Pharmacy student wins Merck Canada Fellowship

Media Release: May 3, 2012

Left to right: Kirby Smith, Manager Policy Western Region, Merck Canada Inc.; Shirin Rizzardo; Norma Sebestyen, Director of Policy and Patient Access Western Region, Merck Canada Inc.

Shirin Rizzardo, a graduate student with the Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC), is the recipient of 2012 Merck Canada Inc. Postgraduate Pharmacy Fellowship Award.

Merck Canada annually awards this $15,000 Fellowship to a post-graduate pharmacy student attending a Canadian university, based on academic performance and publication credits.

“This award is a phenomenal opportunity for me,” Shirin says. A graduate of the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences BSc program, Shirin worked as a practicing pharmacist for five years before returning to the faculty as a graduate student. Her research is focused on health outcomes and health economics related to rare diseases. “This Fellowship will allow me greater flexibility in accomplishing my research goals within this exciting field, and it also demonstrates that my research is valued,” Shirin says.

“We are very proud to be able to make a difference for students at UBC, and encourage the advancement of knowledge in the area of pharmaceutical sciences through Canadian-based research,” says Jennifer Chan, Vice President, Policy and Communications, for Merck Canada Inc. “By providing this fellowship, Merck is supporting the innovative healthcare research and education conducted at UBC.”

The Merck Canada Inc. Postgraduate Pharmacy Fellowship Award was established to foster research careers in pharmacy. The one-year Fellowships include a $13,500 stipend and $1,500 for research related costs. Each year the Fellowship is presented to the awardee at the Canadian Pharmacy Education and Research Conference (CPERC). This year’s CPERC will take place in Quebec, QC, from June 5-7. To learn more about this award, click here.

Merck is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines, consumer and animal health products. In Canada, Merck markets more than 530 pharmaceutical, consumer and animal health products. For more information about Merck in Canada, visit

Established in 1946, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia advances knowledge, health outcomes and the profession of pharmacy leading to enhanced societal benefit and optimal patient care. With more than 5,000 alumni, the Faculty specializes in pharmacy education, research and practice.

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Contact Information

Jimi Galvão, Communications & Marketing Officer
Tel: 604-827-3309

Ani Armenian, Manager, Communications
Merck Canada
Tel: 514-428-3395

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