Introduction to the faculty - Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

About the faculty

Australia's leading pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences faculty, and one of the world's best, the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers innovative education and delivers high impact research. It is Australia's oldest pharmacy school but also the most innovative.

The faculty is located at Monash's Parkville campus, in close proximity to Melbourne's CBD and other leading research organisations, residential colleges and teaching hospitals in the `Parkville strip'. The Parkville campus is home to the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences which comprises the largest and most experienced group of pharmaceutical research scientists in Australia. The Centre for Medicine Use and Safety contributes to improving pharmacy practice and minimising medicine misuse in hospitals and the community. The campus has excellent research and teaching laboratories as well as a dedicated pharmaceutical science library and state of the art teaching facilities.

The faculty has a proud record of education and research in pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences. It offers postgraduate coursework, professional qualifications and further education for the pharmacy profession, undergraduate, honours programs and research higher degrees. With more than 1800 undergraduate and postgraduate students, we attract many high achievers and have educated leaders in our field for the past 130 years. Our courses combine work experience and creative teaching methods to expose students to current practices and challenges they'll face as highly qualified pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists.

Research profile

Leading-edge research is conducted at the faculty within the structure of the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety. Staff have close links with researchers in other faculties of the university - as well as collaborations with other Australian and international universities, and national and international members of the pharmaceutical industry and profession.

The faculty benchmarks its research effort against the best pharmacy schools in the world. It measures the quality of its research output in terms of the standing of its researchers, the level of funding attracted, publications in refereed scholarly journals, patent applications lodged, and the calibre of its research graduates. High-quality research facilities are available for students to undertake graduate work in experimental and theoretical areas of the pharmaceutical sciences.

Areas of research

All research activity and research training at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is positioned either within the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science (MIPS) or within the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety (CMUS).

Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science (MIPS)

Contributions from all research themes within the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science focus on the therapeutic areas of infectious disease (including anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiparasitics), the generation of drugs for neglected disease such as malaria, cancer, neurosciences and metabolic disorders. The four MIPS research themes are outlined below.

Medicinal Chemistry

The specific foci of this theme include projects and research activity in structure based drug design and synthetic medicinal chemistry. More specifically these projects would involve drug design and development (supported by contributions in the fields of: computer-aided molecular design and computational chemistry, NMR spectroscopy, protein chemistry and molecular biology, syntheses and characterisation of bioactive molecules, x-ray crystallography, and mass spectrometry), drug addiction pharmacology, prostate research, neurotransmitter and second messenger systems, and novel therapies using molecular biology approaches. A diversity of projects is available in each of these research areas using the techniques of in-vivo and in-vitro pharmacology, molecular pharmacology, biochemistry and physiology.

Centre for Drug Candidate Optimisation

The drug candidate optimisation area provides collaborative lead candidate optimisation in support of emerging drug discovery programs. Lead optimisation facilitates the informed identification and selection of drug candidates through an integrated assessment of their chemical, metabolic, biopharmaceutical and developmental properties.

Drug Delivery, Disposition and Dynamics

Drug delivery, disposition and dynamics includes research into drug delivery and formulation science: utilisation of the transdermal route for the delivery of drugs, lipid-based formulation design, intestinal lymphatic transport of drugs, factors affecting the absorption of drugs across the intestinal mucosa, respiratory drug delivery, physicochemical and analytical characterisations of new drug candidates, stability and characterisation of protein drugs, absorption of protein drugs after subcutaneous administration, contributions of intestinal and hepatic metabolism to the bioavailability of drugs, powder mixing and content uniformity studies.

Drug Discovery Biology

The Drug Discovery Biology group operates as a joint initiative of the faculties of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science and Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

The optimum functioning of living cells, and consequently the health of the entire organism, depends on how cells respond to the multitude of physical and chemical stimuli that continually bombard them. The majority of all chemical cellular stimuli are comprised of hormones and neurotransmitters that impart their actions by binding to specific cell surface receptor proteins. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest superfamily of all receptors (approx. 2 per cent of the human genome) and are the targets for nearly 50 per cent of all currently used therapeutic drugs. Research within this theme aims to understand novel modes of regulation of GPCRs in an effort to identify novel targets or approaches for drug discovery.

Centre for Medicine Use and Safety (CMUS)

CMUS is focused on delivering innovative research which optimises the health outcomes for individuals and communities in Australia and around the world.

The delivery of high quality and timely research is achieved via the centres ability to leverage key components of the above skill-sets, combine them with existing multidisciplinary collaborators to ensure the results have the correct context and application to health in the real world. Our ultimate goal is to optimise the safe and effective use of medicine.

The Centre for Medicine Use and Safety has two research nodes in Melbourne. One is within the faculty, while the second node is located within the Department of Pharmacy at The Alfred Hospital. The physical location of the two nodes means that the centre's researchers have excellent access to multidisciplinary research collaborators and they are in an ideal position to address issues around medicine use and safety across all sectors - the home, the broader community, hospitals, residential aged-care facilities and the interfaces between these sectors.

Research scholarships

Candidates for Doctor of Philosophy or Masters by research may be eligible to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), a Monash Research Graduate Scholarship (MGS), or a research scholarship offered through the faculty on the basis of academic merit. Some industry scholarships are also available to graduate students studying in the faculty.

Further details on eligibility and scholarship terms and conditions are available from the Monash Graduate Research Office.

Experiential Development and Graduate Education (EDGE)

All postgraduate coursework is offered through the Experiential Development and Graduate Education (EDGE) unit. EDGE offers a range of courses designed to assist pharmacists and other health professionals further their careers and reach professional development goals.

The faculty's postgraduate coursework offerings are delivered via online distance education, giving students the ability to study from anywhere across Australia or further afield. It also allows students the flexibility to fit study around work and personal commitments.

The faculty is a member of the National Alliance for Pharmacy Education (NAPE), a consortium of universities working together to actively support the ongoing advancement of the pharmacy profession as a key contributor to the healthcare team.

Contact details

Contact details for all current students can be found on the faculty website.

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