In 2000, I received a BSc in Genetics from the University of Otago, then completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Bioethics) and Masters in Health Sciences (Philosophy) in 2001 and 2003, respectively. My Master's thesis title was "Genetic modification and the facts: an ethical analysis of the GM debate". Library details here and was undertaken with supervision by Dr. Neil Pickering at the University of Otago. In 2003, I began studies in Pharmacy at the University of Otago from Second year, then transferred to the University of Auckland in 2004 (Third year) and in 2005, received my BPharm(Hons) and undertook my internship at Middlemore Hospital (2006), and was then employed as a clinical pharmacist in general surgery during 2007. Later in 2007, I was awarded with the Technology for Industry Fellowship (TIF) from the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science & Technology (FRST) with joint funding from Pharmaceutical Compounding New Zealand (PCNZ) to complete a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences – Pharmacy at the University of Auckland. The PhD project title was "Development of a transdermal delivery for progesterone using supercritical carbon dioxide". The PhD research was supervised by Dr. Jingyuan Wen and Prof. Raid Alany.
During the PhD, we developed a unique supercritical fluid (SCF) method as a preparation alternative to solvent evaporation, co-melting, and physical mixing techniques. In order to characterize the resulting dispersion systems, an in vitro dissolution method was employed to compare conventional diffusion and erosion processes to dual-first order release, also using Raman and infrared spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, scannine electron microscopy, and birefringence. Moreover, I developed a linear and non-linear experimental design to determine significant processing factors and optmise the manufactured SCF prepared dispersion systems. Finally, we developed an ex vivo permeability study using mouse and porcine skin which was used as a simple tool to assess the transfer of progesterone across the skin.