Tuesday, 22 March 2016

SPHPM profiles Dr Julia Gilmartin

Dr Julia Gilmartin is a Dementia Research Development Fellow based in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine in SPHPM. She returns to the Monash fold after spending two years abroad at University College London School of Pharmacy.

Q: What is your role at SPHPM?

A: I am an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow (2016-2019).

I am also a PhD student supervisor, Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) Early-Mid Career Researchers Committee member and Co-Chair of the Conference Subcommittee, and SPHPM Early Career Researcher Representative/Coordinator.

Q: Where have you come from?

A: I was awarded my Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) in 2009, my Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Practice in 2012 and my PhD in 2014, all from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University.

From 2013 to 2015, I was a CW Maplethorpe Postdoctoral Fellow for Pharmaceutical Education and Research at University College London School of Pharmacy. I was also a visiting postdoctoral researcher at the School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland in 2014, supported by an Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Rosemary Foundation Travel Award.

Q: Tell us about your research projects and the recent grants you have received?

In collaboration with my academic supervisors, Professor John McNeil and Associate Professor Simon Bell (Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University), I will be investigating the relationship between medication use and quality of life in aged care facility residents with and without dementia.

I am also continuing to collaborate with existing colleagues at University College London in areas of undergraduate pharmacy education and medicine administration systems in residential aged care facilities, and with colleagues at the University of Eastern Finland on medicine use in persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, I am working with new colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy in the area of undergraduate pharmacy education, supported by a PharmAlliance Grant.

My research interests are in quality use of medicines, public health, undergraduate pharmacy education, medicine use in aged care, pharmacoepidemiology, dementia and cognitive health and ageing.

Q: Can you tell us a bit more about the project you’ll be working on?

My Fellowship project will offer an innovative approach towards improving Australian dementia management, by investigating the under-researched association between medication use and quality of life. The results of this research will guide health professionals to better manage medications. Medication-related factors that may be associated with quality of life include medication regimen complexity (e.g. arising from use of medications that require multiple daily dosing), use of medications with sedative and anticholinergic properties, and use of specific dose forms (e.g. injectables).

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