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UNESCO Science Fellow Visits Over the Fall

Oluwatoyin Adeleke‘s passion is in pharmaceutical research specifically in drug delivery systems designed by pharmaceutical industrial pharmacists. Her research is currently focused on developing a patient-friendly drug delivery system in South Africa for the management of tuberculosis, which was recently revealed by Stats SA as the number one cause of death in the country.

“TB is a major problem is South Africa. The medicine we have available is not patient-friendly because you find patients taking around 12 tablets a day and even when they have to take fewer tablets, they are usually really big pills and they have to take for six to 12 months. So compliance is an issue.”

“My focus is on looking at how to deliver anti-TB drugs in a more patient-friendly way. I would also like to see a change in the type of medication patients take, so rather than them taking so many, they would take one small tablet that is just as effective to enhance compliance. Another thing I’m focused on is kids infected with TB. You often find that there are few medicines for kids with TB and most of them end up having to take adult medication but in smaller doses, which is not very convenient for them. So I’m looking at developing readily available medication for kids in Africa.

“My love for chemistry inspired me to pursue a career in this industry. I remember growing up my father told me if I love it, I should go and do professional chemistry and tackle a male-dominated industry because there are few women in it. I researched pharmacy and saw that it suited me because I love people and I see myself solving at least one human issue in Africa.

“I intend to use the money from the L’Oréal-UNESCO grant for my research; to buy chemicals and a powerful computer and software that can assist with the work I do and enhance the quality of my pharmaceutical formulation.”