Essay about Pharmacology
The ever evolving and expanding nature of pharmacology excites me, as you have the opportunity to work with new cutting - edge technology. For example, the fast pace of scientific advancements, such as the development of CRISPR gene editing, are opening up exciting possibilities for the treatment of genetic diseases and providing opportunities to improve drug testing by modelling genetic diseases on animals.
Although the idea of being able to manipulate genomes and edit DNA is incredibly exciting, the docuseries ‘Unnatural Selection’ shows the other side of that coin. It highlighted how if strict controls aren’t enforced research could be rushed and ethics compromised. An example of this is the scientist He Jiankui who violated medical regulations and edited the genes of twin baby girls. It also increased my awareness of how many patients with genetic diseases can’t receive these new treatments because they are too expensive. What sense is there in discovering a cure or a treatment if no one can afford it? This is why I believe it is important to focus on making existing treatments more cost-efficient and accessible to the public as well as developing new ones.
I have also explored important current topics of research, such as the development of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA vaccine, cancer medicines and genetic diseases. I did this through taking the MOOCs ‘Exploring Cancer Medicines’ and ‘Vaccine Development: Finding a Vaccine for COVID-19 and Future Pandemics’. I enjoyed learning about the history of advancements in cancer treatment, I found it fascinating how both the effects of mustard gas and platinum on cancer were not discovered on purpose. There are also some new exciting approaches to cancer treatment, such as trying to turn cancer cells back into regular cells, which I am very interested to learn more about.
Pharmacology combines two of the things I find the most interesting within science; the intricacies of biological processes, whether that be within a single cell or whole organ systems, and the complexity of chemical reactions. Therefore, I am excited to study how chemicals in drugs work to impact biological processes and disease mechanisms.
A-level Biology and Chemistry have allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the chemical principles that underpin biological processes, this gave me a great deal of confidence in the biochemical aspects of the Biology course. During practical assessments in Biology and Chemistry, I have been introduced to basic lab equipment (such as microscopes, centrifuges and colorimeters) and taught to use my own method as well as make calculations and observations from the data collected. This provided me with an opportunity to expand my practical and analytical skills, which will be useful when working on research projects.
Whilst in year 12, working on reciprocal tutorials with year 13 biology students helped me to develop communication and social skills in an academic setting. This will be useful when working with other students and when doing presentations.
As an A-level History student I often read around topics in my course to include wider context in my essays, this wider academic reading has helped to familiarise me with the advanced vocabulary used in academic texts. This and the source evaluation skills I have developed, will be useful to me in the future when reading and analysing research papers.
In the summer of 2019, I launched a social action project as part of my NCS team, organising fundraising activities such as quiz nights to raise money for Sunflower Suicide Support. I enjoyed giving back to my community whilst developing my teamwork, organisation and management skills and look forward to continuing to take part in fundraising events at university. The skills I gained from this will be pivotal in this next stage of my life for independent work outside of lectures, organising my time and working with others.