April Huan: Delving into biological processes

College
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Pharmacy student builds knowledge in the research lab

April Huan chose Ohio Northern University because it offers one of the few 0-6 direct entry pharmacy programs in the U.S. She also appreciated the program’s esteemed history and its rigorous curriculum.

Hailing from Taiwan and a large metropolis, April found that Ada, Ohio, offered a pleasant change of pace. 

“I still remember the first time I visited,” she says. “I was immediately drawn in by the safe, diverse and friendly learning atmosphere on campus.”

April is involved in numerous student pharmacy associations, including ONU’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association. She also flexes her creative muscle by playing percussion in the concert band and taking piano lessons. 

“Playing music while being a pharmacy student has definitely helped me relieve lots of stress and perform better in class,” she says.

Her pharmacy studies have opened her eyes to the many different career paths for pharmacists in the U.S., including pharmaceutical research. She’s worked in the lab alongside Dr. Manoranjan D’Souza, associate professor pharmacology, on research that focuses on the effects of nicotine-induced rewarding and antidepressant-like effects in mice that lack regulators of G-protein signaling.

“This research has given me a deeper insight into the biological and pharmacological processes, which enhance my professional vitality and the ability to deal with changes in science and practice as a future pharmacist,” she says. “Dr. D’Souza has been an incredible mentor who continuously provides me with opportunities to expand my professional portfolio and research skill set.”

April’s desire to help others is what drew her to the pharmaceutical field. Her grandfather was a hospital bed manufacturer, and he often befriended the patients who slept on the beds he made to give them comfort. 

“He always reminded me that the ultimate purpose of pursuing a medical education is never about the monetary award, but to save people’s lives,” she says.

April says ONU is preparing her to live her dreams. “I am proud to be an ONU student because ONU has made me who I am today. I am a more confident individual academically and socially because of all the courses that I’ve taken in the pharmacy program and the organizations and activities I’ve participated in.”