Associate Professor Kathryn Steadman

Associate Professor

School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 334 61886


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.

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 interests for more information.

I teach into the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) in the areas of pharmaceutics, compounding and complementary medicines. I also teach the clinical drug development course for our Master of Pharmaceutical Industry Practice. I was the Chair of Teaching and Learning for the School of Pharmacy between 2009 and 2011, and, after a couple of periods of maternity leave, am currently the Director of Student Experience. I have supervised 25 PhD students to completion, and over 60 undergraduate and masters independent research project students.

Research Interests

  • Non-cigarette sources of nicotine
    • Electronic nicotine delivery devices have potential to reduce tobacco use among smokers. We are interested in the regulation of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes in Australia and their effectiveness as a nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. • 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, and chemical components of the pituri plants. • While for most smokers it is the non-nicotine nasties in tobacco smoke that are the primary cause of detrimental health effects of smoking, the nicotine is also a problem for neonates, babies, children and youth. We are investigating the influence of nicotine from all sources (e.g. vaping, pituri, patches, gums as well as smoking) on weight and health of babies.
  • Medication delivery
    • People who cannot swallow tablets whole often cut or crush them. We apply the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) framework to assess swallowing safety of oral medicines. We are also investigating 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 delay drug dissolution. • Improving the treatment of xerostomia is being approached through considering approaches to saliva replacement, buccal delivery of pilocarpine, and information sources for pharmacies to assist with product selection.
  • Complementary medicines
    Complementary Medicines are a 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. In collaboration with Dr Beth Steels of Evidence Sciences, we are involved in running clinical trials of complementary medicines to investigate evidence for their effectiveness.


View all Publications

Available Projects

View all Available Projects


Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal 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.