#2020Shortlist

Monika Warzecha

UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

#PhysicalSciences   –  🏵️ Shortlist 2020 #FWISAward

“Fundamental understanding of crystallisation for more affordable drugs”

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Currently, 50% of the world population has no access to essential affordable medication for common diseases including respiratory tract infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS.

In the past, drugs have had to be withdrawn from the market due to impurities causing dangerous changes in their structure and function. It is therefore vital that we understand how to control the crystallisation and growth of the chemical compounds that go into them.

Dr Warzecha’s research, therefore, focuses on the investigation into chemical crystallisation processes; crystallisation is a separation and purification technique that creates solid-form drugs from liquid. Often this is trial and error based which is costly and time-consuming. Her previous research proved that first symmetry elements originate in solution (as opposed to the crystal surface), challenging assumptions that this process happens only at the crystal surface. Dr Warzecha intends to build upon this groundbreaking discovery with her current proposal.

Her ambition is to progress her scientific career in the crystallisation field. She intends to improve the prediction and digital design of chemical processes by looking at the influence of various external modifiers. Successful completion of the proposed research will provide fundamental knowledge of crystallisation processes allowing researchers better control over crystallisation outcomes. This will subsequently enable industrial manufacturers to deliver better products at lower costs and with more certainty.

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