Pharmacy student recognized for service, research efforts

Amanda Smith School of Pharmacy Clinton SC“The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy has offered me many opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom,” said third-year pharmacy student Amanda Smith.

“These experiences had a huge impact on my education and exposure to the pharmacy profession.”

Serving the Community

In addition to working at Spartanburg Medical Center, Smith serves on the executive committee for three student organizations at the pharmacy school. She’s the chapter president for one organization.

Outside the classroom, Smith takes the time to live the PC motto, “While We Live, We Serve.”

“I volunteer with a local non-profit organization, Palmetto Equestrian Therapeutic Riding Program,” she said. “Aside from these commitments, I serve as a student ambassador and participate in various school events such as health fairs and flu shot clinics.”

Real-world Research

Smith conducts research to delve into issues in the field of pharmacy. In September, she presented research at the SC Upstate Research Symposium that she and pharmacy professor Dr. Wei Lei began last summer. The research focuses around a protein target known as heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90).

“When cells are under stressful conditions, they express greater levels of Hsp90,” Smith said. “This protein family is involved in many cellular signaling pathways, such as inflammatory pathways.”

Lei and Smith’s study looked at the effects of Hsp90 inhibition on cellular inflammation.

“We cultured cell lines, and treated them with drugs designed to inhibit Hsp90 expression,” Smith said. “Then, we looked at the production of inflammatory mediators and the activation of inflammatory signaling pathways.”

Smith conducts research as her class schedule allows. This past spring, she completed an independent study under Lei’s supervision as her elective course.

“I am in the research lab at least three days per week,” she said. “Dr. Lei and I plan to continue running experiments, writing papers, and presenting at meetings.”

For her efforts, Smith was recently accepted into the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium Scholars Program.

Why She Chose Pharmacy

Even while conducting research, Smith keeps in mind why she chose pharmacy in the first place.

“I was drawn to the pharmacy profession because I wanted to use my love for science as a way to help people,” she said. “I am able to use my knowledge base to interact with patients and make meaningful medical interventions.”

Opportunities for You at PC School of Pharmacy

If you want to become a pharmacist, you have plenty of opportunities to serve and conduct research on the way to earning your PharmD degree. Please email or call 864-938-3913 to learn more about the PC School of Pharmacy.