Callom Short, who recently graduated with an MPharm degree from the University of Sunderland, received the Professor Roz Anderson Memorial Award this year.
The annual prize is given to a student who shows an outstanding performance throughout the MPharm degree, honouring the memory of Professor Anderson, an inspirational scientist dedicated to improving the treatment of patients with a rare life-threatening genetic disease.
Callom, 22, from Gateshead, has been working as a domiciliary care worker across Gateshead in patient care for the last six years and then last year, began work with dementia patients at Wardley Gate Care Centre, during one of the most challenging times for the sector.
“I started work just as Covid-19 hit and it was a massive experience, seeing the impact the disease had on patients and their families was incredibly challenging, I was dealing with lots of difficult situations, but it certainly helped develop my interpersonal skills,” he said.
“This experience also helped me develop my confidence in helping others and show compassion.”
These skills, Callom says, will be invaluable when he begins his pre-registration year at Sunderland Royal Hospital, working not just in the dispensary, but also on the GP wards.
He added: “This last year has been a year like no other but thankfully I was so well supported by the university through online learning, all the materials we needed were there for us.
Professor Anderson lost her battle with cancer in 2018. She was a Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Sunderland. In her 31-year career as a researcher at the University, she worked on the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosis of bacterial infections, psoriasis, and cancer, but her particular passion was the battle against the rare genetic disorder Cystinosis.
Dr Adrian Moore, head of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said: “Callom has fully embodied the spirit of Roz’s work, demonstrating a wide appreciation of how fundamental science informs the understanding of how medicines work and are developed for the benefit of patients; it has been a genuine pleasure to be involved in his education.
“My congratulations go out to Callom as this award is very well deserved in recognition of all that he has done and, I’m sure, will continue to do as his professional career develops.”