Philip Burcham


  • The University of Western Australia (M510), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Phil Burcham has over 3 decades of international experience as an educator and researcher in pharmacology and toxicology. 

After completing his PhD in pharmacology in 1990 Phil received postdoctoral training within the Center for Molecular Toxicology at Vanderbilt University in the USA. He then completed a 12-yr period of service as a research academic within the Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology at The University of Adelaide. In 2005 he returned to UWA as an Associate Professor in Pharmacology.

Phil currently has joint appointments across the School of Allied Health as well as the School of Biomedical Science. He has particular resposibilities for the delivery of pharmacology curricular content within the Master of Pharmacy program as well as the undergraduate Major in Pharmacology within the Bachelor of Biomedical Science

With strong interests in the historical and medical impact of the pharmaceutical innovation sector, Phil played a leading role in the development and delivery of UWA's popular first year Broadening Unit PHAR1101 Drugs that Changed the World.

His research interests are focussed on the exploration of novel therapeutic strategies for preventing cell and tissue damage caused by oxidants and reactive electrophiles that form during free radical-mediated damage to cell membranes.

Together with colleagues in the Discipline of Chemistry, Phil is particularly interested in developing ways to block the pathogenetic role of acrolein, a highly noxious aldehyde, in a diverse range of diseases that include pulmonary disorders caused by inhaled smoke as well as neurogenerative conditions that accompany neurotrauma.

Phil's book An Introduction to Toxicology was published by Springer (UK) in 2014. A British Toxicology Society reviewer described it as "one of the best I have referred to in recent times… This book should be a point of reference for any modern toxicologist."

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Industry keywords

  • Medicine and Pharma

Research expertise keywords

  • Protein damage by reactive chemicals
  • Toxicological consequences of drug metabolism
  • Toxicology of reactive chemicals
  • Toxicology of smoke induced lung injury


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