Dr Rhys Ponton
BPharm, PhD, Pharmacist Independent Prescriber (UK).
Dr Rhys Ponton is an experienced pharmacist with over two decades of work in a number of fields including clinical pharmacy, pharmaceutical teaching and research.
His PhD, undertaken at the University of Bath in the UK, was entitled 'Evidence-based harm reduction' and examined the risks posed by injections prepared from heroin and crack-cocaine by learning injection preparation techniques from needle exchange service users, then examining similarly prepared injections under laboratory conditions. He remains fascinated by illicit drug use from both social and pharmaceutical perspectives.
Rhys joined the School of Pharmacy, the University of Auckland in May 2016.
Research | Current
- Illicit drug injection in New Zealand
- Opioid use disorder treatment and opioid misuse
- Psychedelic 'microdosing' in practice
Teaching | Current
Rhys has been extensively involved in teaching at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level for most of his career. As well as teaching, he oversees the running of courses in the senior Course Director role. He also is involved in curriculum development at all levels of pharmacy education. His teaching extends beyond New Zealand with longstanding participation in UK postgraduate pharmacist teaching.
Rhys is currently involved in the following courses:
- PHARMACY 312 (Third-year BPharm Course comprising of Endocrinology, Women's & Men's Health, Ear/Eye/Dental/Pain and Haematology modules)
- PHARMACY 769 (Postgraduate Pharmacist Prescribing)
- PHARMACY 770 (Postgraduate Pharmacist Prescribing)
- PHARMACY 411 (Undergraduate, final year) Psychiatry and Drug Misuse Module
Lectures and Workshop Teaching:
- PHARMACY 213, PHARMACY 311, PHARMACY 411, PHARMACY 769, PHARMACY 770
University of Auckland:
- MBChB 501A School of Medical Sciences/School of Population Health
- PHARMACY 111G General Education 'Drugs and Society’
- Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy – PHM036 - Online Distance: Developing and Implementing Models of Care, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK.
- Pharmacy 312 (Third-year BPharm Course comprising of Endocrinology, Women's & Men's Health, Ear/Eye/Dental/Pain and Haematology modules)
- Pharmacy 769 & Pharmacy 770 (Postgraduate Pharmacist Prescribing)
Areas of expertise
- Drug policy, in particular the impact this has on the health of drug users
- Drug misuse, specifically methods used by drug users to ingest drugs, the risks posed by these routes and the development of measures to reduce harm during illicit drug use
- Treatment of substance use disorders
- Psychedelic drug use, including 'microdosing'
- Pain treatment and the use of opioid analgesics in chronic pain
- Medicines optimisation in primary care
- Mental health
2017 onwards – Governance Board member, Healthcare Career Pathways Project (formerly the Faculty Tracking Project), FMHS
2017 onwards – Scientific Committee member, Healthcare Career Pathyways Project (formerly Faculty Tracking Project), FMHS
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Sumner, R. L., McMillan, R., Spriggs, M. J., Campbell, D., Malpas, G., Maxwell, E., ... Sundram, F. (2020). Ketamine improves short-term plasticity in depression by enhancing sensitivity to prediction errors. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 38, 73-85. 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.07.009
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachael Sumner, Rebecca McMillan, Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, Frederick Sundram
- McMillan, R., Sumner, R., Forsyth, A., Campbell, D., Malpas, G., Maxwell, E., ... Sundram, F. (2020). Simultaneous EEG/fMRI recorded during ketamine infusion in patients with major depressive disorder. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry, 9910.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109838
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachael Sumner, Frederick Sundram, Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, Anna Forsyth, Rebecca McMillan
- Ponton, R., & George, J. (2020). Pharmaceutical opioid changes risk overdose increase in New Zealand. The New Zealand medical journal, 133 (1511), 95-96.
- Sumner, R. L., McMillan, R., Spriggs, M. J., Campbell, D., Malpas, G., Maxwell, E., ... Kirk, I. J. (2020). Ketamine Enhances Visual Sensory Evoked Potential Long-term Potentiation in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder. Biological psychiatry. Cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging, 5 (1), 45-55. 10.1016/j.bpsc.2019.07.002
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rebecca McMillan, Rachael Sumner, Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, Ian Kirk, Frederick Sundram
- Ponton, R., Noller, G., Berry, R., & Bullen, C. (2019). ILLICIT DRUG INJECTION IN NEW ZEALAND: DETAILING THE PROCESS TO REDUCE THE HARMS. DRUG AND ALCOHOL REVIEW. (pp. 1).
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Chris Bullen
- Ponton, R. (2019). Faking it: the use of imitation drugs in research interviews. JOURNAL OF SUBSTANCE USE10.1080/14659891.2019.1659870
- Sheridan, J. L., Nielsen, S., & Ponton, R. (2019). Drug misuse and dependence: The role of community pharmacy. Encyclopedia of Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Pharmacy (pp. 268-277). 10.1016/B978-0-128-12735-3.00064-9
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janie Sheridan
- Ponton, R., & Yan, S. (5/11/2018). Predicting harms posed by the illicit injection of pharmaceutical preparations in New Zealand. Poster presented at Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol & other Drugs (APSAD) 2018, Auckland, New Zealand. Drug and Alcohol Review (Nov 2018), 37 (Suppl. 3), 1–75. Related URL.