Developing new medicines to improve lives

UWA’s Division of Pharmacology is part of the School of Biomedical Sciences and has built a strong reputation for its teaching and research achievements.

Founded in 1963, it was once housed within two huts on the Perth campus. The Pharmacology building now stands within the M Block of the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre on the UWA Health Campus. This allows for medical students to interact with patients on a daily basis.

Pharmacology research covers areas of asthma, therapeutic drug monitoring, clinical pharmacokinetics, toxicology, cellular and molecular aspects of drug action, and many others.

Over the years, anaesthesiology has become a strong component of the division, and neuropharmacology courses have been added to increase teaching into behavioural pharmacology, with specialist research into schizophrenia and addiction.

Research within the division continues to be a drawcard, with many researchers receiving high-profile grants each year.

Research areas

Cancer Biology

Our cancer biology research looks at investigating drug targets to block macrophage signals leading to tumour growth and invasion, and is co-ordinated by Associate Professor Fiona Pixley.

Clinical Pharmacology

Professor David Joyce leads the clinical pharmacology research into pharmacokinetics and pharmaco-dynamics of therapeutic drugs.

Molecular Toxicology

This research focuses on pharmacological strategies for suppressing cell damage by toxic endogenous electrophiles, with Professor Philip Burcham leading the studies.

Pharmacology Education

Focusing on the evaluation on pharmacology curricula and benchmarking pharmacology curricula, Associate Professor Lynette Fernandes is in charge of developing pharmacology education research.


Our psychopharmacology research looks at the role of cannabinoid receptors and dopamine in perceptual processes underlying psychotic illness, in a team led by Professor Mathew Martin-Iverson.

Respiratory Pharmacology

Associate Professor Peter Henry and Mrs Tracy Mann focus on the use of murine models of respiratory disease to investigate novel drugs and pathways in their respiratory pharmacology research.

Contact Head of Division, Professor Mathew Martin-Iverson