Student Hightlight Interviews

Maryam Agharahimi, MS

The January 2014 Student Highlight Interview focuses on Maryam Agharahimi, PhD Candidate in Pharmacology/Toxicology at Florida A&M University. Maryam presented a poster at the 2013 ACCP Annual Meeting on Detrimental Effects of Cocaine on Rat C6 Glial Cells via Inflammation. She received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Yazd in Iran and her Master of Science in Pharmacology/Toxicology from Florida A&M University. Additionally, she has served as past President of American Association of Iranian Pharmaceutical Scientist (ASIPS). Thank you, Maryam, for agreeing to participate in our Student Highlight Interview.

How long have you been a Member of ACCP? I have been ACCP member since May 2013

Please describe your studies/research? My interested area of research is neurodegenerative disease and their relationship with drug abuse. My master thesis was about effect of cocaine in early onset Alzheimer’s disease and my PhD dissertation is investigation of mechanism of action in which cocaine produces its detrimental effects on Rat brain cells.

Why did you choose the field of clinical pharmacology? As a senior graduate student in Pharmacology/Toxicology I always wanted to work and involve in experimental and intervention medicine by using drugs to know the physiology and mechanism of action of the new chemical entity on the target site and also interested to investigate therapeutic and toxic dose of drugs in biological systems and therefore I found clinical pharmacology the best match to be a part of. Who was most influential to you in selecting your career path?

My advisor and best mentor, Dr. Carl. Goodman. He has inspired me to pursue my goals with hard work and dedication. His support will forever remain a major contributor behind my success and achievements in pharmacology and toxicology field.

What advice would you give to another Student considering membership in ACCP? I will advice all my colleagues who their golden dream is “CURE” to be a part of ACCP. Clinical Pharmacology is the best path to apply therapeutic aspects in pharmacology world and investigate prevention and cure.

What qualities have you worked on during your graduate studies to become a successful scientist? Loving what I am doing, preparation, getting along with my peers, handling stress, discipline, creativity, working hard and dedication.

How has involvement in ACCP helped shape your career and what benefits have you enjoyed as a result of being an ACCP member (Mentoring, Committees, posters at Annual Meetings, etc.? I have found very good connections via ACCP and was able to communicate with them and used their advices and experiences. I also presented my research by poster in ACCP annual meeting and willing to work with ACCP editors for my future publications.

How would you recommend that students get involved in the various initiatives of the college? I would recommend every single graduate student to be involved in research from the very beginning of their career and encourage them to be at the top of their research by updating themselves and attending various meetings as much as possible to improve their communication skills with their peers and also being experienced and more knowledgeable in research.

Please tell us about your experience as a Student at the ACCP annual meeting or on an ACCP Committee? I had my very best experience with ACCP staff especially during our most recent annual meeting (September 2013) in Bethesda, Maryland. Their hospitality and kindness to help student amazed every one. Indeed organization of the events and presentations made this annual meeting an absolute success!

What networking opportunities are available for students attending the ACCP annual meeting? Face to face meeting with peers and colleagues in the same field and introducing and sharing research experiences are the best networking for students attending ACCP since they get to know and find many new connections who all are beneficial for their future career.

What are some of the long term benefits of getting involved in ACCP as a student? Being updated about clinical pharmacology’s world, having access to articles and most updated publications and being able to find careers and better opportunities are the benefits of being a part of ACCP.

What do you do when not working (i.e. other activities like sports, art, music etc.)? Gardening and photography are my best areas of interest to fill my spare time. I love music as well.