The School of Pharmacy has a very active research programme with disciplines ranging from science to humanities. Here is a small selection of our researchers work in the field of child health:
Associate Professor Hesham Al-Sallami
My main research interests are in the areas of paediatric clinical pharmacology, pharmacometrics, and paediatric clinical practice.
Dose selection in children is a challenge as many drugs are developed initially in adults then scaled down to children. The scaling process is complex as children’s path to adulthood is not a linear progression of structural and metabolic maturation.
My current work centres around three themes:
- Examining current dosing practices in children in New Zealand. Specific drugs include: the heparins which are used to prevent blood clots, aminoglycosides which are antibiotics used in the treatment of bacterial infections, insulin which is used in the treatment of diabetes, and hypotensives which are used to reduce blood pressure.
- Collecting or obtaining patients’ data to develop dose-response models; these in turn help quantify drug dose requirements for individual patients.
- Evaluating these models and dose-individualisation methods in the clinical setting with the ultimate goal of optimising drug treatment and patient clinical outcomes.
Lisa is working towards her master's degree in Clinical Pharmacy.
Some premature infants are at risk of going blind due to retinopathy of prematurity. To diagnose retinopathy of prematurity medications are administered to the eye to dilate the pupil. When the pupil is sufficiently dilated, an Ophthalmologist can carry out the eye test to diagnose either retinopathy or a healthy retina.
The medicines that are administered to the eye to dilate the pupil can cause side effects which can be harmful to the premature infant. A few examples of the possible harm that these medicines can cause are; an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, increased risk of developing feed intolerance and necrotising enterocolitis (inflammation of the intestine that can cause intestinal tissue death).
We are investigating whether giving a reduced amount of medication is effective at dilating the pupil, therefore allowing for a successful eye test. Reducing the amount of medication could also reduce the harmful effects of these medicines. Lisa's research supervisors are Associate Professors David Reith, Natalie Medlicott and Roland Broadbent.
Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott
Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott's research interests are in drug delivery in clinical pharmacy. This involves research spanning basic research of drug delivery systems, and their optimal use in patients.
She also investigates protein drug physical stability, and analytical methods to study interactions between protein drugs and formulation excipients. She is also an investigator in the D4 Network research group.