About the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The oldest Pharmacy school in Australia, the Monash Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was established in 1881 as the Melbourne College of Pharmacy and subsequently renamed the Victorian College of Pharmacy.

It amalgamated with Monash in 1992.

The faculty has a long history of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialisation based on research excellence from the Faculty and its alumni

  • Early associated companies included Drug Houses of Australia; Aspro; Bosisto’s and Sigma Pharmaceuticals
  • Significant contribution to the establishment of the Institute of Drug Technology (IDT)
  • In the late twentieth century, these began to be joined by spinouts based on original Faculty research: Biota (built around the first anti-Flu drug, Relenza); Acrux (built around novel, through-the-skin drug delivery technology)

In 2008, under the leadership of Dean Professor Bill Charman, the Faculty deliberately scaled up this activity and instituted a systematic restructuring to capitalise on its strengths in innovation, translation and commercialisation, boldly abolishing traditional Departmental ‘silos’ and forming the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS).

By strategically structuring itself along the Drug Discovery, Development, Formulation, Manufacturing and Medicine Use pipeline, MIPS is the only academic institution in the country that operates in a manner akin to best-practice in the pharmaceutical industry.

Since 2017, MIPS has been led by Professor Chris Porter, and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has been led by Dean Professor Arthur Christopoulos since 2019. Professor Christopoulos was named Australia’s top researcher in Pharmacy and Pharmacology in 2021 and elected the same year as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Collectively, the Faculty and its MIPS research arm now comprise the largest critical mass of pharmaceutical scientists outside the private sector in Australia.

The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and MIPS are deliberately structured to support local biomedical, education and workforce development ecosystems by translating research and education excellence into:

  • Ongoing Clinical Studies
    • Australia’s first mRNA vaccine for COVID-19
    • Development of Inhaled Oxytocin for treatment of postpartum haemorrhage in the developing world. The first oral form of a novel neurosteroid for treatment of postpartum depression.
    • Development of the first oral form of the neurosteroid, allopregnanolone, for treatment of postpartum depression (partnered with PureTech)
    • Development of a next generation novel antibiotic targeting drug-resistant Gram-negative ‘superbugs’ (partnered with Qpex). The Faculty also houses the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, which supports Victorian biotech and pharma companies to develop a competitive edge and retain jobs within the state, alongside the spinout of several companies based on IP developed at MIPS
  • Commercial impact
    • Successfully partnered 35 compounds into clinical development to date
    • Multiple successful startups, licensing and commercialisation deals including a major, 10-year, ~$40 million dollar collaboration with the French pharmaceutical company, Servier and, most recently spin out/start ups of Septerna ($100 mil USD Series A); Ankere; Cincera, Inosi.
    • Smart Manufacturing Hub (Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre - MMIC) to improve manufacturing processes for the local pharmaceutical industry. Has worked with over 50 partners to drive pharmaceutical manufacturing innovation. This is built upon earlier successes, notably the Monash-GSK Centre of Innovation and Industrialisation that contributed to the design of a Blow Fill Seal process at GSK that resulted in the creation of nearly 60 jobs.
  • Education innovation and workforce transformation
    • As with the MIPS model for research integration, the Faculty strategically restructured and integrated all education scholarship activities away from individual themes/departments into a single, co-ordinated, whole-of-Faculty theme: ‘PPSEd’, which now sits alongside MIPS and ensures that outstanding multidisciplinary research informs outstanding multi-degree (undergraduate and postgraduate) education, and vice versa.
    • Unwavering focus on pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences experiential learning and graduate employability.
    • Australia’s only vertically integrated Bachelor and Master of Pharmacy, raising the global skill level of the future pharmacy workforce.
    • New ‘Master of Pharmaceutical Science’ launched in 2022 to support Victoria’s growing biotech sector and associated industries.
    • Currently developing a new ‘Master of Global Medicines Development’ across the three PharmAlliance Schools to address the growing demands of international markets in this space. The WHO estimates that by 2030, 40 million additional healthcare workers will be required. There is no healthcare workforce without education.
  • Social equity and access
    • Over 40% of our undergraduate students come from low-SES (lower two quartiles) backgrounds.
    • Focus on neglected diseases. Most notably malaria, but also leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, Human African Trypanosomiasis
    • Major partnerships with Gates Foundation, Medicines for Malaria Venture; Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative