Gauri Rao, Pharm.D., M.S., with Li Xian Ng, a studnet from the University College London School of Pharmacy
Assistant Professor Gauri Rao, Pharm.D., M.S., with Li Xian Ng, a studnet from the University College London School of Pharmacy

Li Xian Ng, a student at the University College London School of Pharmacy, came to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy for a three-month research rotation as part of the School’s Global Pharmacy Scholars program.

The exchange program allows students from UCL to travel to North Carolina to work with professors at the School and sends UNC pharmacy students to London for research there.

Ng worked in the lab of Gauri Rao, Pharm.D., M.S., studying pharmacokinetic modeling and antibiotic dose optimization. Rao is an assistant professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics.

“Dr. Rao was a great help in guiding me to understand about research methodology, the designing of protocols, scientific writing and pharmacokinetic modeling,” Ng said. “It has certainly helped me develop a strong interest in research in optimizing antibiotic dosing regimens, and I certainly would be interested in this field in future.”

Although Ng had no prior experience in lab research, she said the members of the Rao lab were very supportive.

“My three-plus months at the Rao lab have allowed me to learn a lot about translational research, especially how findings can be translated to clinical settings,” she said. “The people in the Rao lab have been nothing short of welcoming and accepting, and Dr. Rao, in particular, was a constant source of support.”

Rao said she was initially hesitant to accept a student from UCL, but she said that Ng’s letter and CV stood out. Once in Chapel Hill, Rao said Ng was highly motivated and energetic.

“Within a few months, Li Xian had mastered the different lab techniques, and shortly after, she started generating data,” Rao said.  “She was always very well prepared with her data, her analysis of the data and her plan for each week.”

Ng said she will miss the people at UNC who helped make her stay a success.

“Everyone at UNC made this three-month exchange an amazing and memorable experience one for me,” she said. “If I have the opportunity, I would certainly like to come back for further studies and research in future.”

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