Academic expertise

The School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences is proud to count many internationally-recognised educators and researchers among its academic staff. All of the core academic team have extensive expertise in their respective fields, which range from the study of specific diseases and treatments to diet and nutrition, pharmacy practice, education, health care policy, and pharmaceutical science, drug development and commercialisation.

This page includes information on the academic expertise of some of our key staff members, including the school executive and program directors.

School Executive

Professor Alan Boddy

Alan Boddy [Phd, BSc (Pharmacy)] is the Head of School, Pharmacy and Medical Sciences.

After a PhD and post-doctoral training in Manchester, Alan spent a period at the University of Washington before returning to the UK to focus on cancer therapy and the role of pharmacokinetics and pharmacology more generally. In Newcastle upon Tyne he established an internationally-recognised group working on the pharmacology of drugs in early phase clinical trials, pharmacology in children with cancer and pharmacogenetics.

He was instrumental in implementing quality control standards for academic-led studies in the UK, in conjunction with Cancer Research UK and the MHRA, and led an EU-funded international study on off-patent medicines in children.  Alan also founded an online MSc course in Oncology and Palliative care that provided the model for online teaching at the University of Newcastle and led training workshops for clinicians and nurses on the principles of cancer pharmacology. 

Moving to Sydney in 2014, he continued these interests, establishing links with the Melanoma Institute of Australia, Westmead Hospital and the Children’s Cancer Institute. Alan has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, in addition to reviews and book chapters and has supervised over 30 post-graduate students and clinical fellows.  

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Associate Professor Craig Williams

Craig Williams [BSc (Hons), Grad Dip Ed, PhD] is the Associate Head: Academic for the School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences. Craig manages all aspects of the School’s teaching and learning strategy, and provides leadership for ensuring the quality of all undergraduate programs and courses offered by the School. He is responsible for managing teaching resources and staff, and ensuring quality experiences and graduate outcomes for students. Craig also teaches into the School’s Biology courses.

Craig Williams graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Zoology and a major in Microbiology from the University of Adelaide. After a few years working in research he took a Graduate Diploma in Education (University of Adelaide) and a PhD (University of South Australia), before working as a school teacher. After post-doctoral research work at James Cook University he returned to an academic position at the University of South Australia.

Throughout his academic career of more than 20 years Craig has combined skills in education and communication with his research studying the interface between environmental and public health. His particular focus is on mosquito-borne diseases. This academic work has been recognised through awards such as the South Australian Young Scientist of the Year (2007), an IgNobel Prize in Biology (2005, for science that makes you laugh, then think), and a Commonwealth Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2013).

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Professor Sandra Orgeig

Sandra Orgeig (BSc (Hons), PhD) is the Associate Head of School: Research, with responsibility for overseeing the School’s research programs and research training. She is also Professor in Pulmonary Biology in the School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences.

After completing her initial schooling in Biochemistry at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, she moved to Adelaide in 1990 and completed her PhD (1994) in Evolutionary Respiratory Physiology at Flinders University. Following a move to the University of Adelaide, she held consecutive ARC Postdoctoral and mid-career Research Fellowships first in Physiology and then in Environmental Biology. Thereafter in 2007 she took on an academic position at the University of South Australia, where she headed the Molecular & Evolutionary Physiology of the Lung Laboratory and was also the inaugural Program Director for the Bachelor of Medical Science, which she developed together with a joint degree with Australian National University.

Throughout her research career Sandra has taken a broad multidisciplinary approach including evolutionary, physiological, developmental and biomedical disciplinary tools to understand the evolution, development, function and regulation of pulmonary surfactant in health and disease across a range of animal models. Her current research interests include understanding the role of surfactant and lung dysfunction in a group of devastating metabolic genetic diseases known as lysosomal storage disorders, as well as understanding the disease mechanisms and the role of the lung microbiome in the initiation and development of lung cancer.

Sandra’s teaching has been recognized with UniSA teaching citations for promoting the teaching-research nexus and creating innovative resources for delivering a digitally-enriched curriculum in the Health Sciences. Her research has been recognised by the award of two ARC research fellowships, a Young Tall Poppy Award and the national Fenner Medal from the Australian Academy of Science and she has published >100 research articles or book chapters. Sandra serves the scientific community as Chair of the SA Tall Poppy committee, board member of the Australian Institute of Policy & Science and as a member of the research subcommittee of the Thoracic Society of Australia & NZ. Sandra is also a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation.

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Program Directors

Dr Kirsten Staff

Dr Kirsten Staff [MPharm, PhD, GradCertHE] is currently the Program Director for the Bachelor of Pharmacy.

Kirsten graduated from Aston University (Birmingham, UK) in 2002 obtaining a First Class Master’s degree in Pharmacy (MPharm). He undertook an internship split between the Royal United Hospital (Bath, UK) and Sainsbury’s Pharmacy Group in Bath where upon registration he became Pharmacy Manager. In 2006 Kirsten commenced a PhD at Kings College London in collaboration with MedPharm Ltd (Guildford, UK) and Transport Pharma (Boston, US). The PhD project investigated the active transport of small ionic complexes across the skin using iontophoresis to enhance wound healing.

Upon completing his PhD Kirsten accepted a role as Lecturer in Pharmaceutics at the University of Hertfordshire (UK) where he coordinated diverse courses within the pharmacy undergraduate program including Medicines and Pharmacy Practice, Pharmaceutical and Medical Microbiology and Pharmacy Business Management. During his time at Herts Kirsten successfully completed a graduate certificate in higher education teaching practices and syllabus design. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Kirsten moved to Adelaide during 2010 to undertake a position as Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy at UniSA. In addition to his current role of Pharmacy Program Director he is the course coordinator for Pharmacy Practice 1 and Advanced Therapeutics and teaches dermatology aspects of pharmacology, drug delivery and pharmacotherapeutics across the program. Kirsten is an Academic Integrity Officer within the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences.

Kirsten holds current registration with AHPRA as a practising pharmacist and maintains a number of professional affiliations including membership of the Australasian Pharmaceutical Sciences Association (APSA) executive committee and the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) editorial group. His professional engagement includes acting as a reviewer for the Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary, regular scientific consultant for Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and as co-author of the Biosimilar Awareness Initiative Project literature review commissioned by the National Medicines Policy Section of the Department of Health. Kirsten also seeks interesting opportunities for community engagement such as setting up the unique student led ‘pop-up’ community pharmacy service at the WOMAD music festival providing evidence based pharmaceutical care for more than 100,000 festival goers with students conducting over 400 supervised health consultations.

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Dr Brian Dale

Brian Dale [BAppSc, PhD, FAIMS] is the Program Director for Laboratory Medicine.

Brian teaches Haematology, Transfusion and Haemostasis.

He has extensive experience in diagnostic pathology and has worked in major haematology and transfusion laboratories in Perth Western Australia and overseas.

Brian’s research interests are mainly in the field of haemostasis. Areas of current research include platelet activation, fibrinolysis and developing improved tests for measuring haemostatic function. He also collaborates with researchers at McMaster University in Canada to investigate the haemostatic activity of new oral anticoagulant drugs.

He is a member of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists SA/NT Branch committee and is an active member of the Thrombosis and Haemostasis society of Australian and New Zealand.

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Dr Evangeline Mantzioris

Dr Evangeline Mantzioris [BSc, BND, PhD] is the Program Director of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Degree.

Evangeline is a qualified dietitian (Accredited Practising Dietitian, DAA) and a Sports Dietitian (Accredited Sports Dietitian) with experience in clinical dietetics, clinical teaching and private practice. She is also Associate Editor of the journal, Nutrition and Dietetics. Evangeline also teaches Sports Nutrition and Nutrition Communication and Food Studies in the degree. 

Evangeline’s areas of research interest include omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and pregnancy, the nutrition – environment nexus and the Mediterranean Diet. 

Evangeline loves to communicate the nutrition message to the public and speaks regularly to the public as well as well writing for the media.

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Dr Matt Sykes

Dr Matt Sykes [BSc(Hons), PhD, FRACI(CChem)] is the Program Director of the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science and the Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science (Double Degree) in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences. 

Matt completed a Bachelor of Science honours degree in chemistry at Flinders University and subsequently completed a PhD at the same institution working in computational chemistry and molecular modelling. 

After completing his PhD Matt worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sheffield in the UK and at Astra Zeneca pharmaceuticals working on computational methods for the improvement of the drug design process. 

Prior to moving to UniSA, Matt was working as a Research Fellow in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at Flinders University with Professor John Miners, looking at computer-based methods for screening, identification and analysis of molecules of importance to human hepatic drug metabolism. 

Matt is a passionate chemistry educator and has won a number of awards for his teaching including a UniSA Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for "For sustained excellence in the teaching of chemistry to large first year student cohorts from a diverse range of programs and backgrounds" (2015). 

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Dr Chris Della Vedova

Chris Della Vedova [BS, PhD] is the Program Director for Natural Sciences.

Chris teaches Genetics and Fetal & Maternal Pathophysiology.

His research focuses on the molecular and genetic basis of complex neurobehavioural traits such as addiction, stress and fatigue. In collaboration with Defence, Science and Technology and the Centre for Sleep Research at UniSA, he is attempting to identify biological or genetic markers that can detect or predict the deterioration of performance that accompanies fatigue. The identification of such objective tools may help to prevent accidents and loss of life in industrial, medical or military settings.

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Stefan Kowalski

Stefan Kowalski [BPharm, M.App.Sc.(Pharm), BCGP] is currently the Program Director for the post graduate Clinical Pharmacy programs and is also involved in teaching in the Bachelor of Pharmacy program.

He has extensive clinical pharmacy experience and has worked in hospitals in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. His professional and research interests focus on clinical pharmacy education/ practice and geriatric pharmacotherapy.

Stefan is an associate editor of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research Des and serves on the US Board of Pharmacy Specialties (Geriatrics ).

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Dr Emma Parkinson-Lawrence

Dr Emma Parkinson-Lawrence [PhD] is currently the Program Director of the Bachelor of Medical Science.

‘During my years as an undergraduate and post graduate student I developed an interest and passion for two areas of health and medical research; protein structure and function and disease pathogenesis. I have been fortunate to be able to link these two research areas and am focussed on studying the pathogenesis of disease in a group of genetic diseases called Lysosomal Storage Disorders. As a senior scientist in the Mechanisms of Cell Biology and Disease Research Group I am also involved in the development of assays for the early detection of prostate cancer. 

Lysosomal storage disorders are a group of over 50 different devastating genetic diseases, caused by having an inactive or deficient protein of a series of proteins that normally break down waste products within a cell. As a result, waste products accumulate, becoming toxic to the cell, leading to the onset of devastating disease predominantly in children. Approximately two-thirds of lysosomal storage disorder patients suffer from brain disease and at present there is no effective treatment. Despite presenting as a major clinical problem, the molecular basis of this brain disease is poorly understood and herein lies a major focus of my research. In addition, I am also investigating the aetiology of respiratory dysfunction in these diseases.’

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Areas of study and research

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