Associate Professor Kathryn Steadman

Associate Professor

School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Affiliated Associate Professor

Centre for Crop Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
k.steadman@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 61886

Overview

I completed my Bachelor of Pharmacy at Kings College London, followed by pre-registration and subsequent employment as a pharmacist with Boots the Chemists in Central London. I then did my PhD in plant biochemistry with Royal Holloway College, University of London, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, followed by postdoctoral research positions at Cornell University, USA and The University of Western Australia.

I moved to the School of Pharmacy at The University of Queensland as senior lecturer in 2007 and Associate Professor in 2011. I was the Chair of Teaching and Learning for the School between 2009 and 2011.

Following a number of years in plant research, my current research interests generally link back to plants in some way. Many of my projects develop in response to requests for help from healthcare professionals, and so I have a strong focus on answering clinical questions using pharmaceutical science methods. See my research profile for more information.

After two periods of maternity leave during 2012-2014 I am currently working part time while my children are young.

Research Interests

  • Medication delivery
    • People who cannot swallow tablets whole often cut or crush them. We are considering the effect of crushing and splitting tablets or capsules on drug delivery and bioavailability, particularly where the crushed tablets are mixed with liquids thickened with plant gums as these have the potential to significantly delay drug dissolution. • Improving the treatment of xerostomia is being approached through considering approaches to saliva replacement, and through investigating options for buccal delivery of pilocarpine.
  • Non-cigarette sources of nicotine
    • Electronic nicotine delivery devices have potential to reduce tobacco use among smokers. We are interested in the regulation and perceptions of e-cigarettes in Australia and their potential for use as a nicotine replacement therapy. • Leaves from Australian species of Nicotiana are mixed with wood ash for chewing/sucking as a source of nicotine (commonly called pituri or mingkulpa) by some Australian Aboriginal people. We are interested in pituri use, chemical components of the pituri plants, and historical collections of pituri in museums.
  • Complementary medicines
    Complementary Medicines are large category of products sold within pharmacies that include herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, vitamins & minerals, homeopathy and aromatherapy. Evidence supporting their efficacy for claimed indications is variable, with some being strong while others are exceptionally weak or non-existent. • People who have been diagnosed with cancer, and are being treated with curative intent (i.e. have a good chance of being cured), often choose to use complementary medicines in addition or instead of standard therapies. We are investigating drivers behind these choices and the complementary medicines that they choose to use. • We are considering the treatment of childhood complaints such as teething pain in terms of the options available to parents and choices made, and evidence for efficacy of complementary medicines for these indications.
  • Plant biology
    • Seed longevity describes the ability to withstand extremely dry conditions for many years, retaining viability in order to germinate when eventually provided with water. This enables germplasm storage for future use, conserving the biodiversity that may one day provide important lead compounds in drug discovery. My research has included investigating the link between carbohydrate composition and seed longevity, the role of maternal environment, harvest and storage conditions on seed longevity, and the relationship between seed ageing in the soil vs. controlled storage. • Seed germination is an essential step in the production of a plant, whether for nutritional, pharmaceutical or ecological purposes. My research has included an ARC Discovery project investigating a novel blue light-regulated dormancy mechanism in Lolium rigidum, an ARC Linkage project directed at controlling and predicting seed germination of Australian plants required for minesite revegetation, and an ARC Linkage project investigating germination ecology of Australian alpine species with respect to climate change. Current research is investigating complex dormancy issues in Tasmanian species in collaboration with the Seed Conservation Centre at the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of London
  • Bachelor Pharmacy Honours, University of London

Publications

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Grants

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Supervision

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Available Projects

    • Electronic cigarettes as nicotine replacement therapy: various topics, from running a clinical trial testing efficacy of e-cigs as NRT, to considering the attitudes of Australian health professionals towards e-cigs. In collaboration with Associate Professor Coral Gartner in the School of Public Health.
    • Safety of production and processing workers involved with Duboisia production: extent and mechanism of scopolamine absorption. Needs skills in analytical chemistry along with good interpersonal skills to interact with Duboisia farm workers.
    • Duboisia hopwoodii vs Nicotiana sp. - what is being absorbed when it is chewed as pituri? Needs skills in analytical chemistry. An interest in travelling inland to western Queensland to collect plant material would be useful.
    • Complementary medicine use for maternal and childhood health, such as controlling milk production, treating teething pain, reducing colic.
    • Stability of compounded products prepared and used in hospitals, or products that are stored under non-ideal conditions such as in doctor's bags and in ambulances during hot summer months.
    • Tell me what you are interested in or what question you want to address. I have a very wide ranging experience and have supervised students in many different fields. I'm happy to construct projects and supervision teams to suit students.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

    • Electronic cigarettes as nicotine replacement therapy: various topics, from running a clinical trial testing efficacy of e-cigs as NRT, to considering the attitudes of Australian health professionals towards e-cigs. In collaboration with Associate Professor Coral Gartner in the School of Public Health.
    • Safety of production and processing workers involved with Duboisia production: extent and mechanism of scopolamine absorption. Needs skills in analytical chemistry along with good interpersonal skills to interact with Duboisia farm workers.
    • Duboisia hopwoodii vs Nicotiana sp. - what is being absorbed when it is chewed as pituri? Needs skills in analytical chemistry. An interest in travelling inland to western Queensland to collect plant material would be useful.
    • Complementary medicine use for maternal and childhood health, such as controlling milk production, treating teething pain, reducing colic.
    • Stability of compounded products prepared and used in hospitals, or products that are stored under non-ideal conditions such as in doctor's bags and in ambulances during hot summer months.
    • Tell me what you are interested in or what question you want to address. I have a very wide ranging experience and have supervised students in many different fields. I'm happy to construct projects and supervision teams to suit students.