University of Sydney Handbooks - 2012 Archive

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Research areas

Research at the Faculty of Pharmacy is structured around five themes that closely reflect the Australian Government’s health priorities. These are: cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, healthy ageing, mental health and respiratory disease.

Research conducted covers a broad spectrum of pharmaceutical and clinical sciences, including: the design, synthesis, testing and mechanism of action of drugs, studies on advanced drug delivery, investigation of the fate of drugs in humans including pharmacogenomics and other aspects of drug disposition, and research on the clinical and sociological aspects of pharmacy and health services research.


Cancer is a common major health issue in Australia today. At current rates, the Cancer Council of Australia expects that by the age of 85 one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer. Research projects include personalised anti-cancer therapy, drug resistance, the use of herbal medicines and design of new therapies.

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes

Australians are getting older, heavier and less active, putting themselves at greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes. CVD is the number one cause of death in Australia, according to the Heart Foundation, and diabetes is the country’s fastest growing chronic disease and the sixth leading cause of death. Faculty research covers a range of cardiovascular diseases and problems from atherosclerosis and thromboembolism, to cardiac infarction and stroke.

Healthy ageing

Many patients in an ageing population are taking complex medication regimens, and medication adherence and the quality use of medicines are important aspects of their management. Research at Sydney is exploring the impact of medication management reviews on psychotropic drug use in nursing homes.

Mental health

Mental illness is a national priority area with one in five adults in Australia having an episode of mental illness in any one-year period. Drugs are a major modality of treatment and so pharmacists have the potential to play a significant role in delivering treatment and services to mental health patients.

Respiratory disease

With more than 2 million people having asthma, Australia has one of the largest populations of asthma sufferers in the world. Research into respiratory diseases in the faculty has yielded crucial findings for improving asthma treatment alongside other respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).