Our research reveals the roles of proteins in molecular and cellular biology and how they can be used to treat diseases.

The challenge

Taking advantage of proteins in product development

Drawing of the structure of atrazine, resolved from protein crystallography.

The secondary structure of the enzyme AtzF which is shaped like Australia. A line of beta-sheets crosses the centre of the continent with alpha helices in the North West and South East corners.

In this structure beta-sheets are shown in magenta and alpha-helices in cyan. Loops are shown in pale pink. The amino-acids at the enzyme's active site are shown as blue sticks.

Crystal structure of AtzF, an enzyme that looks a little like a map of Australia. AtzF is one of six enzymes in the degradation pathway of the herbicide Atrazine. We're working towards using the enzymes to clean up the environment, a process called bioremediation.

Proteins are nature’s workers. Their recipes are written in DNA and their functions span forming structures like muscles, carrying out chemical reactions, fighting infections, acting as chemical messengers and transporting smaller molecules.

Understanding and making use of proteins has many benefits, from cleaning up pesticides to designing drugs to treat infectious diseases.

Our response

Building a better picture of proteins

We research the structure, function and biochemical significance of proteins. We unravel their roles in molecular and cellular biology, how they are regulated and how they work.

Our expertise spans:

  • molecular and cellular biology – manipulating DNA to produce proteins
  • protein and antibody engineering – designing proteins and antibodies for applications in human health and environmental management
  • protein purification – producing proteins for applications like crystallography, to reveal protein structure
  • fermentation – engineering bacteria such as E. coli to manufacture large quantities of proteins for research or large-scale production.

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We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

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