The Discipline of Pharmacy & Experimental Pharmacology falls within the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy in the Faculty of Health that has international recognition in the research areas of Medical Biochemistry, Human Physiology, Anatomy, Immunology and Microbiology, Human Genetics and other basic sciences.
Our discipline is therefore well placed to capitalise on the research infrastructure available within the School that is critical for the development of a research program in Pharmacy. Although the Master of Pharmacy is a new program, the Discipline of Experimental Pharmacology had been operational in the School for a number of years before forming the Discipline of Pharmacy and Experimental Pharmacology.
Pharmacy & Experimental Pharmacology research falls into five of the Faculty's six areas of research focus and excellence, those being:
- Brain and Mental Health
- Cardiovascular Health
- Public Health
- Vaccines, Immunity, Viruses & Asthma (VIVA)
The Pharmacy staff appointed to deliver the program have strong research records and have the ability to drive the development of pharmacy research at the University of Newcastle. Until recently, pharmacy staff members have predominantly been concentrating on establishing the teaching modules for the Master of Pharmacy program. The program will aim to include research activities spanning the complete spectrum of pharmacy, ranging from medicinal chemistry to clinical pharmacy practice.
The research objectives of the staff contributing to Pharmacy & Experimental Pharmacology are:
- Enhancing the application of evidence-based practice by pharmacists in the management of minor illnesses
- Examining the use of medicines and nutrition in the community with a focus on food additives and non-prescription medications
- Development and testing of innovative teaching and training methods for Pharmacy students as well as training for pharmacists
- Development of methods of drug analysis for measuring stability of drug formulation in particular antibiotic drugs
- Examining over-the-counter medication use, including alternative and complementary medicines, in pregnancy (particularly during weeks 1-8/9 of pregnancy) and evaluating the role of pharmacists in providing advice in this area
- To elucidate the role of neuroactive steroids and eicosanoids in brain injury during fetal development and use of new prostaglandin synthase inhibitors for the prevention of premature labour
- To further the understanding of the cause(s) of schizophrenia and develop better diagnosis, treatment and preventative strategies for the disorder
A number of research clusters are being developed that will draw upon existing research strengths within the School, Faculty and the John Hunter Hospital. It is anticipated that the formation of pharmacy research clusters will facilitate multidisciplinary research and provide opportunities for obtaining research funding from the national competitive granting bodies and the pharmaceutical industries.