Research themes

Research at the Faculty of Pharmacy is structured around themes that closely reflect the Australian government’s health priorities:

  • cancer
  • cardiovascular disease and diabetes
  • healthy ageing
  • mental health, and
  • respiratory disease.

The research 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

Cancer is a 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 and diabetes. It 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.

Health services and patient safety

Health services and patient safety research in the Faculty of Pharmacy focuses on research that informs health policy and influences practice. This theme takes a system-wide view to ensure that research and innovation is able to improve health outcomes for consumers and improve the safety and effectiveness of the health system.

Mental health

Mental illness is a national health priority in Australia with one in five adults in Australia having an episode of mental illness in any one-year period. Drugs play a major part in the treatment of mental illness, giving pharmacists the potential to play a significant role in delivering treatment and services to mental health patients. The aim of research at the Faculty of Pharmacy under this theme is to develop treatment for neurological diseases and increase the diversity of agents to investigate potential receptors and targets in treatment.

Respiratory disease

With more than 2 million people having asthma, Australia has one of the largest populations of asthma patients 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.