NICM graduates: September and December 2019

We are delighted to congratulate NICM HDR graduates Dr Zewdneh Sabe, Dr Simone Ormsby, Dr Most Afia Akhtar and Declan Power.

Dr Afia Akhtar graduated with a PhD after successful completion of her thesis on ‘Australian Native Plants – A Source of Novel Anti-inflammatory Compounds’. The aim of her study was to isolate and characterise novel antiÔÇÉinflammatory compounds from native Australian plants which were important to the D’harawal Aboriginal people for anti-inflammatory and related activities. Dr Afia Akhtar is now working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh where she has commenced research and has also applied for a grant to research 'fruit peels' for their anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory activities.

Declan Power’s Master’s thesis focused on ‘Selecting chemicals of marker compounds to determine the quality of green tea’. The project aimed to answer questions about the antioxidants in green tea and how they interact within the tea in terms of their antioxidant power. Declan is now embarking on a PhD with Western Sydney University’s School of Medicine with the aim of investigating a non-invasive screening tool for gastrointestinal related diseases.

Dr Ormsby’s PhD mixed-methods study focused on ‘The evaluation of acupuncture as an adjunct intervention for antenatal depression’. Her study aimed to explore the acceptability and effectiveness of acupuncture for antenatal depression; the views of allied health professionals regarding the possible incorporation of acupuncture into standard antenatal care; and the feasibility of conducting a larger scaled trial. With her PhD successfully undertaken, Simone is now looking to further pursue acupuncture research in 2020.

Dr Sabe’s PhD investigated ‘Traditional and Complementary Medicine Use by African Migrant Women in Australia: The Interface between Cultural Health Practices and Western Medicine’. His project focused on traditional health practices and beliefs of African migrant women living in Sydney and examined how African women's cultural health beliefs may influence their health seeking behaviours. The findings from the study he says will be valuable in helping to improve culturally competent maternity health services. Dr Sabe now aims to work on health literacy of culturally and linguistically diverse communities to help the development of culturally competent health service strategies and community health education programs.