Abdallah Salem

Dr Abdallah Salem

Head of Discipline - Pharmacology

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Dr Abdallah Salem B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D. (Pharmacology) (Monash)

My research focus is on understanding the central mechanisms responsible for neurotoxic effects of amphetamine derivatives, in particular methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’). My expertise in the use of in vivo microdialysis technique has allowed me to play a significant role in the establishment of a neuropharmacology research facility within our Discipline. This method allows monitoring of chemical changes in the neuronal environment including neurotransmitters, drugs and their metabolites with minimal disruption to brain function. I have established collaboration with the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) to investigate feasibility of using advanced fibre-based temperature probe that will provide repeated and accurate brain temperature measurements. This technique will allow us to monitor previously unattainable details about regional brain temperature differences that cannot be readily achieved with current commercially available devices. The placement of the fibre-based temperature probe will be conducted by using the current approved procedure for microdialysis probe placement.

My research interests also include scholarship of teaching and research in education. I have led major initiatives designed to improve the Discipline’s teaching activities and continue to meet our commitments to excellence in experimental and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics teaching at undergraduate medical, nursing, dental and health sciences programs.I gained high confidence in my role as an education specialist with core values underpinning my commitment to continual improvement incorporating new learning strategies and enhancements that take advantage of the online environment. As an education specialist and an inaugural member of the Adelaide Education Academy, I am using recognised framework to further engage in leading professional learning and teaching activities and to work with my colleagues to continually enhance my teaching and learning techniques.

Available Research Projects

Third year research placement- Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences Program

Honours and Postgraduate projects

The main MDMA-induced adverse effect is disruption of normal thermoregulation leading to life threatening hyperthermia which is exacerbated by high ambient temperature and linked to chronic neurotoxicity. Although the focus of the majority of research on MDMA-induced loss of thermoregulation has been on brain serotonergic and dopaminergic systems, results obtained from our recent studies suggest an association between microglial activation and MDMA-induced hyperthermia.  We have demonstrated that pre-treatment with minocycline, an antibiotic with glial attenuating properties, can significantly reduce the severity of MDMA-induced hyperthermia in rats.  We have also demonstrated that minocycline’s ability to inhibit MDMA induced hyperthermia is time-dependent process and you need up to three days pre-treatment with minocycline to achieve maximum effects. 

Third year research placement, Honours and postgraduate projects are available looking at the underlying mechanisms leading to the disruption of normal thermoregulation in rats and how minocycline reduces the hyperthermic response to MDMA.

Recent eLearning activities and Grants

  •  2017 Adelaide Education Academy grants for e-Learning grant. Virtual behavioural experiments- conducting hands-on lab simulations. $4708
  •  2016 Faculty of Health Sciences eLearning grant. Interactive visual instructional material to support knowledge transfer in addiction studies. $4000
  •  2016 Adelaide Education Academy grants to attend the 2016 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) International Forum. The title of this presentation is 'Global developments in professional development: Engagement with a free online course on Management of addiction by The University of Adelaide'.   $3900
  • 2015 Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Managing Addiction: A Framework for Successful Treatment.  University of Adelaide. $40,000. F Buisman-Pijlman, A Salem.
  • 2013 Received an invitation from the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) to present at the University of Adelaide Festival of Learning and Teaching, which was held in November 2013.
  • Successful application for the 2012 e-Learning Development Grants. Development of Pharmacology Learning Tools to be used on tablet devices, Macs and PCs.  A Salem  $2500
  •  2012 Successfully completed the University of Adelaide's Graduate Certificate in Online Learning (Higher Education).  I have been offered a fee-waived course place by the Faculty as recognition of my e-Learning contributions at Discipline and School level. 2012
  • Received an invitation from the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) to present on a feature of MyUni that is used in an innovative way- Making the Most of MyUni workshop.  2012.
  •  2011 Implementation Grants for Learning and Teaching Enhancements. Development and integration of software for practicum delivery and assessment in third year pharmacology courses. S Smid, A Salem, I Musgrave and A Carrington. $15,000
  • Received an invitation from Associate Dean Learning and Teaching Faculty of Health Sciences, to present at the University of Adelaide Festival of Learning and Teaching, which was held in November 2011.

I gained high confidence in my role as an an inaugural member of the Adelaide Education Academy with core values underpinning my commitment to continual improvement incorporating new learning strategies and enhancements that take advantage of the online environment.  I have developed a self-directed online course component which allows exploitation of the pedagogic advantages of the interactive online material and allows students’ knowledge and understanding to be more deeply assessed. I have presented my work at international learning and teaching conferences and I have been invited to chair a session on emerging e-Learning tools.  I am using recognised framework to further engage in leading professional learning and teaching activities and to work with my colleagues to continually enhance my teaching and learning techniques.

I have worked closely with relevant teaching areas within our School and the Faculty to continually improve quality and standards in courses they offer and implement strategies that are emerging as best practices in assessment and student retentions within programs that are targeted for growth. I have served as the Faculty of Health Sciences Associate Dean (Learning and Quality) in 0.2 FTE from January 2014 to January 2015. I have made significant contributions to quality assurance processes and assessing financial viability of new programs in close consultation with School and Faculty finance teams which involved scrutiny of proposed student enrolments and EFTSL. I have also been appointed as a convenor of the Adelaide Medical School Programs Board and invited to become a member of the Adelaide Medical School Executive Committee (AMSEC). As convenor of the Programs Board, I provide strategic leadership and high level advice to the Head of the School addressing quality assurance processes and emerging issues within all undergraduate and postgraduate programs administered by the School.

I am playing a leadership role as a program co-director of the Master of Science in International Addiction Studies, which includes nested Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma degrees.  I have overseen the recent renewal of the memorandum of agreement and involved in the approvals of the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma degrees. As an academic team member and project co-manager of the free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Managing Addiction: A Framework for Successful Treatment, I have played leadership role in ensuring appropriate delegations of teaching and administrative responsibilities of key Discipline staff involved in leading the development and delivery of the MOOC content.  My role as Head of Discipline and as an active participant in developing the MOOC content involved review of course content including supportive learning tools and closely working with learning designers and story boarders to ensure that the courses we provide to learners are of high quality.  Due to the University’s overarching priorities in developing the assigned MOOCs for 2015, the entire content of the MOOC was developed within seven months and within the budget.  The course run over five weeks starting early October 2015 and attracted 5500 students from 140 countries.  We have received an excellent feedback from the students describing how the MOOC increased their knowledge of addiction in general and the positive impact it had on their work related to addiction treatment.

Course coordinator roles:

  • PHARM 3012- Assessment and Treatment of Addiction- Coordinator- 2019- present
  • NURSING 2010 - Pharmacology for Nursing II- Coordinator- 2016- present
  • HLTH SC 2104 Essential Understanding of Disease and Treatment- (2017-present)
  • Pharm 2100- Drugs and Health coordinator (2012-2016)
  • Medication Management 1A (First year course; Sem 1; BNurs degree) 2006-2013
  • Medication Management 1B (First year course; Sem 2; BNurs degree) 2006-2013
  • Pharmacology and Complementary Therapies 2A (Second year course; Sem 1; BNurs degree) 2007-present
  • Pharmacology and Complementary Therapies 2B (Second year course; Sem 2; BNurs degree) 2007-present
  • (New course name-Nursing 2010 Pharmacology in Nursing II)
  • Honours coordinator (2000-2003; 2005-2012)
  • Postgraduate coordinator (Jun 2006 – Dec 2006)
  • Pharmacology IIIA (Third year course; BHlthSc and BSc degrees; 6 Units); 2003- 2005
  • Concepts in Pharmacology IIIA (Third year course; BHlthSc degree; 3 Units) 2004- 2005
  • Toxicology II (Second year course; BHlthSc degree; 4 Units) 2005Honours coordinator (2000-2003; 2005-2012)

Teaching related Committee and Management Experience

  • Adelaide Medical School Executive Committee member- Nov 2016 - May 2019
  • Convenor of Adelaide Medical School Programs Board- Nov 2016- Sep 2019
  • Associate Dean Learning and Quality, Faculty of Health Sciences Jan – Dec 2014
  • Chair, Faculty of Health Sciences Course and Program Approval Committee   2014- 2015
  • Deputy Chair, Faculty of Health Sciences Course and Program Approval Committee  2012- 2014
  • Chair, School of Medical Sciences Learning and Teaching Committee    2012-2014
  • Member of School of Medical Sciences Board   2012-2014
  • Member of Faculty of Sciences Academic Programs Committee (Faculty of Health Sciences representative) 2012- 2015
    Expand
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 Principal Supervisor MDMA Induced Hyperthermia - The Role of Monocyline on Core Body Temperature Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Stefan Musolino
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2012 - 2015 Principal Supervisor The use of combined telemetry and microdialysis techniques to assess 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') effects in rats Master of Clinical Science Master Full Time Miss Intan Sofia Omar
    2012 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Illicit stimulant use in the population monitored by wastewater analyses Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Chang Chen
    2006 - 2010 Co-Supervisor Thermoregulatory, Behavioural and Neurochemical Effects of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and related stimulant drugs Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Emily Jaehne
    Expand
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    1997 - ongoing Member Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT) Australia
  • Position: Head of Discipline - Pharmacology
  • Phone: 83134327
  • Email: abdallah.salem@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8224 0685
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo South, floor 3
  • Room: S3 13
  • Org Unit: Medical Sciences

Connect With Me
External Profiles