Skip to main content

Young Leader in Pharmacy Khalid Garba Mohammed, Ph.D.: "Never let anyone tell you or make you feel you can’t do it."

The young leaders in pharmacy must be well represented in the science, education, and practice settings and be willing to shoulder responsibilities from time to time when called upon at both local and international forums.
a man wearing glasses and a suit and tie



Ph.D., University of Milan Italy in pharmaceutical sciences focusing on personalized printing of orodispersible films.

M.Sc. and B.Pharm., Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria 

Current role

Pharmaceutical Engineering Group, School of Pharmacy

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

Registered and licensed pharmacist in Nigeria.

What excites you about being a pharmacist?

Well, as a pharmacist and drug formulation expert, what excites me the most is the art to design and prepare pharmaceutical dosage forms (such as orodispersible films, tablets, etc.) and then evaluating them for quality before they can be fit for use by the patients. You know, it is something unique and indeed I consider it a privilege to design, prepare and ensure the quality of something that is going to be used by millions of people to better their health and wellbeing. 

When you graduated, what did you envision for your future?

Actually, a year to my graduation as a pharmacist, I remembered giving an interview to a local magazine back in pharmacy school then (KAJIPSAPHARM), where I mentioned being ambitious to become an academic pharmacist with an ultimate goal to be a professor of pharmacy, smiles!, though I was not sure which area of pharmacy at that time. But it’s all clear to me now if at all I am to become a professor of pharmacy, it will be a professor of pharmaceutics (drug delivery and regulatory pharmacy)

How has your career evolved since your graduation?

My career straddles both in the government and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). At the early onset of my career, I briefly explored hospital and community pharmacy practices. Then I worked as a resource person for some NGOs like the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Nigeria, and PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited (PwC), Nigeria. Before joining Queen’s University, I served as a lecturer with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, at Bayero University Kano, Nigeria. I also served remotely as a guest lecturer for the School of Pharmacy at the University of Charleston, USA, and as a teaching assistant for the Pharmaceutical Technology courses at the University of Milan, Italy.

I have served and continue serving voluntary positions within the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). I am a member of the FIP COVID-19 Global Expert Advisory Group, representing the Earl Career Pharmaceutical Group (ECPG), and also as ECPG Liaison for the FIP-UNESCO University Twinning and Networking (UNITWIN), a position I will retire this year after serving for 3 years. All these trajectories give me nothing less than the opportunity to meet different sets of people and acquire new experiences.

How would you describe a great day at work?

A great day at work for me is to spend quality time experimenting new drug formulations or evaluating their antimicrobial activities. I am excited because I am not only formulating the dosage forms in my current position but also investigating their antimicrobial activities. This is an effort I can say to prepare new-generation medical devices to meet the 21st-century medical needs of patients and healthcare professionals. However, sometimes, a typical great day at work for me could be just between myself and my laptop in an attempt to analyze my experimental data or to prepare for a meeting with my professors.

How important is mentoring in your career?

Well, mentoring is one of the most important treasures I dedicated myself to recently, especially to pharmacy students, early career pharmacists, and indeed, often even to non-pharmacists. I realized sometimes the tiniest difference between success and failure lies between getting the right information from the right person and at the right time. And this dilemma is more with our young generation either at the stage of starting their study and/or when they get to the labour market. Some will complain about starting one career and they are not sure or happy about it and don’t know how to go about it. So, I find so much solace in coaching about such things with them and helping them navigate various opportunities. One of the greatest moments from such coaching experience is the email I received recently from one of my mentees that reads partly “….I am writing to appreciate your support once again and to tell you I got selected as...”. I got goosebumps reading these sentences. It’s such a small thing we can do sometimes that will impact others positively.  

Was there an “aha” moment for you, when you realized the impact of the difference you’re making?

Yes, winning the 2022 FIP Foundation Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) scholarship grant summarized my “aha” moment as an early career pharmacist. It tells all about the impact and the difference I did not even notice I was making. Because the purpose of the scholarship is to recognize an individual young professional who has and continues to show leadership in the profession of pharmacy on an international basis. Therefore, the board of the FIP Foundation for Education and Research considered my application for the LDW Scholarship for young leaders to attend the 80th FIP Congress in Seville, Spain. It all answered the impact of the activities in the preceding question and highlights how important it is to mentor the future generation of pharmacists to achieve greater heights.

If you can accomplish just one thing in your career, what would it be?

To become a professor of drug delivery and regulatory pharmacy.

As a dynamic leader in the profession, what continues to drive you?

My passion to teach pharmacy students both undergraduates and postgraduates and my keen interest to learn new things from others are my key drivers.

How are young leaders paving the way for changes in the pharmacy profession?

By getting actively involved in new paradigms on how diseases evolve, are diagnosed, and treated. To make these changes effective in the pharmacy profession, the young leaders in pharmacy must be well represented in the science, education, and practice settings and be willing to shoulder responsibilities from time to time when called upon at both local and international forums. Nowadays, we are talking about digital health and personalized medicines, and of course digitalization of some aspects of pharmacy education seems inevitable. We have seen this coming during active COVOD-19 pandemic. Without these digital technology innovations for teaching, lots of pharmacy training would have been halted during the pandemic. I am glad our leaders in FIP are leading by example by actively engaging us (early career pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists) in almost all FIP activities. This will serve as a training ground for many of us alike. 

What advice would you give to new pharmacy graduates?

Be confident but not overzealous.

Be curious but not arrogant.

Be willing to spend on yourself for personal and/or professional development and mind the company you keep. Never let anyone tell you or make you feel you can’t do it. Finally, do not settle for less than you deserved. However, you need master the art of timing.


This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds