Inspiring Woman 2020

Amira Guirguis

Dr Amira Guirguis is a true role model to women.  Not only is she a single mother, who has undertaken her PhD in Pharmacy, but she has also devoted her own time, over and beyond her research studies, to engage with local, national and international entities to make a difference to people's lives. Using real pharmacy life scenarios and RPS (Royal Pharmacology Society) national targets, Dr Guirguis has taken the initiative to develop a ‘new’ concept for providing insight among pharmacists, other healthcare professionals and service providers of the completely new area of “Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) which was the subject of recent Swansea University Podcast series.

Dr Guirguis is the MPharm Programme Director for the new School of Pharmacy, which is currently being accredited.  Dr Guirguis is the consummate professional, who loves to teach pharmacy to young students and to pre-registration trainees – Dr Guirguis is such a dedicated teacher that she will often teach at weekends to help young pharmacists in their preparation to pass their registration exams. 

Recently Dr Guirguis was appointed to be the Scheduled Drugs Lead on the Science and Research Committee for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).  Dr Guirguis in this capacity therefore advises the RPS, the Medicines Health Regulatory Agency, General Pharmaceutical Council and the Home Office on a number of Substance misuses and scheduled drug issues.

Dr Guirguis despite her workload has always made time to mentor and coach young pharmacists about career opportunities in pharmacy as well as academic issues and challenges which they may be facing.  Dr Guirguis, as stated, will often coach and advise young students in her own time – e.g. she is a regular trainer and adviser on the Propharmace training programme, which is only conducted at weekends and often from these sessions Dr Guirguis will spend many hours subsequently in advising and coaching these students. 

I have seen myself the many students who have thanked Dr Guirguis for her support and inspirational leadership via email and by twitter feed. The positive feedback and rave reviews that Dr Guirguis every time she conducts these sessions is a privilege to witness.

Dr Guirguis is also a mentor at Swansea University and RPS, mentoring 3 undergraduate students and 3 newly qualified pharmacist which is remarkable when one considers Dr Guirguis accomplishments as follows:

  • Co-authored advisory submission to the UK Parliament was one of the very few written evidences to help inform the discussion in Parliament prior to the issuing of the NPS Act 2016. As a result, NPShave become part of pharmacist undergraduate curriculum, to which Amira’s current work is ground-breaking. 
  • Contributed to a new section in the Medicines, Ethics and Practice (MEP) book, which is now being taught to all undergraduate pharmacy students with a copy of this book being kept in almost every pharmacy in the UK.
  • Published over 20 research articles
  • Pioneered a unique drug checking service, which was the first Home Office-licensed pharmacist-led service in the UK. Over 4 days only, it has achieved a media reach of 68 million in the UK and 9 million in Australia.

I therefore have no hesitation in recommending Dr Guirguis, as she is an outstanding role model in her field that many young people look up to and respect.