Laura Modica De Mohac
King's College London
And - Pharmacist
Never stop being ambitious.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a Teaching Fellow in Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics at King's College London. I am a licensed pharmacist and about to pass my PhD VIVA in pharmaceutical sciences. Daily, I used my clinical expertise as a pharmacist and my skills and knowledge in pharmaceutics to support students learning both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Specifically, I facilitate and support students during a workshop designed to improve their critical thinking on the clinical scenario; I provide them with a suggestion on how to tackle patients issues, both clinical and pharmaceutical. I am mainly involved with MSc modules where I design workshops to improve their scientific writing, and practical laboratory focused on implementing their research skills. A big part of my role includes providing feedback to students reports, presentations and exams. While providing feedback, I am always keen on highlighting strengths and suggesting improvement.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
I can say that "pharmacy" is in my blood. I come from a family with four-generation pharmacists, where I particularly had female role models such as my grandmother and my mother. Two strong and independent women capable of running their own business. They passed on me with the passion for patient health and wellbeing since I was a young adult. When I was at school, a teacher was cable to pass on diligence and methods supporting scientific process and progress. He prepared me for the health care world, providing essential background knowledge on anatomy, physiology and chemistry. I then joined Pharmacy in 2011, and during the fourth year, I decided to push my career by performing an abroad research project at University College of London. At UCL, I met another incredible female model (Dr Bahijja Raimi-Abraham), who thought me how to apply my passion for human health to science and research. I was then introduced to pharmaceutical science. I then obtained my qualification as a pharmacist and worked in the family community pharmacy for a year and a half. My ambition drove me to apply for a PhD where I had the chance to combine both my research and clinical skills to design a patient-centric pharmaceutical dosage form. So, I can say that I have chosen the field, but life and experience created my path.
HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?
PhD taught me a lot about obstacles. It is a very humbling experience, and I think I have understood why it is called Philosophy Doctorate, because you learn so much about yourself and how to overcome difficulties. I have always had a very organised mindset, and I think that organisation is the only key to both preventing obstacles and planning time for “damage control”.
During the PhD, one of the key elements is research and laboratory work, and you have to learn how to deal with data which do not look how you would expect, change your plan, make new plans, analyse data with a new angle. It is, therefore, about how do you handle all these changes. Well, for me, the main way is planning. But also, learning when taking a break, which is fundamental to decompress work-related stress and remember why I am on that path and how meaning full this is for me.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I come from a family of strong, independent and empowered women. I grew up knowing that I could achieve everything I would have dreamed form a career point of view.
From a personal perspective, I would have like if younger me would have listened to older people saying to enjoy life more, acting less as an adult. But, I think that everything relates to the ambition which always defined me. I knew where I wanted to go career-wise, and I pursued it.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
It is very humbling, thinking that I am being part of the change in the world. Then, what I love the most is the possibility of creating something which really impacts other people, both from a research and a teaching perspective. The possibility to innovate and share innovation with peers and create a network that can really make the difference in health care.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Never stop being ambitious. If someone says that you cannot, you do it and show them you can. Never stop exploring, embrace the opportunity that life gives you!
I know it might sound too obvious, but it is truly what I think, what I have always said to me, my friends, my peers and my colleague. Never stop dreaming about the best version that you want for your self and work to be it!
Dr Bahijja Raimi-Abraham is my role model. She is a scientist, a great human being, an academic, and taught me how to be the best version of myself for myself and no one else.