Posts Tagged ‘pharmaceuticals’

Research Questionnaire: Use and Disposal of Medication

January 17, 2012 2 comments

Have you ever thought about what happens to medications once they are expired or when you stop taking the course of medications? What about veterinary medications? Are these dealt with in a different way to human medications? What about the environmental effects of different disposal strategies.

I am exploring such issues as part of my PhD, and in order to understand better how people use and dispose of their medications I have set out a short questionnaire. It takes around 5 minutes to fill in and your time will be greatly appreciated. The questionnaire is completely anonymous, and I have no way to link your answers to you. However, if you are interested you can give me your email address and I can inform you of the results. Alternatively you could just stay in tune with this blog and you will definitely be informed.

So just click here, and tell all your friends to fill it in too.




PhD Week 2: Done

October 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Today was my second lab meeting. As per last week (and the next weeks for the next three years or so), I had to prepare a presentation on the work I achieved in the past week, and state my goals for the following week. The main achievement in the past week was reading through the literature to get a good background on the subject of nitrates and isotopes and an idea of what has been done and the limitations. Therefore the presentation consisted of me explaining some of the basic principles of what I will be following.

Shouldn’t the supervisors know what I will be doing? Well, in my case not exactly. The supervisors at DCU are mainly involved in pharmaceutical analysis and have very limited (if any) research experience in the use of nitrate isotopes. I have another supervisor in Belfast who is more into this area. Therefore I gave them a basic understand of the main principles, so that they could also follow what I will be doing.

I am quite pleased with my presentation today. It was much better than the one I did last week, and I feel that I managed to explain what I wanted to present in a simple and coherent manner. I hope that the next presentations will be similar to this one. At the presentation another supervisor, who is a co-supervisor of the other members of the research group I am in, was present today. I was impressed by his knowledge in the subject and the interest he showed in the project. He seems to be a good all rounder and I look forward to getting more feedback from him.

So what are the goals for the coming week? I hope to finish reading off the data I have about nitrates and isotopes and hopefully next Monday I can start focusing on the pharmaceutical aspect of my research project. Next Wednesday I should also be going to Belfast to meet my other supervisor who is situated there. He is the main person who has research experience in the area of isotope tracers and therefore I have loads of questions for him. I also hope to start my HPLC training.

Wish me luck!

Categories: Research Tags: , , ,

PhD Week 1: Done

October 8, 2010 1 comment

My first week of my PhD research is now over. I now have a (slightly) better idea of what I will be doing over the next couple of years and am settling in. I have finalised most of the admin work involved and I look forward to next week, when I can start getting into a routine of work, where I can focus on my PhD more than getting papers signed and forms filled.

This week I had my first lab meeting. The lab meeting is held every week between the students and the supervisors of the Environmental Biotechnology lab. We get to present (and discuss) the results and work carried out the week before, and plan for the coming week. This week, being my first week, my presentation consisted of describing what my project is about. This was mainly so that the other members of the research group could understand what I will be talking about in the coming weeks and years. It did not go as good as I hoped it would, since I was quite a bit stressed out. However it was not horrible, and the other students said that it seemed as if I knew what I was talking about, which I guess is a good thing.

I have now started my literature search, where I have started searching for papers and documents on the subject, and inputting them in Refworks. I have already saved around 100 different papers on the general area I will be following. However this was based solely on a quick search and the title of the paper. In the coming week I hope to start reading the papers in greater detail and making note of what is relevant or not to my general project. In this process I will undoubtedly increase the list of references, and will also remove some of those I downloaded which are not useful.

As part of my project I have two main themes: pharmaceuticals and nitrates in water. I will be trying to split my time on the two areas each week, so that I do not get too bored doing the same thing. I also hope to start doing some work on the HPLC soon, and will get training in the coming weeks. I will not start any lab work related to my project. However based on the experiences of the other research students, it makes sense to start using the equipment slowly and passing standards. So that when the project is ready to start, I would have most issues sorted. Will see how it goes.