ATLANTA—Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy student Adina Hirsch was one of 10 students in the country awarded the prestigious Gateway Research Scholarship from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education.
Hirsch, a first-year student in Mercer's doctor of pharmacy degree program, will receive a $5,000 stipend to assist Mercer's Dr. Ajay K. Banga, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, with pharmaceutical research for the next year.
"I am thinking of a career in research, and working for Dr. Banga will be very good exposure to pharmaceutical research," Hirsch, an Atlanta resident, said.
Specifically, Hirsch will research administering the drug Tacrine through the skin using in vitro skin samples. The drug, which is used by Alzheimer's patients, is currently available in a capsule form, but frequent administration is required. This research project could serve as the basis for a future skin patch for the drug Tacrine and will result in fundamental scientific information that could be useful for other drugs as well.
Banga recommended Hirsch for the scholarship. "Adina has an inquisitive mind and was one of the top students in my course," he said of Hirsch. "I am confident she will be an asset to our laboratory this coming year working on this project."