Dr John Duley

Senior Research Fellow

School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 334 61897


Expert in diseases of metabolism, and individual responses to drugs (pharmacogenetics).

John graduated in Science at the University of Sydney, then completed a PhD in Biochemical Genetics at La Trobe University (1976). As a postdoc, he studied wound healing and cell biology in the Surgery Dept, Christchurch Hospital, NZ (from 1977), and worked on alcohol genetics at Griffith University (1980-84). He moved to the UK in late 1986, and trained in Metabolic Diseases at Guy’s Hospital in London, specialising in purines and pyrimidines (1987-90). There he also established an early diagnostic service in pharmacogenetics (1991): the result has been the largest pharmacogenetic lab in Britain. In 2003 John returned to Australia, working in the metabolic unit of Pathology at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, then joining the School of Pharmacy at the University of Queensland. He sat on the FDA subcommittee advising on regulation of the burgeoning US pharmacogenetics industry.

Research Impacts

2004 - Aust Patent 2004906351, ‘A containment device’. Mater Medical Research Institute (MMRI). (lapsed)

2004-5 - Invited member of FDA subcommittee on ‘Thiopurine Pharmacogenetics’ (USA) (provision of expert advice, policy development).

2006 - US Patent 20050202483, ‘ITPase gene polymorphisms associated with adverse drug reactions to azathioprine therapy’. Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, London. (active)

2006 - Invited Member, Pharmacogenetics Interest Group of Australasia (Chair: Prof Les Sheffield, Melbourne) - Objective: “to foster more collaboration with the clinical groups making access to samples easier, and raising the profile and need for funding in Australia for Pharmacogenetics.” Subsequently incorporated into ASCEPT as a Special Interest Group. (influence on policy development and public practice).

2010 and 2014 - Invited by the Royal College of Pathology of Australia to write the on-line “Pathology Decision Support Tool” for “Thiopurines” – for RCPA website.


UK: Dr Tony Marinaki, Dr Lynette Fairbanks, Purine Research Lab, Guy’s Hospital, London. Lengthy collaborations incl. first description of ITPA gene, thiopurine pharmacogenetics and metabolism [continuing].

UK: Dr Gerald Connolly, Postdoctoral Fellow, Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, St George's Hospital, University of London. First descriptions of pyrimidine receptors in neurones.

Brazil: Professor Pedro Chocair, Director, Unidade de Transplante Renale (UTR), Hospital das Clinicas, Sao Paulo. Early descriptions of TPMT and thiopurine pharmacogenetics. Collaboration includes co-organising the ‘3rd International Thiopurine Symposium’at Sao Paulo in 2010. [continuing]

Netherlands: Dr Andre Van Kuilenberg, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam. Fluoropyrimidine pharmacogenetics [ continuing]

UK: Dr Azhar Ansari, Gastroenterology Consultant, Redhill Hospital, London [continuing].

Saudi Arabia: Dr Mazin Zamzami, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah. PhD in mechanisms of oncological transformation, rogue nucleotides [continuing].

Saudi Arabia: Dr Saad Al Sehri, Taif College of Health Sciences in Saudi Arabia. PhD in oxidative regulation on oral microflora [continuing].


Professor Timothy Florin, Gastroenterology, Mater Health Services (MHS). Research on thioguanine nucleotides in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients and on thioguanine induced veno-occlusive disease (VOD). Grants, Co-supervise PhD [continuing].

Prof Nick Shaw, UQ School of Pharmacy. Salivary purines and pyrimidines, co-supervised PhD (S Al-Shehri). Co-CI, NHMRC.[continuing]

Dr Helen Liley, Consultant, Neonatal Unit, Mater Mothers’ Hospital. Collaborating on saliva and other drug projects. Co-CI, NHMRC.[continuing]

A/Prof Christine Knox, IHBI/QUT. Project on ‘Nucleotide Metabolites in Saliva’. Co-CI, NHMRC. [continuing].


  • PhD, La Trobe University
  • Bachelor of Science Honours, The University of Sydney


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • de Brouwer, A. P. M., Duley, J. A. and Christodoulou, J. (2016). Phosphoribosylpyrophosphate Synthetase Superactivity. In GeneReviews 1993-2016 ed. () Seattle, WA, United States: University of Washington.

  • De Brouwer, Arjan P. M., Duley, John A. and Christodoulou, John (2013). Phosphoribosylpyrophosphate Synthetase Superactivity. In GeneReviews (pp. ---) Seattle, WA, United States: University of Washington.

  • de Brouwer, Arjan P. M., Duley, John A. and Christodoulou, John (2008). Arts syndrome. In Roberta A. Pagon, Thomas D. Bird, Cynthia R. Dolan, Richard J.H. Smith and Karen G. Stephens (Ed.), GeneReviews (pp. x-x) Seattle, WA, U.S.A.: University of Washington, Seattle.

  • Oancea, I. and Duley, J. A. (2008). Pharmacogenetics of thiopurines. In Laurence L. Brunton, Keith L. Parker, Donald K. Blumenthal and Iain L.O. Buxton. (Ed.), Goodman and Gilman's the Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics 11th [electronic] ed. (pp. xx-xx) New York, United States: McGraw-Hill Medical.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision