The Pharmaceutical Biology research theme is focused on understanding biological mechanisms critical in disease progression and the therapeutic targeting of diseases that impact people’s lives.

The work achieved here encompasses methods at the cutting edge of techniques for the evaluation and identification of therapeutics.

Our achievements

  • Publications in top tier journals including – Nature Medicine, Cell, PNAS, Clinical Cancer Research, Pain, Oncogene, Nature Reviews, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Journal of Pharmacology Research, British Journal of Pharmacology, Drug Discovery Today, Biochemical Pharmacology and Science Signalling.
  • Members include current NHMRC research fellowship holders. Work in Pharmaceutical Biology has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council, the USA Department of Defence, Cancer Council Queensland and the Pharmaceutical Industry.
  • Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UQ is ranked at the highest possible level (well above world standard (5/5, ERA 2018)).
  • Past and current research leaders in Pharmaceutical Biology have received a variety of awards for research excellence and excellence in research student supervision. These awards include the Order of Australia for services to people with diabetes (Prof Peter Little (AM)) and the Johnson & Johnson Innovation 2015 Industry Excellence award for research commercialisation (Prof Maree Smith).

Our leaders


Ion channels and receptors

The UQ School of Pharmacy includes world leaders in the assessment of the roles of specific ion channels and receptors in specific diseases, and the development of methods to identify new therapeutic targets using high throughput methods.

Our leaders

Drug target identification and characterization for cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pain

The identification of new drug targets is critical to improve our treatment of conditions that have a major impact on the quality of life of people throughout the world. The UQ School of Pharmacy has a suite of cutting edge equipment and skills for in vitro and pre-clinical models to identify and characterize new drug targets for cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pain.

Our leaders

Molecular Pharmacology

Molecular pharmacology is the interface between molecular biology and drug discovery. Researchers use an array of platforms for molecular pharmacology research, including gene silencing of drug targets (siRNA, CRISPR), qPCR, RNAseq, genetically encoded sensors, gene reporters and bioassays.

Our leaders

Cellular signaling

Cellular signalling describes how messages are propagated inside cells to alter processes in biological events. The effective measurement and understanding of cellular signalling is key in drug discovery and development.

Our leaders

Molecular Endocrinology

Molecular Endocrinology is the study of the mechanisms of the action of hormones and related molecules in physiology and pathophysiology. The assessment of these events is key in understanding diseases such as diabetes.

Our leaders