About the School
Our teaching and our students
The School has primary responsibility for two programs: the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (including Biomedical Science Honours) and the Master of Pharmacy. The B Biomed Sci has an intake of approximately 100 students per year and is rated by students as one of the University's most sought after programs. The M Pharm, which began in 2004, has an intake of approximately 85 students per year and was the first graduate-entry training program for pharmacists to be offered in Australia.
The School also provides teaching in the basic medical sciences (Anatomy, Physiology, Immunology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, and Pharmacology) in almost every program delivered by the Faculty of Health, as well as some of the programs offered by the Faculty of Education and Arts, and the Faculty of Science and Information Technology. In total, the School teaches into 71 courses taken by over 1200 full-time equivalent students enrolled in 15 different programs. Students enrolled in programs as diverse as Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Medical Radiation Science, Podiatry, Oral Health and Exercise and Sports Science all come into contact with staff of the School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy.
In August 2012 The Dunkley Medal was established. The Dunkley Medal is awarded for "Excellence in Biomedical Research" by a student graduating with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) Degree at the University of Newcastle. It is a distinguished award, not necessarily presented every year, but rather on occasions of outstanding criteria-based achievement. Click here for more information on The Dunkely Medal.
The School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy is one of the University of Newcastle's most research-intensive Schools, currently being ranked in the top three in terms of external research funding. Our researchers work on topics as diverse as cancer cell biology; the genetic basis of human diseases; the cell biology of meiosis; the immunological basis of asthma; the neurobiological basis of affective, addictive, sensory and neurodegenerative disorders; improved treatments for stroke and cardiovascular disease; pharmacoeconomics; pharmacy practice; drug development; the development of anti-inflammatory nutraceuticals; and exercise physiology.
All research-active School members are also part of the Hunter Medical Research Institute. Moreover, any of our staff simultaneously play major roles in the University's various Priority Research Centres, including:
- The Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Disease
- The Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery & Information-Based Medicine
- The Centre for Brain & Mental Health Research
- The Centre for Chemical Biology
- The Centre for Physical Activity & Nutrition
- The Centre for Reproductive Science
The School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy is one of four Schools in the Faculty of Health and currently comprises 45 full-time equivalent academic and 18 full-time equivalent professional staff. Additionally approximately 30 individuals hold Honorary Appointments in the School and make a significant contribution to our research and teaching activities. Consistent with our research-intensive profile, the School is also home to approximately 80 research-focused staff (including three professorial research fellows) and almost 100 research higher degree students.
Our organisational structure
Each of our academic and conjoint staff members contribute to one or more of the School's five teaching Disciplines:
- Human Physiology
- Immunology & Microbiology
- Medical Biochemistry & Genetics
- Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Consistent with the cross-disciplinary nature of modern biomedical research, School members are simultaneously organized, for resourcing purposes, into four research clusters:
- Infection & Immunity
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmacy & Applied Medicines
Recurrent research infrastructure funding awarded to the School is distributed directly to each of these research "clusters", the members of which then collectively decide how the funds can be used to greatest strategic effect.
In addition to a Head of School Professor Darryl Knight there is a Deputy Head A/Professor Phil Dickson. The School has three main governing committees: an Executive Committee (chaired by the Head of School), a Research Committee (Chaired by Prof Robert Callister), and a Teaching & Learning Committee (Chaired by Dr Suzanne Evans). The School's professional staff are divided into a Teaching Support Unit, which is led by the School Executive Officer (Ms Diane Nesbitt), and a Research Support Unit, led by Miss Lorraine Lynch.
The majority of our staff and research students are based in the Medical Sciences and the Life Sciences Buildings on the University's Callaghan campus. However, we also have staff based at the Central Coast campus (Ourimbah), at the University's primary teaching hospital (the John Hunter Hospital) and in the new HMRI Building also located on the John Hunter Hospital Campus.