Erasmus + Sholarships for the Researchers of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Drug Manufacturing

In the light of the academic staff exchange agreement held between Pharos University and the University of Eastern Finland, Dr. Samar El Ganainey, Dr. Mohamed Gamal Bekhiet and Dr. Mennatallah Ismail were awarded Erasmus+ scholarships funded by the European Union to be apprised of the latest developments in the realms of pharmacy and drug manufacturing, namely the state-of-the-art methods in teaching and scientific research.

Concerning the visit of Dr. Samar El Ganainey who is a Lecturer at the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Department at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Drug Manufacturing, she paid a 10-day visit to the the School of Pharmacy at the University of Eastern Finland where she was acquainted with the latest teaching methods applied there, including the strategy of “Flipped Classroom” which is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. In a flipped classroom, students watch online lectures, collaborate in online discussions, or carry out research at home while engaging in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of a mentor. Dr. Samar El Ganainey was also apprised in this visit of the simulation tools used in the teaching process and scientific research there. This was in addition to the other scientific facilities like the Animal House of the University of Eastern Finland.

As for the researcher Mohamed Gamal Bekhiet who is an Assistant Lecturer at the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Drug Manufacturing, he was dispatched in a scientific mission to the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Eastern Finland from the 1st of March to the 31st of May 2019. Bekhiet in this mission joined a research team headed by Assistant Prof. Kristiina Huttunen. This team was working on the construction of prodrugs which are compounds of LAT1 inhibitors that target cancer cells in the nervous system, where the enzymatic hydrolysis is only targeted in cancerous cells in the brain and does not affect the rest of the vital organs of the human body.  It is worth mentioning that one of the advanced apparatus used to construct these prodrugs was the Microwave Reactor which helped to shorten the duration of the reactions only to 30 minutes instead of 12 hours; a feature that is going to lead to increasing productivity in the number of anti-cancer compounds.

While the aim of the visit of Dr. Mennatallah Ismail to the University of Eastern Finland was exploring the teaching and scientific research methodologies applied there, in addition to the facilities and the quality management system in order to transfer this knowledge to Pharos University and put into effect if possible. This scholarship was a golden opportunity for the researcher to meet different professors with multiple research interests such as Translational Neuroscience, Radiation Research, Metabolomics and Proteomics. This visit aimed also at promoting cooperation between departments and faculties for producing multidisciplinary publications, funding research projects and founding new research centers for virtual drug design and bioinformatics. It is worth mentioning that Dr. Mennatallah Ismail delivered a lecture during this visit on toxicology screens for master’s students, in addition to giving a seminar entitled “Liquorice Roots Extract Modulates Cancer Metabolism” for the faculty of the Pharmacology Department. The researcher also visited the quality management center where she learned about the electronic document archiving and how to disseminate the culture of quality improvement through interactive/translated brochures and posters.