AUSTRALIA

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Elizabeth Gillam

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

INPEC node since 2019

Our research focuses on the development of biocatalysts for more sustainable, environmentally friendly, chemical processes to accelerate drug development and improve the safety of medicines. We primarily study cytochrome P450 enzymes, an exceptionally versatile superfamily of monooxygenases that have evolved to fulfil innumerable roles in the biochemistry of organisms from all domains of life. Our studies into the evolution of catalytic promiscuity in P450s reveal how organisms have evolved to deal with chemicals in the environment and provide insights as to how enzymes develop novel functions. More broadly, the methods that we have developed with colleagues at UQ and in industry for the ancestral reconstruction of P450s and their implementation as sophisticated biocatalysts in industry can be applied to the optimisation of other proteins and enzymes for biotechnological application.

Keywords: directed evolution, ancestral sequence reconstruction, cytochrome P450, haemoproteins, biocatalysis, drug metabolism, drug development, monooxygenases, virus-like particles, light-driven

Bostjan Kobe

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

INPEC node since 2012

The group’s research theme is protein structure and function, with the emphasis on understanding the structural basis of intra- and intermolecular interactions formed by these macromolecules and inferring function from structure. The biological focus is on proteins involved in infection and immunity. The goal of the research is to use structural and molecular information to understand the molecular and cellular functions of proteins, validate proteins as therapeutic targets or biotechnological products, and to design new therapeutics and biotechnological applications. The primary techniques used in the laboratory are X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy, combined with a plethora of other molecular biology, biophysical, structural and computational techniques.

Keywords: epigenetics, chromatin, nucleosome, X-ray crystallography, histone modifying enzymes

Colin Jackson