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Biographical entry Thorp, Roland Herbert (1915 - 1987)

29 November 1915
Guildford, United Kingdom
9 May 1987
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia


Roland Thorp was foundation Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Sydney and did much to promote pharmacology in Australia. As well as teaching, he worked to establish pharmacology as a discipline in its own right rather than ancillary to medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and dentistry. To foster research in his Department Thorp attracted financial support from commercial pharmaceutical companies to establish research fellowships in the Department. Research was conducted on the mechanisms of platelet aggregation, the relationship between structure and pharmacological activity of adenyl nucleosides and nucleotides, and cardiac stimulant substances particularly those derived from Digitalis species. Until the Australian Government established its own facilities for testing pharmaceutical products, this work was done under contract by Thorp's Department and the equivalent department at University of Melbourne. The departments also involved in analytical work for the racing industry. To increase the exposure of Australian pharmacologists of international developments, Thorp initiated a program of visiting Professors to University of Sydney, and travel fellowships for University of Sydney students to study overseas.



Education - BSc, Chelsea College of Science and Technology, London
1936 - 1949
Career position - Pharmacologist, Wellcome Physiological Laboratories, United Kingdom
Education - BSc (Hons), University of London
Education - PhD, University of London
1949 - 1975
Career position - Foundation Professor of Pharmacology and Director of Pharmacy, University of Sydney
Award - Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
Life event - Retired
Career position - Emeritus Professor, University of Sydney
Award - Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal

Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Anon, 'Roland Herbert Thorp: his contribution to Australian pharmacology', Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 4 (2) (1977), 103-6. Details


Helen Cohn