• About
  • People
  • Projects
  • Key Publications
  • Funding
  • Collaborations

The Therapeutics Research Centre (TRC) is headed by Professor Michael Roberts, an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow with a joint appointment between the University of South Australia and the University of Queensland.

Our research team consists of a group of postdoctoral and postgraduate scientists that specialize in key areas and are engaged in developing, formulating and characterising new nanosystems for delivery of therapeutic, diagnostic or prophylactic substances. Advanced imaging (multiphoton and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy) allows us to visualise and quantitate pharmacokinetic and toxicokinetic processes in biological systems (tissues, organs, cells). While a brand new suite of state of the art LC/MS/MS instruments give us previously unattainable sensitivity and selectivity in the analysis of drugs, metabolites and toxins.

Staff at the TRC have active research interests covering a spectrum of therapeutics including:

  • the chemistry of drugs (including drug design and natural products)
  • the effects drugs have on the body (pharmacology and toxicology)
  • the effects the body has on drugs (pharmacokinetics and drug delivery)
  • how drugs can be best used to treat disease (topical drug delivery and quality use of medicines) for patients

The TRC is always keen to talk with enthusiastic students seeking to undertake postgraduate studies (either Honours or PhD) in pharmaceutical science. Please contact us to discuss what opportunities are available.

Pharmacist Practitioner Pilot Program 2012-2016

The first group of candidates (Chong C-R, Nooney VB, Sinnollareddy M) have now completed the joint clinical pharmacy registrar/PhD research program, with an outstanding 34 peer reviewed publications between them. This collaboration between The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide was created in May 2010 as a 5 year pilot program. The program is now being refined for the launch of its next phase that will recognise recent changes in SA Health, in the PhD requirements for UniSA and in the emerging career opportunities for future graduates. Additional information regarding the new Pharmacist Practitioner Program will be posted on the University of South Australia and the BHI web sites in due course. A full report on this pilot program will be available in the 2016 BHI Research Report.

Researchers

Student Alumni (since 2016)

NameDegreeYear AwardedThesis titleSupervisors
Ana MacedoPhD, University of South Australia2017Skin deep - understanding transport within the skin and nail for formulation designRoberts MS, Mackenzie L, Holmes A
Vivek NooneyPhD, University of South Australia2017Determinants of clinical responses to platelet ADP receptor antagoinstsRoberts MS, Horowitz JD, Chirkov Y
Michael PastorePhD, University of South Australia2017Getting through the skin's formidable barrier: understanding the role of solute structure, skin morphology and formulation in skin deliveryRoberts MS, Mackenzie L
M SinollareddyPhD, University of South Australia2016Dose optimisation of antimicrobial agents: Pharmokinetic and pharmacodynamic approachRoberts MS and Roberts JA
Honours and Postgraduate Student Research Projects for 2020
Projects available for honours and postgraduate students, who will be enrolled through the University of South Australia, include:
  • Specific targeting of nanosystems by cutaneous delivery
  • Targeted drug delivery by topical application
  • The efficacy of silver nanoparticle wound therapies
Please contact the Therapeutics Research Centre's Science Director michael.roberts@unisa.edu.au and the Centre Manager lorraine.mackenzie@unisa.edu.au for further information.
Can therapeutic drug monitoring optimise exposure of piperacillin in febrile neutropenic patients with haematological malignancies? A randomised controlled trial

Sime F, Roberts MS, Tiong IS, Gardner J, Lehman S, Peake S, Hahn U, Warner M, Roberts JA. Can therapeutic drug monitoring optimise exposure of piperacillin in febrile neutropenic patients with haematological malignancies? A randomised controlled trial. J Antimicrob Chemother; 2015. 70(8):2369-75.

Transdermal patches: history, development and pharmacology

Pastore M, Kalia Y, Horstmann M, Roberts MS. Transdermal patches: history, development and pharmacology. British Journal of Pharmacology; 2015. 172(9):2179-209.

Pharmacokinetics of fluconazole in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury receiving sustained low efficiency diafiltration

Sinnollareddy M, Roberts MS, Lipman J, Robertson TA, Peake SL, Roberts JA. Pharmacokinetics of fluconazole in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury receiving sustained low efficiency diafiltration. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents; 2015. 45:192-195.

Concentration dependency in nicotine skin penetration flux from aqueous solutions reflects vehicle induced changes in nicotine stratum corneum retention

Kuswahyuning R, Roberts MS. Concentration dependency in nicotine skin penetration flux from aqueous solutions reflects vehicle induced changes in nicotine stratum corneum retention. Pharmaceutical Research ; 2014. 31(6):1501-1511.

Nanoparticles And Microparticles For Skin Drug Delivery

Prow TW, Grice JE, Lin L, Faye R, Butler M, Becker W, Wurm EMT, Yoong C, Robertson TA, Soyer HP, Roberts MS. Nanoparticles And Microparticles For Skin Drug Delivery. Adv Drug Deliv Rev; 2011. 63(6):470-91.

Funding since 2012

Chief InvestigatorsGranting BodyProject TitleType of GrantTotal Grant AmountFunding Period
Roberts M, Mohammad Y, Grice J, Namjoshi S, Laita Silva V, Benson H, Chen T, Maibach H, Roberts D, Lian G, Wu C-Y, Alinaghi A, Ladermann J, Cronin M, Assimov Y, Frash H, van der Hoek J, Xu Z, Patzelt AUS FDA 1U01FD006496Bioequivalence of topic products: elucidating the thermodynamic and functional characteristics of compositionally different topic formulationsFDA ProjectUSD $1,250,0002018 - 2023
Roberts M, Liu X, Grice J, Mohammad Y, Medley G, Cheruvu H, Alinaghi A, van der Hoek J, Paolak S, Nikunijkumar P, Sumit A, Abdula T, Wragg K, Clarke J, Frash H, Assimov Y, Cronin M, Maibach H, Chen T, Pope KUS FDA 1U01FD006522, University of QueenslandFormulation of drug product quality attributes in dermal physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models for topical dermatological drug products and transdermal delivery systemsFDA ProjectUSD $500,0002018 - 2020
Roberts MNHMRC (#1107356)Research FellowshipResearch Fellowship$851,9802016 - 2020
Buckley N, Isbister G, Dawson A, Roberts MNHMRC (#1055176) An integrated research program in human toxicology to ensure rapid translation of results into practice and regulationProgram grant$6,846,800

2014 - 2018
Roberts M, Mark Kendall MNHMRC (#1049906)Specific targeting of nanosystems by cutaneous deliveryProject grant$951,2012013 – 2015
Crawford D, Maddern, G (Roberts M moved to be an Associate Investigator (AI) in 2014 to accommodate a Program GrantNHMRC (#1049979)Advanced imaging to define hepatic and intestinal drug disposition in aging and liver diseasesProject grant$735,820 2013 – 2015

Roberts J, Lipman J, Paul S, Peake S, Turnidge J (Roberts M moved to be an Associate Investigator (AI) in 2014 to accommodate a Program Grant)NHMRC (#1044941)Robust antibiotic dosing for critically ill patients receiving renal replacement therapy Project grant$1,163,486
2013 – 2015
Roberts MS, Milne R, White J, Zhou X, Wang S, Xian CNHMRC Confocal microscope and LCMSMSEquipment Grant$56,000 2013



Roberts MS, Milne RNHMRCMicroscope Inverter arms and dipping lensEquipment Grant$10,052 2012



Roberts M, Buckley N, Zoltan E, Dawson A; Sheriff R, Isbister GNHMRC (#1011772)Biomarkers of acute renal toxicity in humans
Project grant$1,044,7112011 – 2013

Roberts M, Prow TNHMRC (#1008739)Targeted redox therapy for photoageing prevention and treatmentProject grant$543,390 2011 – 2013



Minchin R, Roberts M, Martin D, Smith S, Monteiro M, Gahan LNHMRC (#569694)Toxicology of NanomaterialsProject grant$1,811,547
2009 – 2013


Roberts M, Prof Michael Weiss, A/Pr Graeme Macdonald, Dr Jonathan Fawcett, A/Pr Luis Vitetta, Dr Linda M FletcherNHMRC (#569710)Pharmacodynamics in Liver Disease and in Liver SurgeryProject grant$865,777 2009 – 2011
Voelcker NH, Lombi E, Roberts MS, Priest CIARC (DP150101774)Closing the data gap: High throughput screening of nanoparticle toxicityDiscovery Grant$363,0002015 - 2017
Roberts MSUS Food and Drug Administration (1U01FD005232-01)Physiologically based biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics of drug products for dermal absorption in humansUSD $600,0002014 – 2018
Roberts MSUS Food and Drug Administration (1U01FD005226-01)Characterisation of critical quality attributes for semisolid topical drug productsUSD $1,499,5002014 – 2019
Nann T, Voelcker NH, Roberts MSSouth Australian Collaboration Pathways ProgramNanotechnology based delivery and response systemsSA Government$600,0002014 – 2017
Xu ZP, Zvyagin A, Roberts MSARC (DP120104792)Skin penetration of nanoparticles promoted by particle design, formulation and application methodDiscovery Grant$360,0002012 - 2014
Kendall MA, Frazer IH, Roberts MS, Ambrosi DCARC (DP1093281)Improving immune response to vaccines by selective targeting of epithelial regions with the NanopatchDiscovery Grant$825,0002010 - 2012

Please refer to page 59 of the 2018 BHI Research Report.

CollaboratorPositionInstitutionCityCountry
Associate Professor Sandra PeakeThe Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH)AdelaideAustralia
Professor Guy MaddernThe University of Adelaide & TQEHAdelaideAustralia
Professor John HorowitzThe University of Adelaide & TQEHAdelaideAustralia
Professor John TurnbridgeThe University of Adelaide & TQEHAdelaideAustralia
Professor Nico VoelckerThe University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
Professor Enzo LombiThe University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
Dr Des WilliamsThe University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
Dr Michael WieseThe University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
Dr Rietie VenterThe University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
Professor Craig PriestThe University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
Professor Janna MorrisonThe University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
Associate Professor Darren RobertsAustralian National University & Canberra HospitalCanberraAustralia
Dr Suzanne SmithAustralian Nuclear Science and Technology OrganisationSydneyAustralia
Professor Heather BensonCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
Associate Professor Yuri AnissimovGriffith UniversityBrisbane, Gold CoastAustralia
Associate Professor Andrei ZvyaginMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
Professor Geoff IsbisterUniversity of Newcastle & Calvary Mater HospitalNewcastleAustralia
Professor Nick BuckleyUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
Professor Zoltan EndreUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
Professor Mark KendallUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Professor Darrell CrawfordUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Professor Ian FrazerUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Associate Professor Jeff GriceUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Associate Professor ZhiPing XuUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Associate Professor Sanjoy PaulUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Dr Tarl ProwUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Professor Rod MinchinUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Associate Professor Michael MonteiroUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Associate Professor Graeme MacdonaldUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Professor Lawrence GahanUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Professor Jonathan FawcettUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Dr Linda FletcherUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Dr Darren MartinUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Professor DX AmbrosiUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
Professor Jeff LipmanUniversity of Queensland & Royal Brisbane & Women's HospitalBrisbaneAustralia
Professor Jason RobertsUniversity of Queensland & Royal Brisbane & Women's HospitalBrisbaneAustralia
Professor Andrew DawsonUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
Associate Professor Luis VitettaUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
Professor Gordon FlynnUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
Professor Robert HoffmanUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
Professor Howard MaibachUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
Professor Peter SoMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)CambridgeUSA
Professor Majella LaneUniversity College London (UCL)LondonUK
Professor Steven AbbottUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
Professor Klaus SuhlingKings CollegeLondonUK
Professor Hamid MoghimiShahid Beheshti University of Medical ScienceTehranIran
Professor Frank BurczynskiUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
Professor Gabriel WittumGothe UniversityFrankfurtGermany
Dr Paul LehmanHead, Transdermal ServicesQuest Pharmaceutical ServicesNewarkUSA
Professor Maike WindbergsUniversity of SaarlandSaarbruckenGermany
Professor Vania Leite de SilvaUniversidade Federal de Sao PauloSao Paulo Brazil
Dr Frank SinnerDeputy Director Joanneum ResearchGrazAustria
Professor Rezvi Sheriff University of Colombo ColomboSri Lanka
Professor Thomas NannVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand