My research aims to identify molecules that suppress or promote immune responses in a targeted manner and fully establish their efficacy as new therapeutic agents. There is a large market for precision modulators of innate immune pathways leading to intense commercial interest. Molecules that dampen the immune response can target a vast array of inflammatory diseases: gout, atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury amongst many others. Molecules that enhance the immune response have exciting potential in the field of immuno-oncology. This work is translational and multidisciplinary. We work collaboratively to understand biological interactions such that we can design novel molecules to modulate these systems. Potent molecules are investigated for their drug like potential before exploring therapeutic efficacy models.

Traineeships, honours and PhD projects include

  • Design of small molecule immunomodulatory agents.
  • Determination of structure activity relationships through medicinal chemistry optimization.
  • Synthesis of chemical probes to help delineate biological pathways.
  • Chemoinformatics, microbiology and nanotechnology for diagnostics.

Project members

Project Supervisor

Dr Avril Robertson

Senior Research Fellow
Institute for Molecular Bioscience