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  • 1996, BSc, Flinders University
  • 2000, BPharm (Hons), University of South Australia
  • 2006, PhD, Flinders University
(+61 8) 8204 4031

Dr Thomas Polasek obtained a Bachelor of Science from Flinders University in 1996 with major studies in the biological and biomedical sciences. He received his Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) from the University of South Australia in 2000, before training as a Pharmacist at Flinders Medical Centre. During 2002 he commenced a PhD program in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology. He was appointed as Associate Lecturer in 2005 and completed his PhD in 2006. In 2007, Tom was appointed as Lecturer.


Thomas's research focuses on the clinical importance of drug-drug interactions that arise via inhibition of human cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP). Laboratory experiments are used together with computer simulations to predict which combinations of drugs are dangerous. This approach, called in vitro - in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE), is very powerful because it ultimately tells doctors which drugs to avoid prescribing together. It also allows the safety of new drugs to be assessed thoroughly before they are given to patients.

Some of the most dangerous drugs are those that strongly inhibit the metabolism of others via a process called 'mechanism-based inactivation'. In vitro techniques have been developed (Prof John Miners) to understand the CYP selectivity and potency of many inactivating drugs, enabling prediction of the clinical consequences. IVIVE capabilities have been enhanced using the Simcyp® population-based pharmacokinetics simulator (Prof Amin Rostami-Hodjegan ), a cutting-edge computer software package that allows inter-individual variability and extreme scenarios to be analysed for the identification of 'at risk' individuals.

Clinical decision making tools for drug-drug interactions are also being developed to replace existing resources for healthcare provides that are inadequate (Dr Matt Doogue).


Thomas' teaching expertise includes pharmacodynamics, autonomic and central nervous system pharmacology, gastrointestinal and renal system physiology and pharmacology, drug addiction and the mechanisms of tolerance and dependence, drugs for overweight patients, toxicodynamics, the toxicology of metals and pesticides, and toxins found in animals, plants and food.

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Professional Activities

  • Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT)
  • International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX)
  • Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)
  • Registered Pharmacist, Pharmacy Board of SA
  • Manuscript Reviewer, British Journal of Pharmacology and British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology