For Students

Welcome to the NAPSA Research Noticeboard! This noticeboard is an initiative that focuses on the development of research and learning opportunities for pharmacy students across Australia. The aims are to connect pharmacy students and researchers to allow students to gain research experience outside of their formal university training. 

Please navigate through this page to learn more about the research projects available for pharmacy students accross Australia. Each supervisor has their own requirements so please make sure you meet all the requirements before submitting an expression of interest. 

How to submit an expression of interest?

If you are interested in a project, send an email to research@napsa.org.au AND research.chair@napsa.org.au:

1. with the subject "EOI Noticeboard Project Number xx"

2. with your full name, year level and the name of the university that you attend 

3. with a confirmation that you are a member of your local NAPSA branch (e.g. BAPS, CASPA, GUAPS, JCUPSA, OPSA, PhUNE, QPSA, QUTSPA, RAPS, SAPSA, SUPA , TAPS, TEPSA, UoNAPS, UTSPA, UWAMPS, VPSA, WAPSA)

3. with a statement about yourself reflecting that you meet the project requirements and why you want to be involved in the research project

 

Australian Capital Territory 

 

New South Wales 

 

Northern Territory

 

Queensland 

 

South Australia

Project Number 1: Evaluation of Partnered Pharmacist Medication Charting at SALHN

Field: Pharmacy Practice 

Short Description: The project is the evaluation of the Partnered Pharmacist Medication Charting service at Flinders Medical Centre. This was the first site in South Australia to implement PPMC, a service where clinical pharmacists are able to work beyond their scope of practice through interprofessional collaboration with doctors in Acute Medicine Unit and General Medicine. PPMC involves the pharmacist proactively contributing to patient care by also charting medicines for inpatients, which is known to lead to significantly reduced medication errors and lengths of stay.

Location: On-site at Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia

Name of supervisor: Vasilios Sotiropoulos

Expected availabilities: 15-20 hours/week in 2023 (can be negotiated)

Start date: as soon as possible

Remuneration: none

Student requirements:  

- Must be a 4th BPharm student, 5th year BPharm OR current Honours student

- Requires minor Microsoft Excel skills with a willingness to learn  

- Must be able to attend Flinders Medical Centre

- Must provide a copy of their resume detailing any research experience and a short paragraph (<100 words) which includes why they are interested in being involved and their goals

Role of student:

- Data collection, analysis, medication reconciliation, retrospective review of medical records

 

 

Tasmania

 

Victoria

Project Number 2: Development of a novel solid hydrogel for controlled release of ocular bioactive molecule

Field: Pharmaceutical Science

Short Description: High blood sugar levels in uncontrolled diabetes can lead to Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR), the pathological growth of new blood vessels on the retina's surface in response to an ischemic insult that results in pericyte death along the microcapillaries' walls. Such compensatory neovascularization and the development of abnormal collateral vessels can affect the neural retina, which is the leading cause of vision loss in young and middle-aged adults. Currently, the only pharmaceutical therapy for this disease is a universal endocrine peptide molecule called somatostatin (SST). SST is the pituitary growth hormone (GH) inhibitor that is produced and exerts its inhibitory effect in the central nervous system (CNS), peripheral nervous system (PNS), and enteric nervous system (ENS). Suppressing the GH in the periphery by utilizing SST or its analogues affects the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)-mediated angiogenesis leading to mitigation in retinal neovascularization. Nevertheless, the current administration of such agents is available only in injection into the eye site associated with severe and traumatic pain leading to a significantly low degree of compliance by patients. This study aims to develop a crosslinked solid hydrogel as a slow-release matrix to deliver somatostatin into the eye. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the macro/microstructural characteristics, diffusion kinetics of the matrix, and the biological effectiveness of the released peptide. Students undertaking the project will gain experience in formulating and evaluating the release of the model drug from hydrogels using FTIR, SEM, advanced rheometers and HPLC. In addition, students will have the opportunity to advance their research skills in biotechnology and drug delivery.

Location: On-site at RMIT University - Bundoora campus

Name of supervisor: Dr Ayman Allahham

Expected availabilities: 35 hours per year (duration 1 year)

Start date: As soon as possible

Remuneration: none

Student requirements:  

- Year 4 Bpharm

- Student must be in the same state as the supervisor as the research is being conducted on site at RMIT University - Bundoora campus

Role of student:

- Data collection and analysis 

Project Number 3: Development of a Long-Acting in Situ Implant Delivering Biologics for Melanoma Treatment

Field: Pharmaceutical Science

Short Description:The current melanoma treatment is forked between surgery; radiation; photodynamic therapy; and pharmacotherapy, which consists of topical and systemic treatment. However, melanoma is highly aggressive, and at advanced stages, it develops resistance to many existing pharmacotherapies. Hence, the search for new classes of atypical therapeutic molecules associated with specific pharmacodynamics and fewer side effects has been upheaved. Peptides such as Myxoma virus peptide analogue, are one of the leading categories of non-conventional molecules that demonstrate an outstanding remedial potential across various medical conditions, including cancer. They exert their pharmacological effects via specific cellular pathways resembling natural molecular signaling. However, they are utterly sensitive molecules to physicochemical and biological degradations, which prevent them from reaching their target sites at the relevant bioavailability, and they are limited to injectable formulations. Smart hybrid hydrogels possess unique physicochemical properties that manifest in various dynamic changes, such as transformation into different sizes and shapes in response to environmental stimuli. These potential manipulations make biocompatible materials promising co-therapeutic candidates for wide range of medical conditions. Injectable hydrogels with self-healing features can form an interesting platform for the subcutaneous controlled release of biotherapeutics. They are classified reologically as shear-thinning hydrogels. Subjecting the hydrogel to shear stress by injecting them through a thin needle liquifies them based on the rapid equilibrium between the dissociation and recombination of components concept. Hence, they can be delivered subcutaneously without impairment to the skin and maintain the tissue's structural and functional integrity over the planned treatment period. Moreover, the active ingredient's delivery period can be tuned based on the level of the crosslinking between the hydrogel's monomers and the molecular size of these units. Based on the above-mentioned, this research aims to develop a long-acting in situ formulated implant (ISFI) to be administered subcutaneously into the dermal layer delivering anti-skin cancer peptides in the vicinity of the primary skin cancer cells while maintaining its structural integrity and mechanical functionality. Students undertaking the project will gain experience in biopolymeric fabrication and the assessment of their physicochemical properties; pharmacokinetics and dynamics modelling; and in biological studies, including cell culturing.

Location: On-site at RMIT University - Bundoora campus

Name of supervisor: Dr Ayman Allahham

Expected availabilities: full time hours

Start date: Flexible

Remuneration: none

Student requirements:  

- Year 5 Bpharm

- The ability to dedicate full time hours per week

- Student can be from any university but have the ability to be on site as the research is conducted at RMIT University - Bundoora campus

Role of student:

- Data collection and analysis towards a PhD

Project Number 4: Investigating food ingredient-drug interactions in model food systems

Field: Pharmaceutical Science

Short Description: In response to current consumer food trends (e.g. high dietary fibre, high protein, low fat, low sugar, high charcoal …) new food ingredients are being developed and used in food manufacturing to enable the food industry to minimise the negative impacts of reformulation on final food products. Food ingredients that are used to mimic fat or sugar properties in foods (i.e. fat or sugar replacers) may have polypeptide, polysaccharide or similar structures and can be used in large quantities in food systems. New food ingredients may have low to high molecular weights, diverse molecular charges, different surface areas and different porosity levels. Hence extensive usage of these food ingredients may generate the gastrointestinal conditions that could affect drug-food compounds interactions. As a result, this may impact the bioavailability of drugs that may require additional drug administration strategies. Assessment of the food-drug interactions has been the focus of many researchers and included in vitro, in silico and in vivo methods. In particular, the use of in vitro dissolution apparatus to evaluate such food-drug interactions is of significant importance due to its simplicity, standardised approach and low requirements. This project is aiming to study interactions between selected oral drugs and some food ingredients in an in vitro model when food ingredients will be exposed to drugs in an automatic dissolution system. The drug release and drug and food ingredients interactions will be investigated and modelled. Specific objectives include investigating: i. drugs-food ingredients interactions in an in vitro model system including drug potency and stability. ii. the effect of food ingredients on the kinetics of drug release in such in vitro system. iii. Underpinning molecular structure-interaction relationship of food ingredients and drugs.

Location: On-site at RMIT University - Bundoora campus

Name of supervisor: Dr Ayman Allahham

Expected availabilities: full time hours

Start date: Three years duration, start date is flexible

Remuneration: none

Student requirements:  

-  Current honours student

- Student can be from any university but have the ability to be on site as the research is conducted at RMIT University - Bundoora campus

- Ability to dedicate full time hours per week

Role of student:

- Data collection and analysis

Western Australia