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Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science first cohort image

The University of Otago’s first-ever Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science cohort walk across the graduation stage tomorrow.

Angela Ding, Baxter Blair and Julia Moy are the first students to graduate from the programme which is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Associate Professor Arlene McDowell says this is a “brilliant first”, and that all Kiwis should be proud of this achievement because these tauira will go on to represent Aotearoa in the work they do.

She says it is fantastic to know that they will be contributing to the health of both local and international communities, using the learnings they have gained right here in Otago.

“Studying at Otago and within New Zealand, gives our students the opportunity to be more creative and innovative than they might have been elsewhere due to the country’s ‘number 8 wire’ culture.

“The skills they have acquired are invaluable in the development of medicines; I look forward to seeing where they go and having Kiwis are sitting at the decision-making tables in healthcare.”

Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science first cohort 2 image

Angela Ding is one of the three tauira graduating and says she is so proud and excited to have reached this milestone.

The professors and staff supporting the degree were incredibly kind and dedicated she says, making sure the coursework was well-structured and that the degree would serve as the perfect middle ground for students interested in both research and clinical practice.

This sentiment was further expressed by graduate Baxter Blair, who completed the degree as he knows it would offer a “plethora of career options”.

“Drug discovery and development is becoming increasingly advanced, and learning the science behind how the latest drugs, formulations, and delivery systems work is incredibly interesting,” Blair says.

“The idea of being part of this huge, global industry in the future is so exciting!”

The degree is based in the School of Pharmacy, and Associate Professor McDowell describes it as “the science behind medicine.”

She says that the degree is not just about innovating new formulations and improving current ones, but the teaching has applications in the cosmetic, agriculture and construction industry, amongst many others, with one of her colleagues even working in the explosives industry.

- Kōrero by the Division of Health Sciences Communications Adviser, Kelsey Schutte.

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