Commonwealth Chemistry Poster conference winners: Tejesvi Patel

In preparation for the 5th Commonwealth Chemistry Poster conference on September 11-12th 2024, we wanted to celebrate the accomplishments of a selection of our past poster prize winners. Please find below an interview conducted with 2023 Commonwealth Chemistry Poster conference winner Tejesvi Patel from the University of the South Pacific, who won a prize in the Good Health and Wellbeing category for the poster entitled “Smart topical patches: applications in dual-action treatment against microbial infections.” You can check out Tejesvi’s poster in our online gallery here.

Tejesvi Patel, University of the South Pacific

My name is Tejesvi Patel, I am 26 years old and I was born and raised on the beautiful island of Fiji. I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at The University of the South Pacific (USP). I am also currently completing my master’s in chemistry under the supervision of Dr David Rohindra at USP. My research focuses on modifying biocompatible polymers to tackle pressing issues such as microbial wound infections and microplastics remediation from water. Looking towards the future, I aim to pursue a PhD and establish a career in polymer research.

What made you decide to study chemistry?

Since my early childhood I was always interested in science and always wondered about the science behind things. This interest in science and chemistry was further developed by great teachers and lecturers in high school and university.

Tejesvi Patel

© Tejesvi Patel

What aspect of your work are you most excited about and what do you find most challenging about your research?

The most interesting part of my research is that I am contributing things that can be used to improve quality of life in terms of wound dressing and microplastic remediation. My research does not simply look at identifying a problem but further delves into identifying a solution for that problem. My research is extremely interesting however some challenges that I face is the slight unavailability of resources such as certain instruments to carry out analysis.

In no more than 50 words, explain how your research contributes to the UN SDGs.

The preparation of an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal topical patch that is also biodegradable heavily contributes to SDG 3- Good Health and Wellbeing. The remediation of microplastics from water sources using a naturally abundant polymer contributes to SDG 6- Clean Water and Sanitation.

What are the future directions for your research?

I have recently submitted my master’s thesis for review and hoping to graduate in September of this year. I am hoping to get a few years of work experience before returning to pursue my PhD. While working I still intend to be involved in research and contribute where ever possible. As for my research more practical, real life trials need to be performed.

What or who motivates/inspires you?

My family who my biggest supporters always motivate me to do better and are always encouraging me to get out of my comfort zone. My friends are also always motivating me to work hard and keep going whenever my research gets tough. My supervisor Dr David Rohindra is also a large inspiration in my life who I respect and admire very much. He has brought up the level of polymer research happening in the Pacific to a high level. His unique and out of the box thinking is also very remarkable.

Learn about our other prize-winners from our annual Commonwealth Chemistry Posters events

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