Dr Kevin Owen Hicks



Kevin obtained his veterinary training and BVSc from the Massey University and PhD in Pharmacology from The University of Auckland.

Research interests

For full details on research and teaching see Kevin's homepage.

Research | Current

  • The use of 3-dimensional tissue culture techniques to investigate anticancer drug transport and activity.
  • Spatially resolved pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modelling of anticancer drug transport and cytotoxicity.
  • The design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel 1,2,4-benzotriazine dioxides as hypoxia-selective cytotoxins bioreductive drugs.

Research activity

Kevin's research involves the use of multicellular layers (MCL) to investigate the extravascular transport of anticancer drugs. Multicellular layers are a model for the tumour extravascular compartment similar to multicellular spheroids but their planar geometry diffusion studies to be performed in diffusion chambers to assess drug transport.

Results of MCL studies require interpretation by modelling drug transport in tumours constrained by tumour geometry and blood/plasma drug pharmacokinetics. In collaboration with Dr Timothy Secomb at The University of Arizona and Dr Mark Dewhirst at The tumor Microcirculation Laboratory, Duke University we have developed a spatially resolved 3-dimensional PK/PD model for the extravascular transport of hypoxic cytotoxins. This program is available for download on Kevin's homepage.

These techniques can be used to assist in drug design programs in order to introduce PK/PD and, in particular, extravascular transport early in the drug design process.

Postgraduate supervision

Current Post-Graduate Students

Mohammed Abuwarwar, The relationship between cell killing by SN30000/radiation combinations and growth delay in multicellular tumour spheroids, MSc

Cho Rong Hong, Bystander effects of hypoxia activted prodrugs in multicellular spheroids and tumours

Xinjian Mao, Drug and radiation interactions with hypoxia activted prodrugs in three dimensional cell cultures

Previous Students

Hong Nam Shin, The pH and Pka dependence of cellular metabolism and cygotoxicity of dual hypoxia and pH acid BTO analogues, MSc

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 504 - Bldg 504
Level 0, Room 001
New Zealand

Web links