Dean reappointed and two new staff join faculty

2 October 2012

Professor Stephen Garton, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, recently announced the reappointment of Professor Iqbal Ramzan as the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy.

Professor Garton said: "The Vice-Chancellor and I believe that Professor Ramzan is the best person to lead the faculty forward and to build on the strong foundations which have now been established in Pharmacy. The Vice-Chancellor therefore offered Professor Ramzan reappointment and I am pleased to advise that he has formally accepted."

Professor Ramzan was appointed Acting Dean in July 2005, prior to which he had been Associate Dean (Programs) responsible for admissions and academic programs since 2001. During 2006 and 2007 Professor Ramzan served as Dean and was appointed to his substantive five year position as Dean and Professor of Pharmacy in 2008.

During the last five years as Dean, Professor Ramzan delivered full accreditation for the revised B Pharm curriculum, transitioned the Pharmacy Practice Foundation to the Faculty of Pharmacy Foundation, raised in excess of $1 million for refurbishments and research infrastructure and restructured the Faculty to a disease based research theme structure. Pharmacy has also maintained its financial stability during Professor Ramzan's tenure.

In addition to the Dean's reappointment, the faculty has recently appointed two new staff members: Dr Thomas Balle as Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Dr Dong Fu as Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Professor Ramzan said: "Dr Balle and Dr Fu bring years of experience in both teaching and research. Both have recent international experience that will benefit students and the research undertaken within the faculty."

Dr Thomas Balle

Dr Thomas Ballewas previously employed as an Associate Professor at TheDepartment of Drug Design and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark where he was leader of thecys-loop receptor project taking a structural approach to ligandgated ion channel drug discovery.

His most recent work includesestablishing a pipeline for crystallisation and structure determination ofacetylcholine binding proteins as structural surrogates for nicotinicacetylcholine a4b2 receptors and development ofcomputational chemistry tools and protocols and application of these indrug discovery projects aimed at identifying ion channel modulators in collaboration with academic and biotechpartners.

Thomas is originally trained as medicinal chemist and did his PhD in anindustrial setting at the Danish biopharmaceutical company H. LundbeckA/S. Here Thomas was involved in design and synthesis of CNS drugs and identification and development of biomarkers for noninvasive brain imaging usingpositron emission tomography.

Dr Dong Fu

After completing his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Master of Science in Pharmacology, Dr. Dong Fu was awarded the prestigious International Postgraduate Research Scholarship from the Australian government and studied for his PhD in the Faculty of Pharmacy at The University of Sydney from 2000 to 2004. His PhD program focused on P-glycoprotein trafficking and multidrug resistance in cancer. From 2004 to 2007, Dr Fu conducted his postdoctoral research at the Children's Cancer Institute and at the Department of Pathology at the University of Sydney. His research project investigated the mechanism of a novel anticancer drug and revealed its effects on the regulation of the cell cycle proteins.

He has recently returned from the USA where in 2007, Dr. Fu was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, to investigate metabolism and hepatocyte polarity. His work at NIH focused on 3 major areas of hepatocyte biology and disease: (1) apical polarization (bile canalicular development) is dependent on LKB1 and AMPK, two serine-threonine kinases responding to metabolic stress and growth signals (2) bile acid, taurocholate, signal polarization, through activation of AMPK via the cAMP-Epac pathway and (3) more recently, mitochondrial function and energy production involve in hepatocyte polarization.

Contact: Kate Sanday

Phone: 02 9351 2311

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