RPS Pharma Scene #27 - Christmas in the Pharmacy

With Professor Parastou Donyai

In this festive 27th episode of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Pharma Scene podcast, we welcome back RPS Chief Scientist, Professor Parastou Donyai.

She talks to our Museum Officer, Catherine Walker, for a look at how sweets have traditionally been a part of community pharmacy. Join them as they take a mostly light-hearted look back at Christmas confectionery in Victorian times!

You'll meet Alfred Bird: pharmacist and egg-free custard inventor, as well as his allergic wife, Elizabeth. And you'll tremble (maybe) at the terrible tale of the Bradford Sweet Poisonings! Plus, for afters, we have a couple of historical festive recipes that have now - inexplicably! - gone out of fashion.

Download a transcript of this podcast


Parastou Donyai

About Parastou

Professor Parastou Donyai, BPharm (Hons), BSc (Hons) Psych (Open), PhD, PGCertEBM, PGCertPsychTher, PGCertTLHE, PGDPRM (Open), MRPharmS, FHEA, MBPsS, is Chief Scientist for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

As well as being a pharmacist, Parastou has formally trained in psychological theory and research methods. Parastou divides her time between the RPS and King’s College London as Head of Pharmacy and Professor of Behavioural Pharmacy, having previously worked at Reading School of Pharmacy as Professor of Social and Cognitive Pharmacy for 14 years.

Parastou has published extensively on behavioural pharmacy, including medication beliefs, medicines prescribing and use, and public opinion and willingness to engage in medicines reuse. Her work also examines how language plays a key role in communicating with patients as well as teaching students. Her research has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, Alzheimer’s Society, Pharmacy Research UK, Health Education England, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

Parastou obtained her pharmacy degree from King’s College London in 1993 and, after qualifying as a pharmacist, returned to King’s to obtain her PhD in pharmaceutical science. She spent time exploring careers outside of academia including in the pharmaceutical industry, publishing, quality assurance and pharmacy practice before being drawn back to academia.

Passionate about Continuing Professional Development, Parastou has undertaken additional education & training including leadership courses run by Henley Business School, postgraduate qualifications in teaching, therapeutics and methods, and even a further science degree in psychology.

She has held various administrative responsibilities in academia, including leading teams of people in addition to managing a multitude of research projects.

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