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Two Mercer Pharmacy Students
Earn National Fellowships

July 10, 2009

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

ATLANTA – Two Mercer University pharmacy students have been awarded pre-doctoral fellowships from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education. Both students are candidates in the dual Doctor of Pharmacy/Ph.D. program. The candidates, Delaram Moshkelani, of Duluth, and Rebecca L. Neal, of Marietta, will each receive stipends to continue their studies at Mercer’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

“I am quite pleased that two of our graduate students were appointed as 2009 AFPE Pre-Doctoral Fellows in the Pharmaceutical Sciences,” said Dean H.W. “Ted” Matthews. “These prestigious awards are a testimony to the high quality of our graduate program and students.”

Moshkelani and Neal were among 43 awardees of AFPE fellowships nationwide.

Moshkelani is studying in the area of oncology with Dr. Hailing Zhang, and her research is titled “Targeted Nanoparticle Delivery of a Drug-Inhibitor Conjugate for Reversal of Multidrug Resistance in Cancer Therapy.” Prior to entering the College, Moshkelani earned her Bachelor of Arts in chemistry at Mercer. She has been a member of the American Chemical Society, Mercer’s International Student Association and Mercer’s Pre-Medical Student Association. Moshkelani is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Sigma Epsilon and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies and was also named to the National Dean’s List. 

Neal’s research is focused in the area of diabetes, where she is working with Dr. Nader Moniri. Her research is titled “Desensitization Characteristics of Long Verses Short Variants of GPR120 Including Internalization, Phosphorlyation and Beta-Arrestin Involvement.” Neal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Berry College. Neal has been nominated for “Who’s Who,” has received the Pharmacy Dean’s Award and a number of scholarships while a student at Berry and Mercer. She was co-chair of our American Pharmacy Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter’s Operation Diabetes this past year.

Fellowships in the Pharmaceutical Sciences help advanced pharmaceutical science Ph.D. candidates to complete the research and dissertation phase of their Ph.D. programs. The AFPE fellowships are designed to support the education of select Ph.D. students at schools and colleges of pharmacy who show exceptional potential for leadership in pharmacy college teaching, pharmacy practice, pharmaceutical research, development, manufacturing and other pharmacy career areas. Recipients of the AFPE awards often move into professional positions in the pharmaceutical industry and into academic positions to train tomorrow’s pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists.

About the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Mercer University:
Founded in 1903, the independent pharmacy school merged with Mercer University in 1959. In a bold leadership move, it became the first school in the Southeast to offer the doctor of pharmacy degree as its sole professional degree in 1981. In addition to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, the college has one of the largest concentrations of Ph.D. students in pharmaceutics among colleges of pharmacy in the United States. In 2008, the college introduced a Physician Assistant program.

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has approximately 7,600 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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