UQ School of Pharmacy appoints new Academic Title Holder

18 Nov 2020

Congratulations to Professor Ian Coombes who was successful in his application for an Academic Title within UQ’s School of Pharmacy.

High quality education and research in health and behavioural sciences would not be possible without the tireless work of our hospital and clinic-based health professionals.

They are vital in training the next generation of health professionals and in recognition of their hard work, the Faculty awards successful applicants with academic titles.

Professor Coombes has been Head of Pharmacy at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) since 2011, and in his role at UQ, he supervises six Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students as well as teaching undergraduate students.

Why did you apply for an academic title?

My work focuses on establishing pharmacy practice research in collaboration with medical, nursing and allied health colleagues within RBWH. This work has developed my research impact both personally and in terms of output from my department. My expanding hospital pharmacy team of researchers collaborates with many ongoing UQ undergraduate, majors, masters and HDR researchers, the pharmacy team also provides greater support for both undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacy education.

What impact will the academic title have on your work?

I hope that the title of Professor will add a degree of kudos to the RBWH pharmacy department’s research leadership, and increase our opportunities for collaboration and successful funding applications, which is paramount to the ongoing delivery of high-level healthcare at RBWH. The title will also allow me to step up the impact of our education and research and advocacy work with our Sri Lankan colleagues through our charity, the Collaboration of Australians and Sri Lankans for Pharmacy Practice, Education and Research (CASPPER).

What areas of research have you been involved in recently?

My research focuses on improving medication safety and reducing harm from medication-related events. Some specific projects have included evaluating the impact of pharmacists prescribing medication on medical wards, the role of pharmacists in pre-operative assessment of patient medicines, and toxicological presentations within Emergency Departments.

What do you enjoy most about being involved in academic research?

I enjoy the ability to robustly and rigorously explore and answer specific research questions, and ultimately see research translated into practice especially in the area of improved safety of medication management.

What is your current role at UQ Pharmacy?

I currently supervise six HDR students, provide advice on intern and postgraduate training, and teach medication safety in undergraduate UQ pharmacy and medicine courses.