What are your research interests?
- Therapeutic drug monitoring using microsampling such as fingerprick blood sampling
- Stability and compatibility of admixtures of drugs for infusion and in pharmaceutical products in the clinical setting
- Medicinal use of cannabis
- Use of technology to enhance student learning
Why did you get into research?
As a pharmacist, I could see the very real need for approaches to prescribing medicines that would enable the dose to be tailored for every individual patient to ensure best outcome and reduce side effects. Tailoring doses of medicines requires an understanding of how our bodies handle drugs and how that differs between people. This led me to work in clinical pharmacology which is the study of how drugs work in the body and therapeutic drug monitoring which is measuring drug levels in the blood and using these to adjust doses in patients.
What would be the ultimate goal for your research?
My overall aim is to provide approaches and information that help clinicians to better use medicines in day to day practice. Development of fingerprick blood testing for drugs used in chemotherapy for cancer or to control rejection in transplant patients would pave the way for people to easily collect blood samples at home and send these in to the laboratory for analysis. This would enable better monitoring and dosing of their medication and would provide equitable access to this no matter where a patient lives. Being able to analyse drug levels in very small blood drops would also enable research in children and babies where current methods requiring large volumes of blood cannot be done and we therefore lack knowledge on how these very young patients handle drugs making it difficult to know what dose to give to very sick young patients.
Associate Professor Jenny Schneider completed her Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) and PhD in Pharmacy at the University of Queensland. After working as a researcher in Clinical Pharmacology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, she moved to Newcastle where she set up research in palliative care and worked as a specialist palliative care pharmacist at the Calvary Mater Hospital for ten years. During this time, she worked with Dr Andrew Dickman in the UK to prepare an international clinical reference book on drugs used in syringe drivers in palliative care.
In 2003, she was employed by the University of Newcastle to help establish a new Pharmacy degree program at the University. During establishing and teaching into this degree, she developed a keen interest in use of technology to facilitate learning.
Jenny now works in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Newcastle and this has enabled her to focus on developing research in the area of therapeutic drug monitoring, cannabis and drug stability.
Developing therapeutic drug monitoring using blood microsampling techniques for clinical translational to routine use.
- HPLC analysis of drugs and pharmaceutical products
- Drug stability studies
- Clinical pharmacy
- Developing online resources and simple augmented reality for teaching
The chemotherapy drug, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), or its oral pro-drug capecitabine, are commonly used in treating oesophageal and gastric cancer. The dose a patient receives is currently determined using body surface area. This approach, however, produces outcomes ranging from poor efficacy to toxicity including mouth ulcers, diarrhoea or life threatening febrile neutropenia.