Dr Susan Hua

Dr Susan Hua

Senior Lecturer

School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy (Pharmacy and Experimental Pharmacology)

In the world of the inconceivably small but mighty

Dr Susan Hua, recipient of the 2015 HMRI Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, is proving that some of the greatest gifts to human health come in the tiniest of packages.

Susan Hua

Like a creative motor mechanic custom-building the ideal courier car, Dr Susan Hua is tinkering with vehicle parts to get parcels from A to B – just on a microscopic scale. She’s designing digitally-precise transport modules for pharmaceutical substances, masterfully applying nanotechnology to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease.

“Most conventional medicines, such as tablets, capsules and injections, are essentially high doses of free drugs that are distributed to all parts of the body,” the pharmaceutics enthusiast elaborates.

“This means they’re not very efficient and increase the risk of adverse effects.”

“There are also some really great novel compounds in the research and development pipeline that are unable to reach the site of disease when delivered on its own.”

“These compounds either suffer from stability issues and are easily degraded following administration, or have physicochemical properties that affect their pharmacokinetics (movement of drug within the body).”

Susan’s research interest is in the cutting-edge field of therapeutic targeting – by making existing and new medicines work better with fewer side effects and toxicity through the use of nanotechnology. Essentially she is interested in designing and manufacturing “vehicles or carriers” that she can load these medicines into, and then modifying the surface of the vehicles to act like a “GPS” to direct the cargo to the site of disease. This allows the development of more effective and safer medications and diagnostic agents.

“This technology is important to allow compounds to bypass biological barriers that would otherwise degrade or hinder their accumulation at the target site,” she asserts.

“This allows maximum targeting efficacy with lower doses and frequency of doses, as well as reduced side effects and toxicity.”

“It’s fast-tracked translation.”

THE JOURNEY TO NANOMEDICINE

Susan completed her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree with Honours at The University of Queensland, attaining a prestigious University Medal, before working as a clinical pharmacist.

In this role she was able to see first-hand how so many of her patients were experiencing devastating side effects from medicines that were actually helping to treat or manage their condition, such as patients with cancer or chronic pain.

“Drugs tend to cause side effects when it harms the healthy cells in the body,” she explains.

“Chemotherapy treatment can take a heavy toll on a patient’s body causing debilitating effects such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, hair loss, decreased blood cell counts, and organ damage.”

“Chronic pain affects the quality of life of so many people, with current treatment limited by sedation, confusion, gastrointestinal upsets, respiratory depression, and dependence.”

Susan believed that there had to be a way we could improve these therapies.

“That’s when I realised that if I wanted to help make a change, I needed to become involved in research.”

This spurred her to pursue a PhD in the field of neuroscience and nanotechnology at The University of Queensland, where she sought to cement a systematic, nuanced understanding of the peripheral mechanisms of inflammatory pain.

“Immune cells contain a lot of useful endogenous analgesics that don’t have the nasty central side effects, such as sedation, dependence and nausea,” she explains.

By understanding the neuroimmune interaction between immune cells and the peripheral nervous system, she was able to use nanotechnology as a tool to mimic this activity exogenously.

“It was about understanding the intricate networks occurring in peripheral inflammatory conditions, and taking advantage of what the body already has to further suppress the pain and inflammation,” she states.

Prior to joining the University of Newcastle, Susan took on a postdoctoral position at the ANZAC Research Institute in Sydney to strengthen her research skills in biochemistry and cellular signalling. This time concentrating on the heart, she looked to gage the therapeutic consequences of oxidative stress on “good cholesterol” or high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) in cardioprotection.

PASSION FOR PHARMACY

Susan joined the University of Newcastle in mid-2010 as a teaching and research academic within the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy. She teaches intensively into the Masters and Bachelor of Pharmacy Programs in the fields of pharmacotherapeutics and pharmacy practice.

Passionate about the pharmacy profession, Susan enjoys using innovative teaching methods to reinforce key material in a clinically applied approach.

“When students understand why and how we use specific medicines to treat different conditions, they start to appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of current treatments from a pharmaceutical, pharmacotherapeutic and pharmacy practice perspective,” she says.

“Hopefully, this inspires them to become clinical leaders in the pharmacy profession or to improve disease outcomes by pursuing a research career.”

Starting from scratch

Susan has become a leader in the field of therapeutic targeting and translational nanopharmaceutics. Since joining the University of Newcastle, she has independently established the first translational nanopharmaceutics laboratory and research program in the Hunter region.

“There was no pharmaceutics laboratory or nanomedicine-based research program when I arrived, therefore I spent a lot of time establishing a new research program and laboratory from the ground up,” Susan affirms.

The general research focus of her laboratory is on therapeutic targeting utilising novel drug delivery platforms in biomedical applications.

“I am particularly interested in using nanotechnology to study novel mechanistic pathways, as well as to develop more efficient therapeutic delivery systems.”

Her research expertise covers the areas of advanced pharmaceutical formulation and characterisation, in vitro cellular studies and preclinical in vivo animal studies. This expertise provides a solid foundation to formulate and evaluate new drug delivery systems and to apply them to pathological disease states, in order to assess potential clinical applicability and identify novel therapeutic targets.

TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH

Susan has already procured a number of competitive grants and patents, as well as established a productive publication track record. In 2015, she was awarded the HMRI Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, highlighting her significant and valued contribution to the research community.

The majority of her projects are translational and hence are currently under IP commercial in confidence stages. These projects have all applied the use of nanotechnology across a number of research disciplines. She has built strong collaborations with other major research groups locally at the Hunter Medical Research Institute and John Hunter Hospital, and around the world.

Susan is now balancing onsite pharmaceutical investigations with a multitude of fruitful collaborations.

“A number of my key projects are focused on developing novel treatments for pain and inflammation, an area in which I have established important animal models of acute and chronic pain at the University of Newcastle.”

Susan has also teamed up with Laureate Professor Nick Talley and Professor Marjorie Walker to launch the Priority Research Centre for Digestive Health and Neurogastroenterology.

“I’ve been able to work with these two amazing clinician scientists to develop new treatments for gastrointestinal diseases by targeting inflammatory cells in the gut,” she enthuses.

“The results have been exciting and have the potential to revolutionise the way we treat these patients”.

“I’m also working with Professor Roger Smith and Dr Jonathan Paul from the Mothers and Babies Research Centre, to develop a novel targeting system that will deliver contraction-blocking or contraction-inducing drugs to the uterus for preterm labour or postpartum haemorrhage.”

“Having a translational team is important in this field of research.”

This collaboration draws upon Susan’s specialised expertise in manufacturing the targeted liposomes, and couples her skills with Jonathan and Roger’s research expertise in reproductive medicine to apply the novel treatment platform to both human and animal models.

“A new grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council will help us fast-track this novel technology into primate studies,” she attests.

Big prospects for small engineering

The future is wide open for nanomedicine, and Susan is acutely aware of its promises.

“Putting free drugs into the body is not our best way forward,” she advocates.

“The goal of my research is to improve the way we treat patients through designing medicines and diagnostics that are better at specifically targeting the site of disease – in this way we are able to increase their effectiveness and significantly reduce the risk of side effects and toxicity.”

“These targeted therapeutic systems essentially act like a magic bullet.”

More about Susan's Career

Related links

Susan Hua

In the world of the inconceivably small but mighty

Dr Susan Hua's research focus is on therapeutic targeting utilising novel drug delivery platforms in biomedical applications. She is particularly interested in

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Career Summary

Biography

Dr Hua (BPharm, Hons, PhD, MPS) has been a full-time teaching and research (T&R) academic at the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy since 2010. She is a registered pharmacist in Australia and has several years’ experience across various facets of pharmacy, including hospital, community and research. Dr Hua has a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree and a PhD from The University of Queensland in the field of neuroscience and nanotechnology. Since her appointment at The University of Newcastle, Dr Hua has independently established a translational nanopharmaceutics laboratory and research program focused on therapeutic targeting using nanotechnology. Her background as a clinical pharmacist has given her a thorough clinical understanding of therapeutics and disease states, and has allowed her to identify promising research avenues in therapeutics and drug delivery.

Research Expertise

The general research focus of Dr Hua's laboratory is on therapeutic targeting utilising novel drug delivery platforms in biomedical applications. She is particularly interested in using nanotechnology to study novel mechanistic pathways, as well as to develop more efficient therapeutic delivery systems. For example, a number of her key projects are focused on translational pain research in the areas of peripheral analgesia and inflammation. Dr Hua has established important animal models of acute and chronic pain at The University of Newcastle, including the AIA and MIA rodent models of chronic arthritis, and the CFA rodent model of acute inflammatory pain. Her research expertise covers the areas of advanced pharmaceutical formulation, in vitro cellular studies and preclinical in vivo animal studies. This expertise provides a solid foundation to formulate and evaluate new drug delivery systems and to apply them to pathological disease states, in order to assess potential clinical applicability and identify novel therapeutic targets. Dr Hua’s research provides a platform for the translational development of targeted therapeutics that will ultimately provide a novel therapeutic strategy in clinical disease management.

Research Collaborations

Dr Hua’s research program has provided a component to the research currently conducted in Newcastle and the Hunter New England Health region. This has led to research collaborations with several key Priority Research Centres at UoN and HMRI, including Gastroenterology, Reproductive Science, Cancer, and Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health. Dr Hua has also established research collaborations with national and international institutes, including The University of Queensland, Monash University, The University of NSW, and The University of Texas.

Research Achievements

As an early career researcher, Dr Hua has secured in excess of $1.4 million in competitive research grants and infrastructure funding from a number of different sources. Highlights include successful NHMRC funding, a GAPPS international grant, the Pharmacy Research Trust of NSW grant, and funding from the Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation. Dr Hua has also generated novel IP where she designed, manufactured, characterised and optimised novel drug delivery platforms for targeting reproductive pathologies (APP1050584, #2013901842). Despite IP restrictions on a number of her projects, Dr Hua has established a productive publication track record, having first or senior authorship positions on over 80% of her publications. Dr Hua’s research has also led to invitations to speak at various conferences/symposiums both locally and internationally. She is an editor for Frontiers in Science – Neuropharmacology, a member of the NHMRC Research Translation Faculty, and an active external reviewer for grants and publications in the field of pain, pharmaceutics, and inflammation. Dr Hua was awarded the prestigious 2015 HMRI Early Career Researcher of the Year Award.

Teaching and Administration
Dr Hua is teaching into the areas of Pharmacotherapeutics and Pharmacy Practice in the Bachelor of Pharmacy program at The University of Newcastle. She is the Course Coordinator for both PHAR2101 (Dermatology and Topical Formulations) and PHAR2102 (Cardiovascular and Renal Health). She is also the Bachelor of Pharmacy Year 2 Coordinator and Pharmacy Advisor on the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).

Dr Hua strongly believes in the importance of high quality teaching and positive motivation of pharmacy students and junior pharmacists to sustain the quality use of medicines in the community.  


Keywords

  • Active targeting
  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation
  • Lipid-based delivery systems
  • Liposomes
  • Nano-delivery systems
  • Nanomedicines
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotechnology
  • Opioids
  • Passive targeting
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy
  • Preclinical studies
  • Targeted drug delivery
  • Therapeutic targeting
  • Translational nanopharmaceutics

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
110322 Rheumatology and Arthritis 30
111599 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences not elsewhere classified 20
100709 Nanomedicine 50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2015 HMRI Award for Early Career Research
Hunter Medical Research Institute
2011 Teaching and Learning Commendation
The University of Newcastle

Patents

Number Title Patent Family Registered Approved
2013901842 TARGETED DELIVERY OF DRUGS TO THE MYOMETRIUM
2013     TARGETED DELIVERY OF DRUGS TO THE MYOMETRIUM
TARGETED DELIVERY OF DRUGS TO THE MYOMETRIUM 10/09/2013 2015

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
PHAR6133 Pharmacotherapeutics 1
Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Course coordinator, course development, lecturer and tutor 6/05/2010 - 31/12/2013
PHAR2101 Dermatology and Topical Formulations
Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Course coordinator, course development, lecturer and tutor 1/01/2014 - 31/12/2025
PHAR2102 Cardiovascular and Renal Health
Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Course coordinator, course development, lecturer and tutor 1/01/2014 - 31/12/2025
HUBS3204 Advanced Professional Skills in Biomedical Science
Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Lecture on Frontiers in Targeted Drug Delivery 1/08/2012 - 31/12/2025
PHAR6211 Pharmacy Practice 4
Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Course coordinator, course development, lecturer and tutor 6/05/2010 - 31/12/2014
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Hua SH, Cabot PJ, PAIN - Novel Targets and New Technologies, Frontiers in Pharmacology, Switzerland, 95 (2015) [A4]
DOI 10.3389/978-2-88919-394-3

Journal article (23 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Stone T, Hua S, Turale S, 'Evaluation of an international and interprofessional collaboration forum', Nurse Education Today, 46 10-16 (2016)

© 2016 Elsevier LtdBackground International and interprofessional collaborations are increasingly becoming a core requirement for health professionals in our globalized world. Ai... [more]

© 2016 Elsevier LtdBackground International and interprofessional collaborations are increasingly becoming a core requirement for health professionals in our globalized world. Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Asia Pacific Alliance of Health Leaders (APAHL) Forum to enhance the development of international perspectives and leadership among students and faculty in the discipline of health. Methods This pilot study used a student-designed questionnaire to evaluate the views of students and faculty members about the effectiveness of APAHL in meeting its goals. Quantitative data from the scaled items on the questionnaire were analyzed by aggregating the data. Qualitative data were analyzed using a qualitative descriptive approach. Results Study participants comprised of 22 health science (nursing and laboratory science) students and 15 faculty members. Both faculty and students agreed that APAHL was effective in leadership development of students, as well as in advancing internationalization, interprofessional collaboration, and cultural awareness among students. A clear theme among the students was acknowledgement of the importance of communication, in particular being proficient in English. Difficulties in communication were an issue for both students and faculty members. Conclusion This pilot study has shown the benefits of a student-focused international forum in developing cross-cultural awareness, and will provide the groundwork for evaluating the effectiveness of cross-cultural and interprofessional leadership forums aimed particularly at students of health.

DOI 10.1016/j.nedt.2016.06.023
2016 Hua S, 'Neuroimmune Interaction in the Regulation of Peripheral Opioid-Mediated Analgesia in Inflammation.', Front Immunol, 7 293 (2016)
DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00293
2016 Hua S, Dias TH, 'Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF) as a target for novel therapies in rheumatoid arthritis', Frontiers in Pharmacology, 7 (2016)

© 2016 Hua and Dias.Hypoxia is an important micro-environmental characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) are key transcriptional factors that ... [more]

© 2016 Hua and Dias.Hypoxia is an important micro-environmental characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) are key transcriptional factors that are highly expressed in RA synovium to regulate the adaptive responses to this hypoxic milieu. Accumulating evidence supports hypoxia and HIFs in regulating a number of important pathophysiological characteristics of RA, including synovial inflammation, angiogenesis, and cartilage destruction. Experimental and clinical data have confirmed the upregulation of both HIF-1a and HIF-2a in RA. This review will focus on the differential expression of HIFs within the synovial joint and its functional behavior in different cell types to regulate RA progression. Potential development of new therapeutic strategies targeting HIF-regulated pathways at sites of disease in RA will also be addressed.

DOI 10.3389/fphar.2016.00184
2016 Hua S, Cook D, Walker MM, Talley NJ, 'Pharmacological treatment of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders.', Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol, 1-15 (2016)
DOI 10.1080/17512433.2016.1190268
Co-authors Marjorie Walker, Nicholas Talley
2016 Mateer SW, Cardona J, Marks E, Goggin BJ, Hua S, Keely S, 'Ex Vivo Intestinal Sacs to Assess Mucosal Permeability in Models of Gastrointestinal Disease.', J Vis Exp, e53250 (2016)
DOI 10.3791/53250
Co-authors Simon Keely
2015 Sercombe L, Veerati T, Moheimani F, Wu SY, Sood AK, Hua S, 'Advances and challenges of liposome assisted drug delivery', Frontiers in Pharmacology, 6 (2015) [C1]

© 2015 Sercombe, Veerati, Moheimani, Wu, Sood and Hua.The application of liposomes to assist drug delivery has already had a major impact on many biomedical areas. They have been... [more]

© 2015 Sercombe, Veerati, Moheimani, Wu, Sood and Hua.The application of liposomes to assist drug delivery has already had a major impact on many biomedical areas. They have been shown to be beneficial for stabilizing therapeutic compounds, overcoming obstacles to cellular and tissue uptake, and improving biodistribution of compounds to target sites in vivo. This enables effective delivery of encapsulated compounds to target sites while minimizing systemic toxicity. Liposomes present as an attractive delivery system due to their flexible physicochemical and biophysical properties, which allow easy manipulation to address different delivery considerations. Despite considerable research in the last 50 years and the plethora of positive results in preclinical studies, the clinical translation of liposome assisted drug delivery platforms has progressed incrementally. In this review, we will discuss the advances in liposome assisted drug delivery, biological challenges that still remain, and current clinical and experimental use of liposomes for biomedical applications. The translational obstacles of liposomal technology will also be presented.

DOI 10.3389/fphar.2015.00286
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Fatemeh Moheimani
2015 Hua S, Marks E, Schneider JJ, Keely S, 'Advances in oral nano-delivery systems for colon targeted drug delivery in inflammatory bowel disease: selective targeting to diseased versus healthy tissue.', Nanomedicine, 11 1117-1132 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.nano.2015.02.018
Citations Scopus - 14Web of Science - 9
Co-authors Jennifer Schneider, Simon Keely
2015 Hua S, 'Lipid-based nano-delivery systems for skin delivery of drugs and bioactives.', Frontiers in pharmacology, 6 219 (2015) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 1
2014 Jobling P, O'Hara K, Hua S, 'Female reproductive tract pain: Targets, challenges, and outcomes', Frontiers in Pharmacology, 5 FEB (2014) [C1]

Pain from the female reproductive tract (FRT) is a significant clinical problem for which there are few effective therapies. The complex neuroanatomy of pelvic organs not only mak... [more]

Pain from the female reproductive tract (FRT) is a significant clinical problem for which there are few effective therapies. The complex neuroanatomy of pelvic organs not only makes diagnosis of pelvic pain disorders difficult but represents a challenge to development of targeted therapies. A number of potential therapeutic targets have been identified on sensory neurons supplying the FRT but our knowledge on the basic neurophysiology of these neurons is limited compared with other viscera. Until this is addressed we can only guess if the new experimental therapies proposed for somatic, gastrointestinal, or bladder pain will translate to the FRT. Once suitable therapeutic targets become clear, the next challenge is drug delivery. The FRT represents a promising system for topical drug delivery that could be tailored to act locally or systemically depending on formulation. Development of these therapies and their delivery systems will need to be done in concert with more robust in vivo and in vitro models of FRT pain. © 2014 Jobling, O'Hara and Hua.

DOI 10.3389/fphar.2014.00017
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Phillip Jobling
2014 Hua S, 'Comparison of in vitro dialysis release methods of loperamide-encapsulated liposomal gel for topical drug delivery', International Journal of Nanomedicine, 9 735-744 (2014) [C1]

Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the most appropriate dialysis equilibrium method to assess liposomal gel formulations containing hydrophobic drugs, to give ... [more]

Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the most appropriate dialysis equilibrium method to assess liposomal gel formulations containing hydrophobic drugs, to give the most accurate indication of drug release. Methods: Loperamide hydrochloride-encapsulated liposomes, composed of L-a-phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol (molar ratio of 2:1), were prepared according to the method of dried lipid film hydration. The liposomes were incorporated into a carbopol gel (0.5%, weight/weight). The release of the drug from the nanoparticles was assessed using a number of variations of the dialysis technique, taking into account solubility parameters and formulation. Method 1 (below saturation point) and Method 2 (above saturation point) used a dilution method to evaluate how drug concentration and solubility affects the in vitro drug-release profile of loperamide hydrochloride, while Methods 3 (below saturation point) and 4 (above saturation point) evaluated how drug concentration and the gel base affect the release profile. Results: In Method 1, the liposomes showed a rapid release of just over 60% in the first 3 hours and then a slower, sustained release to just over 70% at 24 hours. Method 2 showed a gradual, sustained release profile with the liposomes with 55% release at 24 hours. In Method 3, the liposomes showed a rapid burst release of 98% at 2 hours. In Method 4, the liposomal gel had a rapid release of 60% within 3 hours and then a more gradual, sustained release with 86% release at 24 hours. The free drug suspension in Methods 2 and 4 showed a limited release across the dialysis membrane, in comparison to Methods 1 and 3, which showed a complete release in a timely manner. Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that the actual method used for equilibrium dialysis plays a significant role in determining the true characteristics of a topical nanoformulation, with Method 3 providing the most accurate indication of the release of a hydrophobic drug from a topical liposomal formulation. © 2014 Hua.

DOI 10.2147/IJN.S55805
Citations Scopus - 11Web of Science - 10
2014 Iwaszkiewicz KS, Hua S, 'Development of an effective topical liposomal formulation for localized analgesia and antiinflammatory actions in the Complete Freund¿s Adjuvant rodent model of acute inflammatory pain', Pain Physician, 17 E719-E735 (2014) [C1]

© 2014, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. All rights reserved.Background: Peripheral opioid receptor targeting has been well established as a novel target in cl... [more]

© 2014, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. All rights reserved.Background: Peripheral opioid receptor targeting has been well established as a novel target in clinical pain management for acute and chronic peripheral inflammatory pain. The physiochemical properties of the peripheral mu-opioid receptor agonist, loperamide HCl, limit the use of the free drug as an analgesic or anti-inflammatory agent, particularly for dermal delivery across intact skin.Objective: Our objective was to manufacture an effective topical formulation containing loperamide using liposomal delivery that would allow loperamide to produce analgesia and anti-inflammatory effects, by penetrating the epidermis to reach peripheral opioid receptors within the dermis of intact skin.Study Design: A randomized, double blind, controlled animal trial.Methods: Thirty-five adult male Wistar rats (200 ¿ 250 g) were randomly divided into 5 groups: loperamide HCl-encapsulated liposomal gel, naloxone methiodide + loperamide HCl-encapsulated liposomal gel, free loperamide gel, empty liposomal gel, and 1% diclofenac gel (Voltaren®). Diclofenac gel was used as a positive control as it is clinically used as a topical analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug. Animals received an intraplantar injection of 150 µl Complete Freund¿s Adjuvant (CFA) into the right hindpaw and experiments were performed 5 days post-CFA injection, which corresponded to the peak inflammatory response. All manufactured formulations were applied topically on both hind paws twice daily, whereas Voltaren gel was applied 3 times a day in accordance with the manufacturer¿s instructions. The dose administered was 50 µl, which equated to 0.4 mg of loperamide HCl for the loperamide HCl treatment groups (low dose). Naloxone methiodide (1 mg/kg) was administered via intraplantar injection, 15 minutes prior to application of loperamide HCl-encapsulated liposomal gel to determine opioid receptor dependent activity. An investigator blinded to the treatment administered assessed time course of the antinociceptive and antiinflammatory effects using a paw pressure analgesiometer and plethysmometer, respectively.Results: Application of loperamide HCl in a liposomal gel formulation exerted analgesic and antiinflammatory effects exclusively in peripheral painful inflamed tissue. This formulation produced highly significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects over the 48-hour time course studied following topical administration in rats with CFA-induced inflammation of the paw. As expected, the diclofenac gel group showed significant antinociception over the duration of the study; however, this effect was lower in comparison to the loperamide HCl liposomal gel formulation. All other control groups showed no significant antinociceptive effects. In addition, all control groups (1% diclofenac gel, free loperamide gel, and empty liposomal gel) did not demonstrate a significant change in paw volume over 48 hours.Limitations: In vivo studies were performed in the well-established rodent model of acute inflammatory pain. We are currently studying this approach in chronic pain models known to have clinical activation of the peripheral immune-derived opioid response.Conclusions: The study demonstrates that topically applied loperamide encapsulated within liposomal systems has improved therapeutic efficacy over conventional formulations for the local treatment of acute peripheral inflammatory pain conditions where the skin has remained intact. Once in the inflamed peripheral tissue, loperamide provides analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in a similar manner to peripheral endogenous opioids. This preparation optimises the retention of drug at the site where action is required.

Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
2014 Hua S, Cabot PJ, 'PAIN - Novel targets and new technologies', Frontiers in Pharmacology, 5 (2014) [C3]
DOI 10.3389/fphar.2014.00211
2014 Hua S, 'Orally administered liposomal formulations for colon targeted drug delivery', Frontiers in Pharmacology, 5 JUN 1-4 (2014) [C2]
DOI 10.3389/fphar.2014.00138
Citations Scopus - 4
2013 Hua S, 'Targeting sites of inflammation: intercellular adhesion molecule-1 as a target for novel inflammatory therapies.', Front Pharmacol, 4 127 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.3389/fphar.2013.00127
Citations Scopus - 24Web of Science - 21
2013 Hua S, Wu SY, 'The use of lipid-based nanocarriers for targeted pain therapies', Frontiers in Pharmacology, 4 NOV (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.3389/fphar.2013.00143
Citations Scopus - 11Web of Science - 10
2013 Iwaszkiewicz KS, Schneider JJ, Hua S, 'Targeting peripheral opioid receptors to promote analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions.', Front Pharmacol, 4 132 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.3389/fphar.2013.00132
Citations Scopus - 15Web of Science - 11
Co-authors Jennifer Schneider
2013 Hua S, Cabot PJ, 'Targeted Nanoparticles that Mimic Immune Cells in Pain Control Inducing Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Actions: A Potential Novel Treatment of Acute and Chronic Pain Conditions', PAIN PHYSICIAN, 16 E199-E216 (2013) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 16Web of Science - 16
2011 Witting PK, Song C, Hsu K, Hua S, Parry SN, Rye K, et al., 'The acute phase protein serum amyloid A induces endothelial dysfunction that is inhibited by high-density lipoprotein.', Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 51 1390-1398 (2011) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 17Web of Science - 18
2011 Hua S, Chang H-I, Davies N, Cabot PJ, 'Targeting of ICAM-1-directed immunoliposomes specifically to activated endothelial cells with low cellular uptake: use of an optimized procedure for the coupling of low concentrations of antibody to liposomes.', Journal of Liposome Research, 21 95-105 (2011) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 8Web of Science - 6
2010 Hua S, Cabot PJ, 'Mechanisms of peripheral immune-cell-mediated analgesia in inflammation: Clinical and therapeutic implications', Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 31 427-433 (2010) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.tips.2010.05.008
Citations Scopus - 30Web of Science - 29
2009 Rayner BS, Hua S, Sabaretnam T, Witting PK, 'Nitric oxide stimulates myoglobin gene and protein expression in vascular smooth muscle.', Biochemical Journal, 423 169-177 (2009) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 12Web of Science - 11
2009 Hua S, Geczy CL, Freedman SB, Witting PK, 'A role for acute-phase serum amyloid A and high-density lipoprotein in oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis.', Redox Report, 14 187-196 (2009) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 29Web of Science - 23
2006 Hua S, Hermanussen S, Tang L, Monteith GR, Cabot PJ, 'The neural cell adhesion molecule antibody blocks cold water swim stress-induced analgesia and cell adhesion between lymphocytes and cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons', Anesthesia and Analgesia, 103 1558-1564 (2006) [C1]
DOI 10.1213/01.ane.0000243410.61451.c1
Citations Scopus - 19Web of Science - 18
Show 20 more journal articles

Conference (5 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Paul J, Hua S, Smith R, 'A Targeted Drug Delivery System for the Uterus', REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES (2015) [E3]
Co-authors Jonathan Paul, Roger Smith
2015 Nguyen TS, Nguyen TLH, Hua S, Li SC, 'Enhancing the role of hospital pharmacists in a developing country - the current scenario in Vietnam', ACCP (2015) [O1]
2014 Hua S, 'The use of lipid-based nanocarriers for targeting sites of inflammation', 4th Annual Symposium of Drug Delivery Systems (2014) [E3]
2014 Hua SH, 'Targeting peripheral opioid receptors to induce analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions', 5th Annual International Congress of Medichem (2014) [E3]
2012 Hua S, Cabot PJ, 'Loperamide-formulated immunoliposomes directed towards intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1): A potential tool for specific drug delivery to peripheral inflammatory pain', Abstracts of the 39th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Controlled Release Society (2012) [E3]
Show 2 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 21
Total funding $1,590,922

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20163 grants / $565,786

Achieving Targeted Delivery of Drugs to Uterine Muscle in Women for the Prevention of Preterm Labour$470,786

Funding body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

Funding body NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)
Project Team Laureate Professor Roger Smith, Doctor Susan Hua, Professor Sarah Robertson, Professor Rodney Ho, Associate Professor Kristina Adams Waldorf
Scheme Development Grants
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1500744
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

Brawn Fellowship$75,000

Funding body: Gladys M Brawn Memorial Fellowship

Funding body Gladys M Brawn Memorial Fellowship
Scheme Gladys M Brawn Career Development Fellowship
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2019
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Utilising nanotechnology to target eosinophilic GI disease (EGID)$20,000

Funding body: ausEE Inc.

Funding body ausEE Inc.
Project Team Doctor Susan Hua, Laureate Professor Nick Talley, Professor Marjorie Walker
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1600470
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

20155 grants / $187,625

A Safer Way of Treating Premature Labor and Post- Partum Haemorrhage$66,000

Funding body: Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS)

Funding body Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS)
Project Team

Roger Smith, Susan Hua and Jonathan Paul

Scheme GAPPS
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding International - Competitive
Category 3IFA
UON N

A safer way of treating premature labour and post-partum hemorrhage$65,625

Funding body: Seattle Children's Hospital Research Foundation

Funding body Seattle Children's Hospital Research Foundation
Project Team Laureate Professor Roger Smith, Doctor Susan Hua, Doctor Jonathan Paul
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1501339
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

Achieving Targeted Delivery of Drugs to Uterine Muscle in Women for the Prevention of Preterm Labour$38,000

Funding body: Hunter Medical Research Institute

Funding body Hunter Medical Research Institute
Project Team Doctor Jonathan Paul, Doctor Susan Hua, Laureate Professor Roger Smith
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1401504
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

PULSE Early-Career Researcher Award$10,000

Funding body: Hunter Medical Research Institute

Funding body Hunter Medical Research Institute
Project Team Doctor Susan Hua
Scheme PULSE Early Career Researcher of the Year Award
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1501377
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

Utilising nanotechnology to target eosinophil driven disease$8,000

Funding body: Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Project Team

Doctor Susan Hua

Scheme Strategic Research Pilot Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20142 grants / $73,674

JuLI Stage $71,674

Funding body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

The 4th Annual Symposium of drug Delivery System 2014 (SDDS-2014), Suzhou China, 17 - 20 November 2014$2,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team Doctor Susan Hua
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1400807
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20132 grants / $612,956

Understanding the regulation of hERG potassium channel in the myometrium at the time of labour$577,956

Funding body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

Funding body NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)
Project Team Laureate Professor Roger Smith, Professor Nick Europe-Finner, Doctor Susan Hua
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1200367
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

20122 grants / $21,500

Peripheral immune-derived analgesia: A new target for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis$20,000

Funding body: Pharmacy Research Trust of NSW

Funding body Pharmacy Research Trust of NSW
Project Team Doctor Susan Hua
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1101131
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

The 39th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Controlled Release Society, Quebec City, Canada, 15 - 18 July 2012$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team Doctor Susan Hua
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200581
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20113 grants / $33,381

Development of novel targeted drug delivery systems specifically to sites of inflammation and its application to peripheral analgesia and inflammation in chronic arthritic pathologies$15,581

Funding body: Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation Ltd

Funding body Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation Ltd
Project Team Doctor Susan Hua
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G1000741
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

XP6 Micro Balance$12,800

Funding body: Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Project Team

Susan Hua

Scheme Equipment GRant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Peripheral immune-derived analgesia: A new target for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis$5,000

Funding body: Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Project Team

Doctor Susan Hua

Scheme Strategic Research Pilot Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20104 grants / $96,000

Nanopharmaceutics Research Program Establishment$60,000

Funding body: The University of Newcastle

Funding body The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Doctor Susan Hua

Scheme Establishment Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Malvern Zetasizer Nano S$26,000

Funding body: Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Project Team

Susan Hua

Scheme Equipment GRant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Development of Novel Targeted Drug Delivery Systems to Sites of Inflammation$7,395

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Susan Hua
Scheme Early Career Researcher Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo G1000970
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Development of Novel Targeted Drug Delivery Systems to Sites of Inflammation$2,605

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Susan Hua
Scheme Early Career Researcher (Equipment) Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo G1000683
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed2
Current3

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD0.8

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2016 PhD The Role of Tumour Microenvironment in Ovarian Cancer Drug Resistance
PhD (Pharmacy), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2015 PhD Novel Strategies to Treat Reproductive Tract Infection and Subsequent Infertility
PhD (Medical Biochemistry), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2014 PhD Improvement of quality use of medicine in management of chronic respiratory diseases: The role of pharmacists
PhD (Pharmacy), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2014 Honours Design and development of a novel oral nanoformulation for colon-targeted drug delivery
Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2013 Honours Development and characterisation of an effective topical liposomal system for the localised treatment of acute peripheral inflammatory pain
Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
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News

Public health crusader honoured for excellence

November 5, 2015

The Hunter's health and medical researchers found 80 reasons to celebrate last night as HMRI announced or acknowledged its community-funded grants and prizes during the 2015 Awards Night.

Dr Susan Hua

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Pharmacy and Experimental Pharmacology

Contact Details

Email susan.hua@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 49854063
Fax (02) 49217903

Office

Room MS126
Building Medical Science Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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