Dr James Robert Falconer


School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 334 61852


In 2000, I received a BSc in Genetics from the University of Otago, then completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Bioethics) and Masters in Health Sciences (Philosophy) in 2001 and 2003, respectively. My Master's thesis title was "Genetic modification and the facts: an ethical analysis of the GM debate". Library details here and was undertaken with supervision by Dr. Neil Pickering at the University of Otago. In 2003, I began studies in Pharmacy at the University of Otago from Second year, then transferred to the University of Auckland in 2004 (Third year) and in 2005, received my BPharm(Hons) and undertook my internship at Middlemore Hospital (2006), and was then employed as a clinical pharmacist in general surgery during 2007. Later in 2007, I was awarded with the Technology for Industry Fellowship (TIF) from the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science & Technology (FRST) with joint funding from Pharmaceutical Compounding New Zealand (PCNZ) to complete a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences – Pharmacy at the University of Auckland. The PhD project title was “Development of a transdermal delivery for progesterone using supercritical carbon dioxide”. The PhD research was supervised by Dr. Jingyuan Wen and Prof. Raid Alany.

During the PhD, we developed a unique supercritical fluid (SCF) method as a preparation alternative to solvent evaporation, co-melting, and physical mixing techniques. In order to characterize the resulting dispersion systems, an in vitro dissolution method was employed to compare conventional diffusion and erosion processes to dual-first order release, also using Raman and infrared spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, scannine electron microscopy, and birefringence. Moreover, I developed a linear and non-linear experimental design to determine significant processing factors and optmise the manufactured SCF prepared dispersion systems. Finally, we developed an ex vivo permeability study using mouse and porcine skin which was used as a simple tool to assess the transfer of progesterone across the skin.

Research Interests

  • Supercritical fluid technology
  • Solid state of drugs and dosage forms
  • Quantitative analysis using Raman and IR spectroscopy and chemometrics
  • Non-linear release modelling such as dual first order
  • In situ gelling systems for systemic drug delivery
  • Synthesis and characterization of bioactive polymorphic transformations
  • SCF preparation of advnaced delivery systems such as liposomes and solid lipid particles
  • Spray jet behaviour during SCF rapid exapnsion using in situ spectroscopy
  • SCF extraction of bioactive molecules from indigenous plants


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Auckland
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences, University of Otago
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy, The University of Auckland
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Otago


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Journal Article

Other Outputs

  • Batt, Laurie Robert, Win, Su, Davies, Keryn, Gill, David Anthony, Falconer, James Robert, Cleverly, Douglas Robert and Wu, Zimei (2016). Transdermal formulations. WO 2014132227 A1.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors: