Associate Professor David Caldicott is based at the ANU Medical School and Clinical Lead of Pill Testing Australia.

Associate Professor Caldicott is a full-time emergency consultant, working in Canberra. He is the clinical lead for Pill Testing Australia and CanTEST, Australia’s only government-endorsed festival and fixed-site drug-checking services, respectively.

His research interests include novel and emerging illicit drugs, as well as exotic poisonings and overdoses, and systems for monitoring changes in the illicit drugs market.

Associate Professor Caldicott is actively involved in disaster response to natural, accidental and deliberate man-made disasters, and has a specialist in interest mass casualty incidents, and their management and mitigation. He is applying this to the management of the consequences of climate change, particularly in the Australian context.

Fields of expertise



ANU chemists make Australian-first discovery of three new recreational drugs

Three new recreational drugs that have never been reported in Australia before have been identified by chemists at Australia’s…

15 January 2024


MDMA involved in majority of drug-related deaths at Australian festivals

The majority of drug-related deaths at Australian music festivals over the past two decades have involved young people…

21 December 2023


What is pill testing and how does it work?

From detecting a deadly synthetic opioid circulating in the community to the Australian-first discovery of a mysterious new…

17 April 2023


There’s a psychedelic renaissance underway

The TGA’s approval of MDMA and psilocybin is a story of hope for these much maligned substances and…

8 February 2023


We’ve detected a potent opioid in Canberra. Here’s what we know about it

Australia’s first government-sanctioned drug-checking service CanTEST has issued its inaugural ‘red alert’, the highest level of warning, following…

5 January 2023


The mystery of chemical X: how drug testers discovered ‘CanKet’

What happens when drug testing experts come across a substance they have never seen before? An ANU expert…

7 December 2022


ANU scientists make Australian-first detection of new drug

Scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) have detected a mysterious new recreational drug not seen in Australia…

19 October 2022


We’ve been testing Canberra’s drugs. Here’s what we found

Australia’s first government pill-testing service, CanTEST Health and Drug Checking, opened in Canberra in July for a six-month…

29 August 2022


Coke light: drug tests show 40% of ‘cocaine’ had no cocaine

Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) have released results from Australia’s first government-backed pill testing service, including…

25 August 2022

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