Hi, I am Charles Benneh a PhD student in Pharmacology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with a focus on in vivo pharmacokinetics and neuropharmacology. I am also employed by the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana as an assistant lecturer in Pharmacology. My research career is preceded by a Master of Philosophy in Pharmacology and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
The WCAIR is an excellent model of integrated academic workflow that translates into potential clinical therapy candidates. I was attracted to WCAIR mainly to acquire translatable skills in drug discovery with emphasis on drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK). The goal of this skills acquisition is to improve the reach of my current PhD work, where i aim to provide pre-clinical pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data of selected semi-synthetic derivatives of xylopic acid in mice. In addition to the DMPK techniques, I have acquired knowledge in the integrated aspects of drug discovery from research planning, medicinal chemistry through to in vitro biological assays.
During my stay in Dundee, the training team were always been cognisant of how translatable the skills I am acquiring will fit into the research infrastructure of my institution. Bearing that in mind, they provided alternate approaches and work-around techniques that will make the skills I acquired truly translatable. Going back to my home institution, the skills I have acquired will facilitate the setting up of an in vitro screening unit with capabilities of assessing core DMPK properties such as microsomal stability and plasma protein binding. This implementation will be undertaken in a modular fashion with emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach and skills transfer. On the basis of this, we anticipate expanding the range of tests and improve our skills to better characterize compounds prior to efficacy or toxicity studies in vivo. Together with improved in vivo DMPK knowledge, I hope to contribute in refining natural product drug discovery in my institution.