School of Molecular Sciences

Metabolic pathways


Metabolic pathways underpin all biology and are the core for emerging technologies in the life sciences.

Cellular signalling and protein interaction: Dr Thomas Martin
We are interested in cellular signalling and how this impacts on plant development and function. Learning about this will help us to identify mechanisms by which plants can be improved to be for example drought, salt or stress resistant or to generate higher yields. These are desirable traits for plants growing under the harsh environmental conditions in Australia.
Mitochondrial Medicine and Biology: Aleksandra Filipovska
We investigate the genetic causes of diseases caused by mitochondrial dysfunction, analyse the molecular mechanisms that cause pathology in the diseases and develop therapeutics to combat mitochondrial dysfunction in disease.
Molecular evolution of photosynthetic pathways: Dr Martha Ludwig
Terrestrial plants are typically grouped according to the biochemical pathway they use to fix atmospheric CO2 into carbohydrates – the so-called C3 plants, which include crop species such as rice and wheat as well as nearly all trees; the C4 plants, which include highly productive crop plants like corn and sugarcane; and the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) plants, which include cactuses, orchids and pineapple.
Molecular Steroidogenesis: Associate Professor Robert Tuckey
Current research involves the metabolism of vitamins D2 and D3 by cytochrome P450scc, and the activation and inactivation of vitamin D by other mitochondrial-type cytochromes P450 including CYP27A1, CYP27B1 and CYP24. With collaborators we are trying to develop new forms of vitamin D which are non-toxic and have therapeutic potential for the treatment of immune disorders and cancer.
Reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress: Dr Peter Arthur
Our research focuses on how oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) alters protein function.
Secondary metabolite biosynthesis : Dr Yit-Heng Chooi
My research interests are on the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in fungi and to uncover the bio-ecological roles of these molecules using a combination of functional genomics, synthetic biology and chemical ecology. The two current research themes are
  • unveiling small molecules involved in fungal pathogen-host interactions
  • improving the tools for translating microbial genomic information to bioactive molecules.
Synthetic Biology: Associate Professor Oliver Rackham
Synthetic biology is a burgeoning new field focused on designing and building new biomolecules, biological networks and systems for useful purposes. Our research focuses on re-engineering bacteria and yeast for use as microscopic drug factories, and the manipulation of mammalian gene expression.