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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Pharmacist named Young Tall Poppy of Science for helping to keep older people safe

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Research into medicine safety and the ability to communicate its importance has earned University of South Australia (UniSA) researcher Dr Renly Lim a Young Tall Poppy award in this year’s prestigious prize for young scientists.

The annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards were announced at a ceremony at the Adelaide Showgrounds tonight.

The awards are an initiative of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, recognising both achievement in the sciences and the communication of those achievements by Australia’s finest scientists.

A NHMRC early career fellow at UniSA’s Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, Lim is addressing some of the harms caused by medicines by working with residents in aged care, their carers and health professionals.

Almost everyone will take medicines at some point in their lives. Medicines have many benefits but can also cause harm. My research looks at identifying the harms due to medicines and developing solutions to prevent these harms.

Dr Renly Lim

She is the clinical research leader of the ReMInDAR (Reducing medicine-induced deterioration and adverse reactions) trial evaluating a novel pharmacy service to prevent frailty and adverse events.

Lim’s research interests include integrating digital health to improve medicine safety among older people, identifying associations between medicine use and health outcomes, health program evaluation and community engagement or malaria elimination.

“Almost everyone will take medicines at some point in their lives,” she says.

“Medicines have many benefits but can also cause harm.

“About 250,000 hospital admissions each year are medicine-related, costing $1.4 billion annually.

“My research looks at identifying the harms due to medicines and developing solutions to prevent these harms.”

Lim grew up in Malaysia and she completed her pharmacy degree in Scotland, her PhD in Malaysia, and has work experience in the UK, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.

She has organised workshops and drama performances in rural Cambodia to increase understanding of malaria.

These initiatives reached 43,000 people in 55 villages with very limited access to health services.

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