Research opportunities

The College of Pharmacy’s faculty, staff, and students are involved in a wide range of research activities—from the basic pharmaceutical sciences, to clinical research and policy research. Recently, members of the faculty have been very successful in obtaining funding to pursue activities that will help to improve the medication-use system and the profession of pharmacy.

Professors' research projects

Dr. Remigius Agu’s main research focus is to develop and optimize new nasal drug delivery systems and screening methods that may be used in treating various diseases. The main attractions for administering drugs nasally are

  • a highly vascularized epithelium with large surface area for drug absorption;
  • avoidance of pre-systemic drug metabolism by the liver;
  • quick onset of pharmacological activity;
  • high bioavailability;
  • and the potential for direct drug delivery to the brain.

In spite of these advantages, some challenges must be considered when adopting a nasal delivery route. Dr. Agu’s research addresses some of these problems.

Dr. Anne Marie Whelan won a Canadian College of Clinical Pharmacy (CCCP) Research Award in 2007 for her project entitled “Efficacy of Natural Health Products for Osteoporosis: What Is the Quality of Internet Patient Advice?” She presented the results of her study at the 2009 CCCP Annual Meeting. Dr. Whelan also won the CCCP mini-sabbatical grant in 2008 to work with Dr. Lori Dickerson in Charleston, North Carolina, in the area of family medicine. She has been applying the experience she gained in North Carolina to support primary care initiatives in progress in Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada. 

Dr. Peter Zed and co-investigators were awarded two national awards for their research from the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP):

  • the Patient Care Enhancement Award for the study “Incidence, Severity and Preventability of Drug-Related Visits to the Emergency Department: A Prospective Study”
  • the Pharmacotherapy Best Practice Award for the study “Efficacy, Safety and Patient Satisfaction of Propofol for Procedural Sedation and Analgesia in the Emergency Department.”

Students' research projects

As a student in the College of Pharmacy, you might have the opportunity to participate in different kinds of research projects:

  • During your summer rotations in a community pharmacy, you could research a disease state and present an information workshop or pamphlet to patients/clients.
  • You could get a position working on a professor’s research project, such as projects related to drug use management and policy.
  • In the summer term, a variety of research assistant positions are available for pharmacy students through the College of Pharmacy.