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PhD program

The Drug Discovery Biology Doctoral Program ensures that our graduates are not only specialists in their chosen scientific field, but also have an understanding of diverse topics, techniques and practices relevant to drug discovery. The doctoral program is completed over four years; the first year includes taught elements that constitute an advanced course in drug discovery alongside three rotational research projects, allowing students to explore potential doctoral research areas. This first year provides a strong grounding in biomedical research and facilitates the development of technical skills. The rotation program enables candidates to make an informed choice of their final area of research prior to commencement of their three-year project.


The Cardiovascular Pharmacology laboratory specialises in the following experimental approaches:


GPCR signalling fingerprint

Intracellular Ca2+ mobilisation
Web of bias


Pre-clinical models of cardiovascular disease

Disease phenotype: hypertension, pulmonary vascular disease, cardiac fibrosis
Disease genotype: BPH hypertensive mice, Anx-A1 KO mice
Haemodynamic cardiovascular phenotyping: telemetry, ultrasound, cardiac catheterisation


Tissue Pharmacology

Isolated vascular function: wire myography
Isolated heart function: Langendorff


Tissue Inflammation and Fibrosis

Gene expression


We offer three areas of research as full three-year PhD projects and the Drug Discovery Biology first-year rotation program.

  1. Targeting the resolution of inflammation with formyl peptide receptor agonists as a novel therapy for hypertension

    Supervisors: Dr Chengxue Helena Qin, Dr Kristy Jackson, Prof Geoff Head

  2. Exploiting biased formyl peptide receptor agonists as novel pharmacotherapy for pulmonary hypertension: simultaneous targeting of vascular function and remodelling

    Supervisors: Dr Chengxue Helena Qin, Prof Owen Woodman, Prof Rebecca Ritchie

  3. Formyl peptide receptor based GPCR rational drug design and molecular pharmacology

    Supervisors: Dr Chengxue Helena Qin, Prof Jonathan Baell, Dr Lauren May, Prof Rebecca Ritchie