MedChem Careers

Ming Zeng, Honours 2014

In 2010 I completed my higher school certificate, and the newly founded Medicinal Chemistry program at the University of New South Wales grabbed my attention. The multidisciplinary program seemed to be interesting and challenging. When I joined the program in March 2011, it certainly did not disappoint me.

During the program, I was exposed to different areas of science, such as pharmacology, chemistry and biology. My Honours project was on developing novel potential antimicrobials that potentially target the current drug resistant bacterial species.

Upon graduation with Honours, I decided not to pursue PhD straight away. I tried to look for some industry opportunities, which demonstrate the commercialisation of scientific research. Fortunately, I was offered a full time position as an Inside Sales representative at Sigma-Aldrich Pty Ltd in April 2015. This job has given me insights into a vast range of products that are used in research. Definitely, the scientific knowledge I gained throughout my undergraduate years have helped me in assisting customers better in their technical enquiries.


Johny Trinh, Honours 2013

After completing my HSC in 2009, I enrolled into UNSW as part of the first Medicinal Chemistry cohort in 2010. Overall the course gave me a fantastic foundation in chemistry and pharmacology which I still rely on today in my role as an analyst.

My Honours year, in particular, was a fantastic opportunity to put what I'd learned over the past 3 years into practice, as well as gaining invaluable project management skills. During Honours, I undertook a medicinal chemistry project, which involved exploring of peptides and investigating the effect of fluorination on their cyclisation.

Despite thoroughly enjoying research, and the skills and knowledge I picked up during my project, I decided to look to a career outside academia. So, in May 2014, I commenced full-time employment as a Patent Searcher/Analyst at Genericsweb, which later merged with IMS Health to form the Patent Intelligence Division, of which I am part of today. In my current role, which involves searching and analysing patents for clients, I rely heavily on my undergraduate organic chemistry, pharmacology and biotech knowledge, as well as analytical skills developed during Honours.


Michelle Nguyen, Honours 2013

In 2010, I chose to study Medicinal Chemistry at UNSW because I was interested in this newly introduced program about drug design. The program covered a range of areas in science, from biology to pharmacology to chemistry.

During my Honours year, my project was on the identification of allosteric modulators at the α1A adrenergic receptor. I gained many skills from this project, since it did not only focus on chemistry, but also gave me the opportunity to learn about computer drug design and pharmacological assays.

I chose not to study a PhD after graduation, but decided to further study a Master of Pharmacy course at another university. I found that this program is capable of opening different paths. With the skills and my scientific background gained from this program, I am currently working as a Quality Assurance Officer at a medical device company.

An Phan, Honours 2014

I finished high school in 2010, and had already decided that I wanted to be involved in a career that would allow me to utilise my keen interest in chemistry and biology. Without deliberation, I enrolled in UNSW's Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Honours).

I found that the first three years of coursework were instrumental to building a foundation for my knowledge and understanding – the content being both interesting, and challenging.

My Honours year, however, was the highlight of my degree. In this year, I got a brief taste of what research was like, and it challenged me in ways I hadn't expected. I had to be organised, self-motivated and tenacious in my work, but I believe that this was made so much easier by the support of my supervisor and the members of research group that I had chosen to join.

While completing my undergraduate degree, I worked as part of a private tutoring company, and in my Honours year, I was offered the opportunity to work as a demonstrator in first year practical classes. Teaching was always a passion of mine, and exposure to it in these two roles prompted me to pursue my dream of teaching after finishing the Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Honours).

Armed with the knowledge from my undergraduate degree, I am now completing a postgraduate degree in teaching, and I hope to be qualified and working in a NSW high school in the near future. 


Oscar Thach Hons, 2013

I have always had a passion for science. This was ever so present during my secondary schooling and resulted in my undertaking of HSC Chemistry and Physics. With this wealth of knowledge, I completed my HSC and enrolled in a Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry at UNSW Australia. This is a 4-year degree that includes an Honours research year.

Throughout my degree, I was able to learn about the human body, and develop great chemistry and pharmacology knowledge, and was able to see where medications and the medication industry tied in with society. During my Honours year, I undertook a project on the development of a novel antimicrobial class, and further developed strong research skills. I was able to achieve a First Class result and with help from my team, my findings have now been published in the scientific journal, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry.

With this wealth of knowledge, I undertook further study and completed a Master of Pharmacy at the University of Technology, Sydney, and was able to complete it with a much greater advantage over my peers. With detailed reasoning in pharmacology and chemistry, I was able to solve numerous problems by picking apart and analysing the chemical structures of medicines, and explain (to peers and teachers) how I derived my answers.

Having graduated at the end of 2015, I am now working as an Intern Pharmacist at The Coffs Harbour Health Campus/Base Hospital, and regularly use my research/laboratory, chemistry and pharmacology skills to ensure that patients receive the best medical care whilst ensuring good patient safety. The Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry has been invaluable and has undoubtedly been paramount in the pursuit of my career as the teaching staff and facilities at UNSW are world-class and continue to grow.