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JO O’NEIL

Jo (Jocelyn) O'Neil is a pharmacologist. Her career which she describes here demonstrates how varied and rewarding a life in science can be for women.


I am a pharmacologist, graduating from the University of Sydney with an MSc then a PhD in Pharmacology (1961). Pharmacology is the study of the effects of drugs. My experience as a pharmacologist has included the analysis of the possible uses of drugs, studies related to the development of new drugs, and assessment of the reasonable and safe uses of drugs.


After completing my PhD I was awarded a Riker International Post Doctoral Fellowship, which I took up at the University of London. After the birth of my first child I worked part time at several Universities before joining the Department of Pharmacology newly established at Monash University in 1976.


On retiring as Associate Professor from the Department of Pharmacology within the Faculty of Medicine at Monash University (Clayton) in 2000, I held an honorary appointment at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Melbourne. I am currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Biology, Monash University, Parkville.


I have over forty years experience in teaching pharmacology and toxicology to undergraduate students. Students taught have included those in Arts, Science, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Optometry, Biomedical Sciences, Law, Medicine, Radiography, Vet Science and Diploma/Master in Reproductive Sciences. I have taught students at the Universities of Sydney, London, Minnesota, Melbourne and Newcastle as well as at Monash University.


I have served on a number of Monash University and Faculty Committees including Intellectual Property, Health Services, Academic Board, Reader and Associate Professor Promotion Committees, Animal Services (Deputy Chair), Affirmative Action Co-ordinating Committee (Chair), PhD and Scholarships Committee and have acted as Deputy Head of the Pharmacology Department.


My research interests, developed in Australia, Britain and the United States, include drug development and reproductive pharmacology, in particular the factors regulating hormonal and neural influences on genito-urinary health. I have supervised over 50 Honours and post graduate research students, and have over one hundred and twenty peer-reviewed research publications as well as over 200 research communications. I have held several peer-reviewed research grants, mainly from NH&MRC.


I am a consultant to the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Pharmacology and have acted as a reviewer for 25 major scientific journals. I am a life member of the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists, and a retired member of the British Pharmacological Society. I am also a member of the Lyceum Club, the Australian Federation of University Women and WISENET. I was the local co-ordinator for WiseNet for two years.


My extra curricular interests are especially my family including 5 grandchildren; family and 19th century Victorian history; the Spanish language; music and travel. Recent and current community service includes chairing Graduate Women Victoria panels awarding grants to disadvantaged female tertiary students, and co-editing a newsletter for the Merricks Beach Community.

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