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National awards for medical student's research

Thursday 25 October 2012

Barts and The London medical student Archana Depala has received two national awards for her BMedSci pharmacology project.

Archana, who is in the 4th year of her MBBS, carried out the project – which looked at the effect of fatty acids on platelet activity – during her intercalated BMedSci in Molecular Therapeutics for which she received first class honours.

The project has won her both the 2012 Worshipful Society of Apothecaries prize for best pharmacology project and an undergraduate clinical pharmacology prize from the British Pharmacological Society worth £1,000.

Archana, from London, said: “I'm so pleased to have received both these awards. Intercalating in Molecular Therapeutics and carrying out a labbased research project has been an invaluable experience for me.

“I'd certainly like to do more research in the future but for now I am focusing on getting back to grips with clinical medicine."

The project, supervised by Professor Tim Warner from the William Harvey Research Institute, was a vascular research project which showed that there were different fatty acids besides the well -known arachidonic acid that can activate platelets and cause them to aggregate. This could be physiologically important as it could lead to the pathological thrombus formations that cause heart attacks and strokes.

Professor Tim Warner said: “Archana worked throughout her BMedSci project with intelligence, enthusiasm and a great willingness to learn and it was a real pleasure to have her in our research group.

“I think this is a great advert for the BMedSci course; providing an opportunity for our medical students to involve themselves in proper laboratory based research, and giving medical school researchers a chance to get to know one of our outstanding students." 

Archana will receive her awards at ceremonies in November and December.

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