Tess Ames
24th June 2021

Researcher Blog | Facing difficulties leads to empowerment of ESR 8, Aor Klahan

Hi (“Sawatdee kha”, in Thai), my name is Butsabarat Klahan or you can call me “Aor” for short. I come from Thailand, the land of the smiles.

I completed both my bachelor’s degree (Industrial Chemistry, Chiang Mai University) and my master’s degree (Material Sciences and Engineering, Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC)) programs in Thailand.

After that, I moved to Ireland to start with the ORBITAL project at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in January, 2020. Actually, I had joined WIT earlier that year with a scholarship from the Irish Government for a one year research in Engineering. However, I ultimately decided that a PhD from the ORBITAL project in the area of nanotechnology for ocular drug delivery interested me and was more aligned with my research goals. Additionally, with the funding and integrated network that ORBITAL provides, this is a very good opportunity for me to do the research and get valuable experiences not only in Ireland but also from secondments across Europe. These make me communicate with other people from different countries and exchange ideas which benefit me, and enhance my skills of interdisciplinary research. So, studying a PhD under ORBITAL is an excellent opportunity to expand my horizons while doing something I love.

I am currently working with polymeric micelles for ocular drug delivery. My study is aimed at development of nanomicelles that can  encapsulate either hydrophobic or hydrophilic small drugs for the treatment of posterior segment eye diseases. So far, it has been one year and a half working with ORBITAL at WIT. To me, it was fantastic time even though I have faced the toughest challenge against the COVID19 pandemic. From the start of my programme, my lab work and

other plans have changed dramatically due to travel restrictions and lab access restrictions. Even so, this PhD journey so far has allowed me to discover new research paths in ocular drug delivery and helped me to become a more confident performer through presentation, group work and developing research projects, along with assistance of my supervisors and my international colleagues. Apart from that, I can enjoy other aspects of the Ireland’s culture such as the food and several amazing places. All things are an unforgettable positive experience for me to be in Ireland.

Sometimes in our life, we may have to encounter several difficult situations, and I certainly have. However, I always believe in my efforts and push myself out of my comfort zone to be ready to learn a new thing in every day. This is an important thing to bring us to reach the goal successfully.

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