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Defining biomolecular structure and function in solution and on surfaces
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Title:Defining biomolecular structure and function in solution and on surfaces

Presenter: Prof. Andrew Abell

University: Department of Chemistry and the Centre for Nanoncale BioPhotonics (CNBP), The University of Adelaide

Time: 9:00-10:30, 2016.3.14

Venue: Room A203, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Abstract: The function of nature’s biomolecules is defined by their ability to adopt a well-defined shape or conformation. This seminar will discuss recent work on constraining peptides and other bio-ligands into such a geometry using some’ tricks’ from organic chemistry. The work has provided a new class of antibiotic, inhibitors of key proteases to treat important disease, new materials and biosensors, and probes to study electron transfer and other biological processes. The seminar will also consider some of our recent efforts to commercialise aspects of the research.

Longer Bio: Andrew graduated from the University of Adelaide with BSc(Hon) and PhD and then undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge. He held a professorship at the University of Canterbury before returning to the University of Adelaide in 2007, where he is currently Professor of Chemistry and node director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics. His research interests are concerned with understanding the fundamental link between the chemical structure and shape of key biological molecules and their biological function.  While his work is very much driven by fundamental science, he has always had a keen interest in pursuing associated commercial opportunities. The seed for this was sown with a sabbatical leave working as a visiting scientist, consultant and senior Fulbright Fellow with SmithKline Beecham (now GSK) in Philadelphia. In Adelaide he co-founded an Adelaide-based company (Calpain Therapeutics) to develop macrocyclic protease inhibitors as a potential treatment for cataract and other conditions. Past Head of School of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Adelaide and recent recipient of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Adrien Albert Prize and the Alexander R. Matzuk Prize and Lecture in Drug Discovery (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston).

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