Hafna awarded ASBMB Fellowship


Hafna ASBMB Fellowship

Congratulations to Hafna, who was recently awarded an ASBMB Fellowship. These fellowships are awarded in recognition of outstanding work in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology. Well done Hafna!


2018 Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function

The group had a great time down at the Lorne Protein Conference last week. So much great science, and an absolutely beautiful location! Matt S, Vanessa, Galen and Joe presented posters on their work. Congratulations to Galen and Joe for picking up poster prizes! Top work guys.

The week was topped off with a fabulous day at the Lorne Protein Engineering Satellite Conference which was held at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne. So much exciting work happening in the field!


Welcome Dr Matthew Wilding!


We are very happy to welcome Dr Matthew Wilding to our group. Matt obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester (UK) in 2012 and moved to Australia to take up a postdoctoral research position at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). He was subsequently appointed as a Research Scientist at CSIRO, working in the CSIRO Biocatalysis Team.  Matt has recently taken up a joint appointment between CSIRO and ANU as a Synthetic Biology Research Fellow, based at the Research School of Chemistry. Matt is (amongst many other things) currently aiming to re-engineer the translation machinery of E. coli to develop a high-throughput screen for peptide translation.

You can read more about Matt and find a list of his projects and publications here:

ANU Researcher Profile


ResearcherID Profile

“Laboratory evolution of protein conformational dynamics” – new review paper

Check out our latest review on the laboratory evolution of protein conformational dynamics, published in Current Opinion in Structural Biology. This review focuses on recent work that has begun to establish specific functional roles for protein conformational dynamics, specifically how the conformational landscapes that proteins can sample can evolve under laboratory-based evolutionary selection. We discuss recent technical advances in computational and biophysical chemistry, which have provided us with new ways to dissect evolutionary processes. Finally, we offer some perspectives on the emerging view of conformational dynamics and evolution, and the challenges that we face in rationally engineering conformational dynamics.

ConfDynamics Review Figure

What makes an enzyme a good insecticide sponge?

Hopkins, D. H., Fraser, N. J., Mabbitt, P. D., Carr, P. D., Oakeshott, J. G., & Jackson, C. J. (2017). The structure of an insecticide sequestering carboxylesterase from the disease vector Culex quinquefasciatus: what makes an enzyme a good insecticide sponge? Biochemistry, acs.biochem.7b00774. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00774

A molecular understanding of pesticide sequestration by insect carboxylesterases could guide the design of inhibitors to help circumvent carboxylesterase-mediated metabolic resistance to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides in insect disease vectors, such as the mosquito.

In a recently accepted paper from our group, entitled “The structure of an insecticide sequestering carboxylesterase from the disease vector Culex quinquefasciatus: what makes an enzyme a good insecticide sponge?”, we present the first structure of Cqestβ2, a carboxylesterase involved in insecticide sequestration in Culex quinquefasciatus, and assess its role in insecticide resistance.

Congratulations to Davis and all those involved in the preparation of this paper which has recently been accepted to Biochemistry. 






New Honours Student!

We welcome Tiffany Chau to the group! Tiffany is starting her Honours year and will be co-supervised by Professor Thomas Huber. She will be continuing the work done by Jules Kirk on EF-Tu (elongation factor thermo unstable), a prokaryotic elongation factor responsible for catalysing the binding of an aminoacyl-tRNA to the ribosome. Welcome Tiffany!