The Ian Wark Research Institute, or The Wark, was named in recognition of eminent Australian scientist, Sir Ian William Wark (1899-1985) and has been an integral part of the University of South Australia since it was established in 1994.
The research centres on chemistry and physics at interfaces, having applications in a number of areas including nano-medicine and bio-pharmaceuticals.
With a multidisciplinary team combining skills and experience in pharmaceutical science, physical chemistry and material engineering, The Wark aims to bridge the research and knowledge gaps in the development of smart nano-systems for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. This includes; Advanced drug delivery systems (to improve/ control pharmacokinetics of drugs and replace invasive by non-invasive routes of administration); Pro-drugs and gene therapies (to increase the efficiency of therapies and localised/ intracellular therapeutic delivery); Biomaterials (to improve cell-material interactions and functionalities) and In vitro diagnostics and in vivo imaging (for rapid and effective monitoring of various pathologies).
The Wark has actively established alliances with pharmaceutical and research institutions both within Australia and internationally to generate breakthroughs in the prevention, diagnostics and treatment of diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory and infectious diseases.