2023 CSC Research Output winner

Maryam Bashir

Maryam Bashir headshot

Maryam Bashir is the winner of the 2023 CSC Research Output award stream for her article, Application of Enantioselective Sulfur Ylide Epoxidation to a Short Asymmetric Synthesis of Bedaquiline, a Potent Anti-Tuberculosis Drug, published in Organic Letters (American Chemical Society).

Maryam is a 2020 Commonwealth Split-site Scholar from Pakistan and completed a PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Bristol and the University of the Punjab, Lahore. Her article examines the successful completion of a nine-step synthesis of the potent anti-Tuberculosis (TB) drug, Bedaquiline.

Despite being curable, TB remains a formidable global health challenge in low and middle income countries. Almost one quarter of the world’s population has been infected with latent TB, making it a leading cause of death globally. The percentage of new TB cases has increased significantly owing to multi-drug resistance TB and extensive-drug resistance TB, making it one of the prime challenges in medicinal chemistry.

The first multi-drug resistance tuberculosis drug, Bedaquiline, was introduced in 2012, and revolutionised TB treatment by offering a potent solution for drug-resistant strains, improving treatment outcomes, and shortening the duration of therapy. However, its conventional synthesis is complex and requires multiple steps which result in high production costs.

The research conducted by Maryam and her team identified an innovative way to streamline the synthesis process whilst enhancing the efficiency of Bedaquline and potentially reducing production costs. By improving the synthesis process, Maryam’s research has set a precedent to identify more efficient synthesis methods in the production of a wide range of pharmaceuticals.

Applying her research to her home country, the production of new anti-TB drug in the pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan has the potential to reduce import costs and enhance economic growth through export and employment.

Her research contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 3, and to the CSC Development Theme Science and technology for development.

CSC Research Ouput award stream: Highly commended entry

Samuel David Dunstan, a 2016 Commonwealth Scholar from Papua New Guinea, was commended highly by the judges for his paper A direct numerical simulation display of the rotational frame preference of turbulence, published in the American Institute of Physics (AIP) – Advances. Samuel David’s research contributes to Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality education, and to the CSC Development Theme Science and technology for development.