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The genes have it, graduate destined to become a pharmacist.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Some might say Kelsi Fastier was destined to become a pharmacist. It is in her genes, you see. Kelsi (21) graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in December and is the great grand niece of emeritus professor Fred Fastier.Emeritus professor Fastier was the inaugural professor of pharmacology at the University of Otago and served the medical school for more than 40 years from 1939, and initially became the first head of the department of pharmacology and pharmacy.


He was made the first honorary member of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand in 1969 for his significant contribution to the development of pharmacy education.
Kelsi has never met her great uncle and it was only on her very first day at the School of Pharmacy when attending the White Coat ceremony in 2013 that she became aware of her famous relative.


“Professor [Stephen] Duffull came up to me and said ‘are you related to Fred Fastier?’ – I’d never heard of him,” Kelsi explained. Emeritus professor Fastier is the uncle of Kelsi’s father, Brian. And, although Kelsi was born and raised in Dunedin, emeritus professor Fastier’s home town, the pair have never met. Kelsi attended primary school in Dunedin but her family shifted to Blenheim where she attended secondary school at Marlborough Girls’ College. Almost 75 years separates the two Fastiers with emeritus professor Fastier now aged 95. He is living in Dunedin and continues to visit the school from time to time.


Former senior lecturer and pharmacy historian, Rosemary Beresford, says professor Fastier remained academically active for many years after leaving his post, eventually gaining a master’s degree in philosophy. Even now he still attends lectures on campus on a wide range of topics and finds the energy to write and self-publish a number of books and limericks and other entertainment, Dr Beresford says.


Kelsi says it was her interest in science at school that encouraged her to attend Otago University, initially completing the first year health sciences course.
“Pharmacy sounded like a really nice way to help people and get involved, so I applied for it.”


She thoroughly enjoyed her placements in community pharmacies in Blenheim and Wakefield and says the five-week experience in Gisborne, working alongside allied health professionals was a highlight.


This year she has begun her internship at Avalon Pharmacy in Lower Hutt with plans to continue working in community pharmacy in the immediate future.

Kelisa Fastier_418
New intern pharmacist Kelsi Fastier is the great grand niece of the inaugural professor of pharmacology at the University of Otago, emeritus professor Fred Fastier.

Fastier Family_418
The Fastier family (from left) Brian, Kelsi and Jason are related to the inaugural professor of pharmacology at the University of Otago, emeritus professor Fred Fastier.

Article written by Liane Topham-Kindley for PharmacyToday, December 2015.