Surabhi Nair is a senior study manager at Invicro, a global contract research organization, focused on medical imaging of animals in relation to new drug development. Her projects require regular applications of pharmacology concepts; she took HMX Fundamentals Pharmacology to gain a stronger foundation for her work.
What were your goals in taking the pharmacology course?
My background is in biomedical engineering; my master’s [from the University of Virginia] was mostly related to the hardware of the imaging system itself, and less about the chemistry and the kinetics of the drugs. These are crucial aspects of my work and hence I was looking for courses that can strengthen my foundation. When I looked at the description of the HMX course I thought, ‘this is exactly what I need to know.’ It was a very good match for me.
How familiar were you with the course topics before starting?
All the topics mentioned in the course were familiar to me; some of them I knew more from my coursework, and the others, I knew the basics from my work. When I’d get a project, I’d do a background study, reading one or two papers per project. So I would understand a project briefly, but not in as much detail as I would like to. I thought a course would help me get that entire basic foundation and understand it better in my work.
What did you appreciate about the course experience?
One very positive thing about this course is that the lessons were released weekly; that gave me time to work on the material and then prepare for the next lesson. With online courses, I’ve noticed that it’s very easy to get distracted and not finish the course on time. With HMX, since there was an exam and there was an end time for the course, I did my best to be in sync with the timeline of the course.
The second point is that it was really well-made; the lectures were simple and easy to understand. I appreciated the clinical example that was given with every topic. It was not just the theory and foundation; the course also showed how it was applied in a clinical setting. That was a really big advantage of this course.
How do you think you will apply this in your work?
I see these topics every day. The course has helped me understand the results that I generate at work. I work in the department of discovery research; as the name suggests, we are trying to discover/characterize new test materials and hence deal with issues not always present in the literature. Having a good foundation is necessary for asking good questions and answering these questions accurately.