Research

Our research focusses predominantly on the synthesis of bioactive compounds (peptidomimetics and natural products) with potential therapeutic applications, as well as the development of luminescent sensors for environmentally- and biologically-relevant species.

Environmental and Biological Sensors

We are interested in the design, synthesis and analysis of luminescent sensors for the detection and quantification of analytes in environmental and biological samples. A particularly attractive and exciting feature of our sensors is the ability to carry out measurements where a short delay is introduced between excitation and detection of the emitted luminescence. This enables avoidance of initial short‐lived background fluorescence and hence the luminescent signal depends only on the concentration of the probe and the target analyte.

Medicinal Chemistry

Our work in this area investigates the development and synthesis of small molecules that have the potential to be new analgesics or anti‐cancer drugs. We are developing mimics of a peptide found in the toxin of a cone snail which have the potential to be used as analgesics. We are also investigating the synthesis of small molecules that are designed to inhibit an important protein-protein interaction. This protein-protein interaction prevents cancer cells from dying, therefore compounds that inhibit this interaction could potentially find application as new anti‐cancer drugs.


We collaborate with numerous researchers on various multidisciplinary projects. Our collaborators include:

Assoc. Prof. Peter Duggan, CSIRO, Australia

Dr Adam Meyer, CSIRO, Australia

Dr Bim Graham, Monash University, Australia

Assoc. Prof. Mike Grace, Monash University, Australia

Assoc. Prof. Tim Stinear, University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr Amy Barrios, University of Utah, USA

Prof. Neil Cameron, Monash University, Australia

Dr Rebecca Miller, University of Melbourne, Australia

Prof. James Whisstock, Monash University, Australia

Dr Ruby Law, Monash University, Australia

Prof. Phil Marriott, Monash University, Australia

Prof. Phil Andrews, Monash University, Australia

Prof. Richard Lewis, University of Queensland, Australia

Prof. David Adams, RMIT, Australia

Prof. Gilles Gasser, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Prof. Krishna P. Kaliappan, IITB, India
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