Natalia Popowicz

Started at UWA: 2018

Passionate lecturer seeking to inspire future pharmacists


Natalia Popowicz is a lecturer in Pharmacy Practice, a clinical pharmacist in respiratory medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and active in providing continuing professional development to the pharmacy profession. Her PhD on ‘Optimising therapy for pleural infection’ included translational clinical research, which has contributed towards change in the management of this condition both locally and internationally.

Outside clinical and research roles, Ms Popowicz is passionate about teaching and inspiring future and current pharmacists in clinical pharmacotherapy, evidence-based practice and research.

She is a current Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia (SHPA) WA Branch Continuing Education Co-ordinator, and is a member of the SHPA federal Education Steering Group. She is also a current member of the Australasian Cystic Fibrosis Scientific and Medical Conference organising committee, and has been invited to speak at international and national conferences.

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Thoracic Society of Australian and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting – Best oral presentation award, Respiratory Infection SIG, 2018

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Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Research Advisory Council Grant recipient 2016, 2017 and 2018

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Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Allied Health Clinical Excellence Award, 2011

Research and practice


Ms Popowicz's clinical research has included establishing the safety and efficacy of intrapleural tPA/DNase therapy as a novel therapy for pleural infection and optimising dosing and administration of this therapy. This research has contributed to changes in the management of pleural infection. Her laboratory research has investigated the biological interactions between bacteria and human pleural fluid, including the mechanistic roles of surface proteins on pneumococcal as potential targets in controlling the development of Streptococcus pneumoniae empyema. 

Ms Popowicz developed the first assay (LC-MS-MS) to measure piperacillin-tazobactam antibiotic levels in pleural fluid to enable individualised dosing to achieve necessary antibiotic concentrations at the site of infection. This will potentially improve patient outcomes. Her research includes collaborations with nine hospitals across Australia, England, Scotland and New Zealand.

In clinical practice as a pharmacist, Ms Popowicz has a research interest in the health outcomes of patients with cystic fibrosis. Her vision is to establish a clinical pharmacy translational research program across Western Australian hospitals and UWA, with a focus on quality use of medicines, clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, with the ultimate aim of optimising the clinical use of medicine.

Grants and awards


  • European Cystic Fibrosis Association Travel Grant, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Coordinating Principal Investigator, Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Research Advisory Council Grant


  • Coordinating Principal Investigator, Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Research Advisory Council Grant


  • Coordinating Principal Investigator, Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Research Advisory Council Grant


  • The University of Western Australia Postgraduate Convocation Travel Award (American Thoracic Society Conference – San Francisco and University College of London)
  • Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand Travel Award


  • Associate Investigator, Institute for Respiratory Health WestCare Alan King Grant


  • Australian Postgraduate Scholarship, The University of Western Australia
  • Lung Institute of Western Australia Pleural Diseases Scholarships
  • Top-up scholarship, The University of Western Australia


  • Abbott Products Cystic Fibrosis Allied Health Travel Scholarship, Treatment adherence strategies for cystic fibrosis (Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, US)


Related links

Contact Natalia Popowicz