Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology Group

About us

As part of the SACTRC collaboration, we have developed a centre of clinical toxicology research excellence in Sri Lanka – largely funded by the NHMRC and Wellcome Trust International Collaborative Research Grant scheme. The main focus of this work is pesticide poisoning, although the collaboration began with trials on snake envenomation and oleander poisoning and continues to be active in researching these areas and in other community based public and mental health projects. My particular interests within undergraduate teaching are problem-based learning, evidence-based clinical teaching and computer-assisted learning (CAL) with a focus on clinical pharmacology and toxicology and understanding the immediate relevance of mechanisms to clinical practice.

Thesis topics for current UNSW Medicine postgraduate research students

  • A pilot study on measurement of novel urinary bio-markers of acute kidney injury caused by nephrotoxins
  • Environmental exposure to pesticides and potential health effects.
  • Political analysis of policy to reduce burden of suicide in Sri Lanka

Other Postgraduate Research  
I have current HDR students enrolled (at UNSW and elsewhere) investigating:

  • measurement and effects of exposure to pesticides in pregnancy
  • changing pesticide regulation policy
  • improved diagnosis and management of organophosphorus pesticide poisoning
  • the effects of immunosuppressants and antioxidants in paraquat poisoning.
  • Biomarkers of acute kidney injury from drugs, poisoning and envenomation
  • the long term effects of organophosphorus poisoning on the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system

You can contact Professor Nicholas Buckley at


Grants & Funding

2012-2015: NHMRC Project Grant 1030069. Neurotoxicity after acute anticholinesterase pesticide poisoning and envenomation. $970,970. Buckley NA, Senanayake N, Isbister G, Dawson A, Karalliedde L, de Silva J.

2011-2013: NHMRC Project Grant 1011772. Biomarkers of acute renal toxicity in humans. $1,044,710. Buckley NA, Endre Z, Dawson A, Isbister GK, Sheriff MHR, Roberts M.

2012 UNSW Major Research Equipment & Infrastructure Scheme - NHMRC
Equipment Grant. Renal biomarkers. $414,545. Endre Z, Buckley NA, Peake P, Erlich J, Shehabi Y

2011-2014: NHMRC Project Grant 1010370. Randomised clinical trial of antivenom after red belly black snake bite. $445,576. Isbister G, Buckley NA, Hodgson W.

2011. Kidney Health Australia/Project Grants. Investigating fragments of kidney cells in the urine for markers of kidney injury. $50,000. Endre Z, Peake P, Buckley NA.

2010-2012: NHMRC Project Grant 631073: Does Fresh Frozen Plasma in Russells viper bite coagulopathy reduce the dose and duration of antivenom therapy? $600,500. Isbister G, Buckley NA, deSilva HD, Dawson A, Lalloo D.

2010-2013: NHMRC Project Grant 630650. A cluster randomised controlled trial of a comprehensive program for rural hospitals in emergency management of acute poisoning. $724,090. Dawson A, Buckley NA, Dibley M.

2010: UNSW Goldstar award. Biomarkers of acute renal toxicity in humans. $40,000.

2008-2010: NHMRC Project Grant 490305. A Randomised Controlled Trial of Factor Replacement Therapy in Snake Bite Coagulopathy. $689,500. Isbister G, Brown S, Buckley NA, Seldon M.

2004-2009: The Wellcome Trust/NHMRC International Collaborative Research Grants (ICRG) scheme. GR071669MA. Reducing deaths from pesticide poisoning - Establishing a regional toxicology research centre. UK£1,250,000 ($3,078,038). Buckley N, Senanayake N, Dawson AH, Sheriff R, Fernando R, Henry DA.

2006-2009: Role of immunosuppression in the treatment of acute paraquat self-poisoning – a randomised controlled trial; Eddleston M, Wilks M, Buckley N, Juszczak E. Syngenta Corporation. US$270,000.

2002-2007: The Wellcome Trust - UK£699,801 - GR063560MA. Eddleston M, Warrell D, Sheriff R, Buckley N, Juszczak E. Organophosphate pesticide poisoning in Sri Lanka- Management, complications and pharmacogenetics.