Professor Ian Whyte
(MBBS (Hons), FRACP, FRCP (Edin), FACMT, FAACT, Director, Clinical Toxicology and Pharmacology )

DepartmentClinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Research AreasGenetics, Health Promotion, Health Services Research, Therapy and Treatment, Population Health, Social Needs, Mental Health, Supportive Care
Research TopicsSide Effects / Adverse Reactions / Poisoning, Envenomation, Suicide and Self-Harm, Depression and Anxiety
Research TypesClinical Trials, Laboratory Research, Survey / Observational Research, Dissemination / Implementation

Professor Ian Whyte is the Director of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at Calvary Mater Newcastle, and the Hunter and New England Area Health District. He is a conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle and is the Director of the Hunter Area Toxicology Service (HATS). He is a clinical toxicologist and clinical pharmacologist who specialises in the care of patients who have been poisoned or affected by drugs or toxins including deliberate or accidental drug overdose and snake and spiderbite victims.

His current areas of clinical and research interest include the effects of drugs used in the treatment of mental health disorders, deliberate self-poisoning, prevention of suicide and the development of clinical toxicology as a more recognised specialty. Professor Whyte has a long-term interest in collecting data for clinical research in clinical toxicology. He developed and programmed the original HATS database, which is currently being trialled by the main Scottish, Welsh and London Poisons Management Services as well as in several centres in the USA and Norway.

Most recently, he has been researching ways to help palliative care patients with problem constipation and new methods of first aid in snakebite. Professor Whyte is a committee member of Calvary Mater Newcastle Research Committee.

Publications / achievements

Professor Whyte has been an invited keynote speaker for all the major international and national toxicology societies and meetings and is a reviewer for multiple international journals in pharmacology and toxicology. He has published more than 140 papers in peer-reviewed journals and numerous book chapters, reviews, editorials, letters and abstracts.

More information about Professor Whyte's academic achievement may be found here:

Getting to know you

When did you start doing research?     


What is your most significant contribution to research?   

The Hunter Area Toxicology Service (HATS) database.

What research achievement are you most proud of?    

Training those who have come after me.

What inspires you?  

Enthusiasm to learn.

What did you do before coming to work at Calvary Mater Newcastle? 

Staff Specialist in Clinical Pharmacology at the Royal Newcastle Hospital.

What did you do before you became a researcher?

Medical student.

What made you decide to do research?

Very few people were publishing in clinical toxicology and there were many questions to be answered.

What was your first / worst / best / strangest / memorable /etc job in research?     

It was nice to have a paper published in Nature.

What do you do to relax?

Play golf and music.

What is the craziest thing you have ever had to do "in the name of research"?

Let an untrained medical student take blood from me while she was giving me hypoglycaemia by infusing insulin.


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