Researcher biography

I have been involved in peptide and protein research since 2004, and am highly experienced in bioinformatics, chemistry, structural characterization, biophysics, and biochemistry. I trained with experts in peptide and protein characterization: an honors project with Professor Garry King at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (2004), an APA scholarship with Professor David Craik at the University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Brisbane, Australia (2005-2009) and a NHMRC fellowship with Professor Mingjie Zhang at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China (2009-2011) and A/Professor Andreas Hofmann at Griffith University Eskitis Institute, Brisbane, Australia (2011-2012). I returned to the University of Queensland in 2012 to join an industry partnership funded by an ARC linkage grant. I am currently a Senior Research Officer and responsible for a team of research officers, assistants and postgraduate students.

My research initially was on the development of computational methods for prediction of disease phenotypes from single nucleotide polymorphism data, which then moved to the development of computational (database development and molecular dynamics) and biophysical (ITC and NMR) tools for discovery and characterization of cyclic peptides for my PhD. During my postdoctoral research, I studied proteins involved in neurological function and host-immune defense (using X-ray crystallography), and later moved to the design of peptides to target protein-protein interactions involved in autoimmunity and cholesterol metabolism as well as peptides for oral delivery (using NMR, SPR and permeability assays). This research has led to several high impact publications and productive research collaborations, and the skills acquired from it forms the basis of my ongoing research at UQ.

At UQ, my research involves interdisciplinary methods for design and engineering of peptides. I am interested in developing new tools that enable peptides to be translated into next generation biotechnological agents that have real impact.