Smart oil based drug formulations win Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship

Tahnee Dening’s research into improving the oral absorption of antipsychotic medications for schizophrenic patients has won her an Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship.

The internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship funded by the Australian Government will support Tahnee’s PhD research at Lundbeck, a global pharmaceutical company in Denmark.

The Minister for International Education, Richard Colbeck awarded Tahnee and 30 other recipients at an official dinner held at the National Museum of Australia in a recent trip to Canberra.

“We visited Parliament House and watched Question Time before a meet and greet with the Minister for International Education and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,” Tahnee says.

“We had some photos taken, and had a group chat with Mr Turnbull for 5 or 10 minutes – he was very charismatic and friendly.

“The Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham also randomly popped down to say hello, after hearing our voices in the courtyard,” says Tahnee.

Tahnee, a PhD student with the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences is working on the development of smart oil-based tablets/capsules for poorly water-soluble antipsychotic drugs.

The majority of antipsychotic drugs are poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract after oral dosing as a tablet or capsule due to their low solubility in the watery gastrointestinal environment, and Tahnee’s research therefore aims to increase their absorption and effectiveness to improve the treatment of schizophrenia.

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