First class formula for science prize

A FIRST class science graduate hoping to formulate a career developing anti-cancer drugs has landed a prestigious prize for his analytical skills.

Keng T Ng has picked up this year’s prize for Best Final Year Student in Pharmaceutical Analysis at the University of Sunderland, awarded by national science recruitment agency CK Science.

The 25-year-old, from Malaysia, who began his BSc Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science (CPS) course four years ago, has studied tirelessly to achieve a first-class degree.

This week his dedication to the degree paid off when he was nominated as an outstanding candidate who achieved highly impressive final year results, excelling particularly in pharmaceutical analysis, and during his third-year placement at local company, Onyx Scientific.

The award given by CK Science to students at the University of Sunderland has been running for over 10 years, and has been successful in promoting the wealth of talent within science in the region, and to show the recruitment agency’s commitment to helping graduates in the North East.

Keng said: “I am delighted with this award, it means so much. I have worked really hard and in the end I’ve got what I wanted.

“I have an interest in the research and development of anti-cancer drugs; it’s an area we have learned a lot about during the CPS course. Researching and reading journals in this area makes you realise how many people worldwide are affected by this disease and it would be great to know you’re doing work which could help. Eventually I’d like to do a PhD.”

To help him achieve his goals, Keng says he has been making the most of the state-of-the-art analytical equipment in the University’s new £8.5m Science Complex.

He said: “We had a lot of time and exposure to the analytical instruments in the labs, it’s much more hands-on. The equipment we have here definitely helps with your research and the new facilities are amazing.”

Liam O’Connell, CK Science Operations Director, said: “As a recruitment company specialising in the scientific sector for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, we work closely with universities and wanted to put something back into higher education.

“We thought the best way was to sponsor an industrial placement and have a prize at the university for the most outstanding student. They receive £200 and a certificate.

“Keng was an outstanding candidate who excelled in his final-year results and thoroughly deserves this success, which will no doubt help boost his employability.”

He added: “Presenting this award helps us build links with university departments and create a greater understanding of what we can do to help students once they graduate.”

Keng has now moved on to the University’s new MSc in Drug Discovery and Development and has been selected from 100 students nationwide to carry out his project with major multi-national pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca.

Keng’s MSc Programme Leader, John Lough said: “These are increasingly challenging times for students, but Keng is a shining example to others showing how much can still be achieved with a combination of determination and application on University of Sunderland pharmaceutical science programmes.”

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