Obinna Obianom is a student in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) PhD Program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
A graduate of the University of Buffalo, Obinna received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in pharmacology/toxicology and pharmaceutical sciences, respectively. He currently works as a graduate research assistant for Yan Shu, PhD, studying the effect of liver specific ischemia/reperfusion-inducible protein (IRIP) knockout on metabolizing enzymes.
What inspired your interest in the field of pharmaceutical sciences?
I was raised in a remote city in Nigeria, where medical care was very limited. We had to trust that the medication given to us was the best treatment for the ailment that plagued us. However, I always had a desire to understand how drugs were disposed in the body and their mechanism of action. This led me to the field of pharmaceutical sciences.
What are your personal research interests?
My research interests focus on drug transport and metabolism. After rotating in the labs of three faculty members from the School’s PSC department, I found my niche in Dr. Shu’s lab. Currently, I am working on a project to evaluate the effect of liver specific ischemia/reperfusion-inducible protein (IRIP) knockout on metabolizing enzymes in mouse models. I am excited to see where this research goes over the next few years.
What interested you most about the PSC PhD Program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy?
I was drawn to this program by its diverse areas of research and collaborative environment. Knowing that I could tackle my research interest from many angles – including biochemistry, chemistry, and molecular biology – greatly appealed to me. PSC faculty members are very knowledgeable and have a profound understanding of their research areas. All of the professors work together to answer any research questions that students have.
How would you describe your experience since being admitted to the program?
I love it here. Just as I expected, the faculty, staff, and students in the program have been very welcoming and helpful. The coursework is very straightforward, and I enjoy the diversified course categories that we are allowed to explore. We are also able to enroll in courses outside of the program as well as outside of the university to help enrich our understanding of a particular subject or research technique. The professors are very open to talking with students about their research interests and helping them find suitable labs and resources to accomplish their career goals.
In addition, the state-of-the-art facilities available to us for research are unparalleled. The collaborative environment, high-end research facilities, and insightful faculty have all contributed to making this an outstanding experience for me.
What is your advice to prospective students who might be considering whether or not to apply to this program?
If you are looking for a program that encompasses all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences with a strong collaborative environment and enormous amount of resources to accomplish your career goal, the PSC PhD Program will be a perfect fit for you. If you choose to apply, know that you are in for a real treat and an education worth your time, effort, and expense!