The Department of Pharmacology delivers expert education to students in Medicine, Health, Optometry, Science & Medical Science programs, and is home to world-leading research across pharmacology. 

In research, staff within the department are exploring the effects of drugs and other molecules on biological systems relevant to cancer, ageing, obesity and metabolic disease, and the brain-gut axis. We have expertise in G protein-coupled receptors, the neuropharmacology of stroke and respiration, and gastrointestinal pharmacology.

Pre-clinical research in the department examines cellular and molecular pathways in living systems across a range of model systems and pharmacology staff collaborate widely with clinicians and researchers in the Faculties of Medicine & Health, Science, and Biomedical Engineering at UNSW, as well as with national and international colleagues, including industry partners. As a one-stop shop for therapeutic development, our research aspiration is to take new drug or small molecule discoveries and develop these for delivery to the clinic.

Leaning on this critical expertise base, the core business of the pharmacology teaching community lies in examining the effects of drugs on biological systems with courses covering everything from theoretical to practical aspects of developing and testing new drugs, understanding the molecular interactions through which drugs work, and therapeutic benefits of drugs for a range of diseases affecting both body and brain. The optional research-intensive year (Hons) provides a great springboard to a range of career opportunities, or to advanced research, with vibrant MSc and PhD research programs hosting students from varied backgrounds and countries.


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Head of Teaching & A/Director of Teaching,Development and Innovation


Professional and teaching staff

Name Position
Bentotage Samitha Madushan Fernando Research Assistant