Kirsten Rock


Kirsten is an SSA-funded PhD student at King’s College London, supervised by Dr Caroline Copeland and Prof Penny Ward. Her research is centred around drug–drug interactions between pharmaceutical medicines and illicit substances with a particular focus on developing strategies to mitigate drug-related harms.

She holds a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (with highest honours) from California Lutheran University (United States) and an MSc in Drug Development Science (with Distinction) from King’s College London.

Prior to starting her PhD, she worked as a research technician for the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (NPSAD). In this role, she analysed trends in deaths related to psychoactive drugs and contributed to multiple academic publications. One publication she co-authored on the first death associated with xylazine (street name ‘tranq’) in the UK received significant national and international attention.