharmacy of the year. In the meantime, Amanda has become the Vice President of the ACT Branch of The Pharmacy Guild and helped to organise Canberra's first Women For Pharmacy Network Dinner as she believes strongly in being a part of her industry. September 2006

Carol Gee (BFormSc 2007, BFormSc(Hons) 2008) undertook an honours research year before commencing a PhD to research the in vivo dynamics of non-occlusive transdermal drug delivery systems. She has travelled abroad to meet experts in the field of transdermal drug delivery, attending a conference in France in 2010 and presenting her research at the Gordon Research Conference for Barrier Function of Mammalian Skin in New Hampshire, USA, in 2011. She also spent two weeks at the Colorado School of Mines on collaboration work. During her PhD, Carol has been President of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences Monash University Student Chapter. She is also a member of the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne, which celebrates and promotes all aspects of Chinese culture.

Working and studying have been occupying Catherine George's time this year (Pharmacy 2006). Catherine is completing her pre-reg year at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and is really enjoying her time there. She also works in community pharmacy part-time and is keen to travel the world in the next few years. September 2006

A career in the pharmaceutical industry was always on the radar for Amir Hanna-Elias (BPharm Sci (Hons) 2002) (PhD Medicinal Chemistry 2008). After completing his undergraduate degree, he joined a start-up complementary medicines company as a development chemist, where he led product development projects from concept to commercialisation. Returning to Parkville and completing his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry a few years later, he then worked for Novartis’ consumer health care department as a medical affairs associate. The move enabled him to work on more technically challenging products and gain experience in a range of consumer health areas such as disseminating medical information, pharmacovigilance, sales force training and therapy area expertise. With his interest and experience in technical roles and products that influence patient outcomes, Amir made the move to the GSK pharmaceuticals business working in the rate diseases portfolio of pulmonary arterial hypertension, firstly as a scientific advisor and now as a medical science liaison.  Amir’s passion for science is matched by his passion for health, fitness and football. An avid supporter of Melbourne Victory, Amir loves spending time with wife Georgia, daughter Lily and little football player son Alexander, who is already following in dad’s footsteps as a Melbourne Victory fan. September 2016

Dr Mohamed Azmi Ahmad Hassali completed his PhD in pharmacy practice with Monash in 2006. In 2013, he was awarded the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society’s Outstanding Pharmacist of the Year Award for Excellence in Academia. Dr Hassali was chosen for his significant contributions to pharmacy practice research, as well as involvement in community activities that ‘uphold the profession of pharmacist,’ both inside and outside the country. He is widely regarded as a pioneer in social pharmacy education and research in Malaysia, building an extensive research network with pharmacy schools in the Asia Pacific and West Asia regions. His studies have helped shape pharmaceutical policy in Malaysia. He was appointed lecturer at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, a position he balances with his commitments as Head of Department for the Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy. Dr Hassali is actively involved with many international organisations and heads the country group for the International Network for Rational Use of Drugs. He holds visiting researcher and lecturer appointments at medical and pharmacy institutions in Nepal, India and Pakistan, and is an external postgraduate thesis examiner for universities in Australia, NZ and the UK. He is currently Associate Professor and Deputy Dean (Student Affairs & Networking) of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Universiti Sains Malaysia. December 2013

Researching how natural remedies affect rat prostates was the focus for Howard Heng (BPharmSci 2009, BPharmSci(Hons) 2010) during his honours year. The research delivered good results in a search for a treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia using natural medicines. He presented his research at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists in Sydney in November last year. Howard now works for Baxter Laboratories as a formulation chemist in charge of stability programs and process validation, making sure that whatever is created in the lab converts well to manufacturing. He is considering doing a PhD in the future. December 2010

Melanie Jeyasingham (BPharm 2004) completed her traineeship at Austin Health in 2004,and worked there for three years as a clinical ward pharmacist and in the outreach pharmacy service. During this time, she also worked casually in community pharmacies. In 2008, she commenced a Master of Public Health. As part of her research project, she is evaluating the uptake and usage of eTG complete, the Therapeutic Guidelines Limited (TGL) electronic product for desktop computers, through the Practice Incentives Program eHealth Incentive. Melanie has worked at TGL since 2008 and was editor for version 14 of the antibiotic guidelines (2010). She is currently working on version 2 of the oral and dental guidelines, which is scheduled for publication in March 2012.

Rebecca Kanati (BFormSc 2006) works as a development chemist for Ross Cosmetics, a cosmetic and personal care manufacturer. Her role involves formulating preparations using the latest techniques and materials. Rebecca must carefully balance the technical attributes of the formulations and ensure that all requirements of compatibility, stability, regulatory standards and client expectations are met. She works closely with clients to maximise product potential, providing the latest marketing information and formulation updates. October 2008

Sarah Kouw (BPharm 2008) is a Clinical Pharmacist at the Children’s Cancer Centre Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne where she works across a wide range of areas. “I’ve been lucky to work in almost all areas of the pharmacy department and become an integral member of the pharmacy team,” says Sarah. “My experience includes roles as a clinical pharmacist, rotating through surgical, neurological, cardiac, respiratory and general medical wards, as well as neonatal and paediatric intensive cares.” Sarah has recently taken up a position as an oncology pharmacist in the Children’s Cancer Centre. “The role is challenging and has presented a steep learning curve,” Sarah admits. “But I love the fact that I learn new things every day, and am constantly faced with new challenges that push me out of my comfort zone.”  Sarah is relishing the diversity and importance of her work today. “Working in a multidisciplinary environment across such an array of positions is a privilege. It has allowed me to develop my skills and knowledge, and achieve a lot in my short career.  “While working at a paediatric hospital can be confronting, it is very rewarding. I feel if I can make a difference in at least one family’s life each day, then I am satisfied with my work.”

Jennifer La (BMedChem (Hons) 2008) took her interest in chemistry and biology to a new level when she enrolled in Medicinal Chemistry at Monash. Her PhD, which she completed in 2013, focused on the discovery of novel HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitors for the prevention and treatment of HIV. In 2014, she joined the bio process development team at CSL Limited in Parkville as a GMP quality scientist. In this role, she provided experimental support for the manufacturing, quality and regulatory departments within CSL, working on a variety of recombinant protein therapeutic products. Staying on with CSL, Jennifer transitioned into a new position in 2015 in the assay development group. In her current role, she collaborates with scientists at BIO21 in Parkville and CSL in Marburg, Germany, to characterise and profile clinical candidates by developing a diverse range of analytical assays to study their post-translational modifications, protein activity and protein structure. In her spare time, Jennifer loves travelling, skiing and volunteering at her local soup van organisation. September 2016

Gemma Lay (BPharm 2009) completed her intern year at Latrobe Regional Hospital, progressing to the role of Senior Clinical Pharmacist in 2014.  In 2011 she completed the Graduate Certificate of Pharmacy Practice (Intern Stream), studying units in Mental Health and Infectious Diseases. She is also Clozapine Co-Ordinator for the Latrobe Regional Hospital Mental Health Service, responsible for ensuring that all patients prescribed clozapine are strictly monitored to minimise severe adverse effects. Gemma is actively involved in the professional development of pharmacists though her involvement with the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia.  She is on the organising committee for the 2015 SHPA Annual Conference and has served as President and Secretary to the Latrobe Young Professionals – a group which promotes social connectedness, professional development and community links to young professionals in the Latrobe Valley. After a long day at work (or even before one) you'll probably find Gemma at the gym or baking, often turning up at work with a plate of baked treats to share with her colleagues. Summer 2015

As a student, Dani Li (BPharm 2007) worked at Quality Pharmacy and undertook her internship at the same company. She continued working at Quality Pharmacy Group for a year before becoming manager of Quality Pharmacy Werribee Medical. In this role she developed her leadership skills and is now the managing pharmacist at Quality Pharmacy Keilor Downs. Dani has always enjoyed being involved in the development of young pharmacists. She attends Careers Day at Monash and supervises numerous students for their three-week community pharmacy placements. A firm believer in the pharmacist’s role in community health and health promotion, she conducts monthly health information talks at local retirement villages and child care centres. Dani has completed a Diploma of Management through the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. January 2013

Jane Love (BPharmSci 2007, PharmSci(Hons) 2010) completed honours at the top of her class. She spent a year travelling overseas, before being employed as a research assistant in 2008 with BakerIDI Heart and Diabetes Research Institute. There she participated in heart research, performing cell isolations as well as cellular, biochemical and in vivo experiments to assess the actions of potential heart failure drugs. Her honours year project resulted in discovery of a protein, naturally created in response to exercise, that protects the mouse heart from developing diabetic cardiomyopathy (severe cardiac injury resulting from diabetes mellitus). In 2010, Jane went back into heart research with BakerIDI, where she performs in vivo, biochemical and cellular experimental techniques. December 2010

For Mounir Mina (BPharm (Hons) 2009), MSRA) the knowledge and skills acquired through his studies are working to shape medicine regulation and best practice in Australia. As a Director and Principal Evaluator in Pharmaceutical Chemistry with the TGA, Mounir manages a team of regulatory scientists in delivering timely and rigorous reviews of cardiovascular and analgesic medicines. Mounir says his role with the TGA offers great diversity and professional development opportunities—a dynamic work culture and constantly evolving regulatory environment. “The constantly changing nature of regulations adds to the excitement of the job. My role demands that I keep up to date with global changes in science, research and regulation.” Mounir’s career began with a short tenure at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority in Canberra. This placement provided a valuable starting point for pursuing his interests in regulatory affairs. Mounir subsequently completed a Masters in Bioscience Regulatory Affairs as an external student with Johns Hopkins University. In 2010 he secured his current position with the TGA. Mounir’s other passion is travel and has his sightseeing ambitions set on Europe next.

Kiran Manya (GradCertPharmPrac 2006) enrolled in the graduate medical program at the University of Sydney after completing his pre-registration year. He works part time as a community pharmacist and locum pharmacist in rural areas of Australia. October 2008

Alana Meaklim (BPharm 2006) is completing her pre-reg year at the Austin Hospital. In addition to her busy pre-reg workload, Alana has been actively involved in NAPSA and has just finished a 12-month term as national secretary.October 2008

After finishing her undergraduate degree (BMedChem 2007) and a successful honours year (BMedChem(Hons) 2008), Susan Northfield (PhD 2013) undertook her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry specialising in peptide chemistry.  Her research interests are around the synthesis of cyclic peptides, so following completion of her PhD, she spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher working for Professor David Craik in the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, at the University of Queensland. During this time, she worked on a collaborative project with Pfizer in the US, investigating ways to design more orally bioavailable peptides, a project with the potential to have a great impact in the field of pharmaceutical peptide chemistry if successful. Currently working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Melbourne, Susan is continuing her research into cyclic peptides and hopes to discover an improved synthetic approach to generate increased yields in the synthesis of INSL5, a peptide belonging to the insulin family. This would be useful for related drug-discovery projects for INSL5 and other peptides in the insulin family. With the demands of completing a PhD out of the way, Susan enjoys teaching herself the basics of painting and putting her chemistry skills to use in the kitchen. December 2015

In December 2005, Dhineli Perera (BPharm 2006) started her pre-registrant position at Austin Health, Heidelberg. She has since accepted a position with Youth Challenge Australia to embark on a two-month project to Guyana in February 2007, involving HIV prevention programs and women's capacity building. Dhineli looks forward to completing her trainee year and is excited about the future. October 2008

For Robert Sztar (BPharm 2002) pharmacy runs in the blood. As a second generation pharmacist and son of graduate Joseph Sztar (BPharm PhC 1968), he has spent the last sixteen years working across community, hospital and international practice settings. Robert met wife Amanda Sztar (nee Bracht) BPharm 2002 (Hons) at Monash and a year after graduation they travelled to the UK to work for Lloyds Pharmacy as Pharmacy Managers in neighbouring communities. A year later and after touring Europe for 6 months, they arrived back in Australia as a newly engaged couple and joined Robert’s father Joseph, to help him operate and develop his community pharmacies.  It was during this time that Robert’s knack for technology came to the fore. A self-confessed technology crash test dummy who sees innovation around every corner, Robert founded Pharmactive, working directly with pharmacy owners to transform their businesses through smart technology. He is also the author of Transpharmation, a book detailing a 4-step method to successfully implementing technology into a pharmacy business, Editor in Chief of Transpharmation Magazine and podcast host of the Transpharmation show. Outside of work, Robert is a weekend warrior who loves keeping active with his wife and two young daughters and is a passionate lifelong supporter of St. Kilda and Manchester United. December 2015

Completing the Bachelor of Formulation Science (2004), John Ta has progressed in leaps and bounds from his days as Graduate Applications Chemist at BASF, focusing on formulation and product development in the area of architectural coatings.  This was just the beginning for John, who has since undertaken roles in a development laboratory, a chemical reactor site and in business management, leading him the management of major operational projects as Project Manager, Operational Excellence with BASF. The most exciting aspect of John’s career at BASF has been the opportunity of experiencing such a wide range of diverse positions within the one company, primarily due to the company’s global reach.  Outside his work, John has a passion for travel and hopes to use the global reach of BASF to look for a long term international assignment to give his young family the opportunity of a lifetime! June 2015

Now a researcher in drug design at GlaxoSmithKline, UK, Benjamin Tehan (PhD 2003) previously held a postdoctoral position at Monash in partnership with the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing and the Victorian Infectious Disease Research Laboratories. His work there included investigation of dynamic G protein-coupled receptors, analysis of homology models of mutant viral receptors in relation to ligand binding resistance, and non-linear scoring functions for protein/ligand docking complexes. At GlaxoSmithKline Ben's work supports psychiatry department programs with membrane bound receptors, with a specific interest in G protein-coupled receptors. He is also involved in all other aspects of drug discovery, from pharmacophore development and library design to compound selection and ADMET analysis. October 2008

Christine Tzimos (BPharm 2005) completed her internship at Western Hospital, Footscray Campus. Progressing to the role of Clinical Co-ordinator of Pharmacy Services at Sunshine Hospital, Western Health, she is responsible for the management and co-ordination of clinical pharmacists and the provision of clinical pharmacy services. She also oversees quality assurance activities and professional development opportunities for clinical staff. She completed a Graduate Certificate of Pharmacy Practice 2012 and is a member of the Western Health Medication Safety Committee, a quality improvement committee which aims to improve patient safety related to medication use.   Christine has always enjoyed being involved in the development of young pharmacists, having held positions such as Intern Preceptor, Student Placement Liaison Officer and as a member of the SHPA Professional Experience Placement working party.  She is was  seconded to the role of Deputy Director of Pharmacy at Sunshine Hospital until September 2013. June 2013

At Western General Hospital, Rita Wardan (BPharm(Hons) 2007, GradCertPharmPrac 2009) completed her internship before spending another year as a clinical pharmacist there. She was employed at St Vincent's Hospital for six months in correctional health, and completed a Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Practice specialising in geriatrics. In August 2009, Rita began working at the Royal Women's Hospital, specialising in women's health. Currently she is getting Home Medicines Reviews accreditation and is considering undertaking a PhD in clinical pharmacy. Rita is a member of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia and presented a poster at the Society's conference in Melbourne in November. December 2010

Shelly Whittle (BFormSc(Hons) 2008) is currently working in the R&D department at PZ Cussons as a development chemist in their graduate program. She is primarily focusing on the formulation of dishwashing liquid (Morning Fresh), which is sold both in Australia and internationally, and is also researching the formulation of dishwasher tablets. Shelly is enjoying her work in this field of chemistry and is looking forward to seeing products she has helped formulate appear in the supermarkets. October 2008