Research success for medicinal chemist, a springboard from international studies supported by generous AMRF donors

  • 18 Nov 2019

Dr. Lisa Pilkington benefitted from a Gavin and Ann Kellaway Medical Research Fellowship in 2015 to study for her Masters of Applied Statistics at the University of Oxford, after she had completed her PhD in medicinal chemistry in 2014.

Dr Pilkington says:

“Thanks to the funding from the AMRF and its supporters I’ve gained skills in statistical analysis and computer aided drug design to more quickly, accurately and efficiently predict and identify promising anti-cancer targets. In addition to my cancer drug studies, I’ve consulted on research projects analysing milk, wine, solar chemistry and micro-organism populations, which shows the applicability of statistics to various areas of chemistry.”

She is so very grateful to the donors who made her study possible. She says,“My research will always be motivated by trying to make sure that your investment in me was a worthwhile one.”

Ann Kellaway, who together with her late husband Gavin established the fellowship says, “Gavin and I chose to do this in our lifetimes to feel the excitement of giving.” She went on to say, “I encourage those of you thinking of giving to do so in your lifetime to be able to see what’s happening, to see the research that you’re hoping for.”

Now, Dr Pilkington has continued her success with a prestigious Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship where she can continue to apply her skills in statistics and chemistry to improving drug design research. She says, “One of the most crucial goals in drug development and design is to establish a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) to model the relationship between the structure of a compound and its biological activity – the way that it effects living matter.”

The Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship will enable Dr Pilkington to dedicate herself full-time to this research programmes for 2 years. Read more here on the Royal Society of New Zealand’s website.

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