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Summer Student 2017: Taleen Shakouri

Taleen Shakouri, supervised by Dr Stewart Kirton and Dr Michelle Botha at the University of Hertfordshire, developed a toxicology computer model, to replace experiments on monkeys, dogs and mice.

This project was kindly and generously sponsored by Raj Saubhag.

When people take medicines the body has to break them down so that it can get rid of the waste products. However, some people are better at breaking these medicines down than others due to differences in their genetic makeup.

Individuals who are unable to break down medicines at the normal rate are at risk of becoming unwell due to a build-up of pharmaceuticals over time in their body. Unfortunately, animal experiments are used to assess whether or not a new medicine is likely to accumulate in the body. This is not completely reliable, as small molecular differences between animals and humans can give misleading results.

In her project, Taleen developed sophisticated computational techniques to replace the use of animals for such testing. Using powerful software that mimics the thought patterns of the human brain, she analysed the components that make up the medicines and used this information to accurately predict if the medicine is likely to be problematic for those individuals who metabolise medicines at a reduced rate compared to normal.

Page last modified on June 13, 2019 12:20 pm