Pharmaceutical Sciences 药学


基本情况:竺同学,第二军医大学,药学本科,GPA 3.64,TOEFL 102,GRE 323 

录取学校:University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics 博士全奖(专业全美第三!) 

It would be my honor to be able to save lives, but I am not suited to being a doctor. It is in the lab, running experiments and developing new drugs, where I can make a difference. I studied a medicine and pharmacy-related major and excelled in it; it perfectly fitted to my advantages in chemistry and biology. Both are areas that are bound up with human lives and knowing both at a deeper level is essential to achieving my goal of developing new drugs and pharmaceuticals. By studying for my Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, I would improve my research ability and be able to apply my knowledge, patience and skill toward drug delivery systems and pharmaceutical development. 

During my undergraduate study, I actively participated in experimental research on various subjects: biological medicine, chemical pharmacy and molecular chemistry. The practice gave me insight into what I did not know and gave me a concrete way to fill in those gaps; it also trained me in basic scientific thinking, which further ignited my concentration and passion in medicine and pharmacy. Also during my research, I came to know that the Chinese pharmaceutical industry is now in the development phase. We enjoy an enormous capital reserve and huge market potential, but we lag behind greatly in the original drug development. Most of the technology we are applying now is an imitation of techniques used by the main foreign drug companies – GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Abbott, Merck, and others. Yet, there is so much room for improvement in not only the types of drugs being produced, but how they are delivered. Based on my observation of the status quo of Chinese drug industry, I see a positive, fulfilling career path awaiting me after I finish my Ph.D. 

My first step is to become a drug or pharmaceutics developer. I will work at a large drug research institute or corporation as a researcher. After 4-5 years, I will have acquired the essential knowledge and skills needed to develop new drugs-specifically, in the field of drug discovery or drug delivery. In the long term, I wish to establish a company of my own, working on drug development or new dosage forms and making contributions to the overall development of the Chinese drug industry. 

Research Interests 

In my doctoral years, I will focus on Drug Discovery and Drug Deliver for my study and research experiences in Biopharmaceutics, Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmaceutics. 

Drug Discovery is related to the research I have done in undergraduate. I find many concepts and a lot of thinking in this field very interesting, such as the “lock and key” mechanism, the use of splicing and the combination of molecules. Besides, I excel in mathematical logic and computer programming and it has become common in drug discovery to use the computer for drug design. This research orientation is therefore very suitable for me. Meanwhile, this research area requires a great ability to innovate and is challenging. For instance, the questions of how to search for the target of the drug molecule in a better way, how to effectively improve the efficiency of target screening and how to design molecules related to targets—all these are interesting to me, as they represent free artistic creation in rigorous scientific field. This kind of work and research is certainly quite hard and challenging and demands great attention and ceaseless trials. But it is fit for me as I always have a high standard for the work I do, and I know I must face it in the course of growth. On the other hand, I have laid a good foundation in organic chemistry as well as biology and biochemistry, making me more qualified to learn about new, relevant subjects. As the study of antineoplastic drugs is becoming a research trend, I will obtain a great sense of achievement if I contribute to the study of thisfield. 

Drug Delivery is not only about the effectiveness of drug molecules. What dosage form a drug should take and how it accesses its targets also constitute important components of the research. Because the human body is quite a complicated system, the study of it becomes very challenging. And many other elements, such as whether a drug can effectively be combined with its target, whether it will be absorbed by similar structures on the way to its target and how long its effect will last, make the subject even more complicated though still interesting. But complexity means there are many possible resolutions and innovations. I once wondered in the process of learning whether there was the possibility of using a magnetic field to induce a drug into its target in vitro. And after consulting relevant data, I found that magnetic microspheres exist and have been used as drug carrier to effectively carry drugs to their target. 

This is a great area of development in this field and I realize that innovative products may be able to be produced with the introduction of the technology of other subjects, such as engineering, to this field. I myself am very interested in interdisciplinary study and comprehensive application of different fields to drug delivery. In daily learning, I like to dip into other subjects, such as computer science and mathematics. I am also very interested in the molecular pharmaceutics of drug delivery, a field combining nanotechnology and materials science and is of great development potential, as the changes that happen in the micro study usually lead to unexpected results. To do research in this field, one should have strengths in mathematical analysis and should be able to use mathematical models to build possible drug distribution and metabolic pathways, which is in line with my ability. I believe I will also have the opportunity to greatly improve in this aspect as well, as the technology in the US in this field is the most advanced. 

Academic Preparation 

To prepare me for doctoral study and research, I have busied myself with academic and research activities as an undergraduate. I gained in-depth knowledge of both chemistry and biology through courses such as Advanced Mathematics, Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Pharmaceutics. After grasping the basic operative skills, I joined experimental programs in topics such as drug discovery in medicinal chemistry, investigation of biopharmaceutical resources, study of the genetic makeup of plants through the research on molecular biology, and specific component maps of Chinese Herbal Drugs. The culmination of my undergraduate work can be found in my thesis: Disposition of Succinylcholine in Vivo and its Forensic Toxicological Approach in Chinese Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis in March 2015. Through practical experimentation, I became skilled in HPLC and learned to operate the NMR. I also independently pursued knowledge of clinical drugs, computer technology, mathematics and management. The idea of big data in particular provided me with several ideas for my future research. I am truly looking forward to collaborating with professors and other graduate students to exploit the latest ideas in multiple disciplines and propel the working process. 

I finished my first project in May 2013, the project start in November 2012 and I participated in a survey of invasive plants on Chongming Island and the preparation of their catalogue, at the Second Military Medical University. In the process, I was responsible for conducting field surveys, taking pictures and screening and writing relevant parts of papers. In the end, I got a copy of the illustrated handbook. In the research, after local plant species were sorted out, a field survey was done along three different routes, based on the existing catalogue of existing invasive plants and relevant existing literature and specimens. Sampling inspection was done on existing invasive plant species; plant photos were taken in the field and the materials of relevant species were integrated. Finally, further analysis and predictions about invasive plants in Chongming Island were made. From this experience, I got a clear idea about the process of scientific research, from the identification of a problem, literature review, and theoretical foundation, to the development of methods and implementation of certain work, to the final conclusion. 

Three months later, from September 2013 to March 2014, I participated in a university level project and was responsible for cloning and identifying genes of a key enzyme on the synthesis pathway of safflower flavones. I mainly learned relevant operations involved in molecular biology and the process of gene transfection and obtained clear ideas and ways of thinking about the work of molecular biology. The major method we adopted was to clone candidate safflower F3H gene fragments, based on similar gene fragments screened using the computer, and then to design suitable prokaryotic expression primer fragments. Then target genes were then connected with prokaryotic expression carrier pET-32(a+) to rebuild the expression carrier. The rebuilt expression carrier was introduced into BL21 (DE3) pLysS strains through IPTG-induced expression. The expressed product that had been induced for 12 hours was purified with nickel dielectric cylinder to produce the expressed protein. In the end, through protein sequencing, the induced protein turned out to be CHS, flavone analogues, thus providing a basis for later eukaryotic expression. Meanwhile, we verified the role F3H played in the synthesis of flavones compounds, which allowed me to understand the basic research process of molecular biology. During the research, I had many challenges, for example, when the primer needed a very specific design. Several other amplified fragments appeared in experiments, but they were eliminated due to their length, so our experiments were conducted successfully. The process of introducing the carrier was repeated several times, maybe because we were not skillful enough in doing it at the beginning or because the introduction of target gene was really more difficult in practice than in theory. What I learned from this experiment was that even though creating suitable conditions for experiments is not a big subject, knowing how to do it benefited me a lot. 

I cannot stop to do research, so I participated a research three months later as a member of a group. The topic was to fingerprint of the active ingredients of isoflavone in fermented soybean, last form June 2014 to January 2015. This research belongs to the pharmaceutical analysis category. Multi-dimensional cutting high-performance liquid chromatography of soy isoflavone in fermented soybeans collected from different places was established, the ESI (electrospray ionization)-MS/MS fragmentation regularity of the isoflavone compound in fermented soybeans was explored, and finally the HPLC-MS/MS quantitative analysis method of isoflavone chemical fingerprinting with the six-strong peaks compound group was found. In this research, I learned how to use high-powered analytical equipment, such as HPLC and MS, to produce a corresponding chemical fingerprint, and I analyzed and processed data. As a member rather than a leader in the research, I became adept at working in a team. 

I have been fortunate enough to learn under some of the best teachers at Second Military Medical University; however, I have reached the limit in what I can learn here because of the underdevelopment of Chinese pharmaceutical industry and the lack of university-industry research partnerships. Remaining here will not allow me to strengthen my independent research nor my innovation abilities. To fulfill my dream of transforming the Chinese pharmaceutical industry, I am applying to the Pharmaceutics Ph.D. Program of University of Minnesota to achieve this first step on my ambitious, but attainable career plan in the Chinese pharmaceutical industry. Your Ph.D. program is the most essential first step in this plan, as I need to develop first the expertise and high-level research skills. I would like to do so in partnership with the best pharmacy research team in the nation at Minnesota. I would like to work with Doc. Changquan Calvin Sun and Doc. Karunya Kandimalla. I am interested in their study areas of manufacturing science and nanomedicine. With an in-depth research focus on drug discovery and drug delivery, I am convinced that I will not only acquire a wealth of knowledge but learn the tools that will help me become a more productive and diligent independent researcher. I believe that my previous preparation – both in coursework and research projects – will support my success, and that my ability to work hard and cooperate with classmates as well as my desire to achieve my goal of saving human lives will allow me to contribute to your program.

By 西柚答哥