PharmD in Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; PhD in Medicinal Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Position: 
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Room: 
1103
Phone: 
07 3365 4636
Role: 

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences

Biography: 

Doctor Pegah Varamini is an early career researcher experienced in vaccine/peptide design and delivery, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and natural product research chemistry. She got her PharmD degree in pharmacy from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in 2005.  Owing to the research nature of her career prior to start a PhD, she was able to gain a great deal of research experience in the field of Natural Products and Cancer Drug Discovery through building up different collaborations with research institutes such as Shiraz Institute for Cancer Research and Medicinal & Natural Products Chemistry Research Centre. Pegah was awarded PhD degree in pharmaceutical chemistry, neuropeptide and pain pharmacology in December 2012 through which she gained particular expertise in respect of assessing the pharmacological properties of drug candidates. She has over 10 years experience in performing in vitro and in vivo biological experiments. 

Dr Varamini has been working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Prof Istvan Toth research group since Dec 2012 at the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB), The University of Queensland. 

Research Focus and Collaborations: 

Pain modulatory neuropeptides - synthesis and in vitro/in vivo pharmacological evaluation of endomorphin-1 derivatives in a rat model of neuropathic pain. Development of systemic and orally active peptides analogues with higher and comparative potency to that of morphine, respectively, without some of its side effects; design, synthesis and biologically evaluation of some hybrid endomorphin-1/SP peptides with improved stability, permeability and maintained µ-opioid receptor binding affinity and selectivity.

Neurohormone peptide delivery - development of different in vitro techniques for the evaluation of the efficacy of modified peptide hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) or LHRH; analysis and structure-activity relationship study of different types of modified LHRH peptides including branched and complex dendrimers or lipid and/or carbohydrate modified peptides for different biological activities, efficacy, stability and permeability, LH release, etc.

Peptide-based vaccine delivery – Development and in vivo evaluation of LHRH vaccine candidates in mice and rams;  assessment of the efficacy of the vaccine candidates by measuring anti-LHRH IgG andibody titers (using ELISA techniques) and histological studies .

 

Research collaborations

Dr Varamini has been involved in different collaborative studies with other schools and institutions within The University of Queensland (TetraQ, AIBN, SMBS), or with other universities such as University of Catania, Italy (Prof. Rosario Pignatello); Ankara University, Turkey (Prof. Nilufer Yuksel).

Teaching: 

Dr Varamini is currently co-supervising two PhD students and one master student, and is involved in teaching and mentoring program of Honours students.

Significant Professional Activities and Awards: 

Dr Pegah Varamini was granted the 2012 Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence in 2013.

She was also awarded the first poster prize at APSA Conference (2010, Brisbane) and the first prize for presentation of her work at AUS-CRS 4th annual meeting (2010, Melbourne). She also got travel grants towards attending 38th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Controlled Release Society, Maryland, U.S.A and Australian Pain Society 31st Annual Scientific Meeting, Darwin, Australia, in 2011 to give an oral presentation of her work.

In 2009 she was granted the competitive international scholarships, UQRS/IPRS, to pursue full-time PhD studies at The University of Queensland.

Pegah was recognized and awarded as Exceptional Talents according to the list of "State Educational Measurement Organization" (1998) and OUTSTANDING & EXCELLENT STUDENTS (2000-2001).

Dr Varamini is currently a member of the SCMB Early Career Researcher (ECR) Subcommittee and was a member of RHD student consultative committee in 2010-2012.

 

Dr. Varamini is also a professional musician leading the Persian Hezar Ava Ensemble.