Success at the RACI 2022 National Congress

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) is the national professional body for chemists in industry, academia and government and is the primary voice of chemistry in Australia. Every five years the RACI holds a national Congress, with the RACI 2022 National Congress held from 3 to 8 July in Brisbane. This was a significant meeting (last held in 2017) with 1,148 people registered to attend, 615 speakers, 21 exhibitors, 12 sponsors and 325 poster presentations.  

The CFBD members were heavily involved in the fabric of this significant meeting. CI Prof Sally-Ann Poulsen (Griffith Uni) was on the RACI2022 Congress Organising Committee and was Symposium Chair of the 4-day Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology Symposium (the largest of all the Symposiums within the Congress). CI Prof Michael Kassiou (Uni Sydney) and Dr Louise Sternicki (Griffith Uni) were invited speakers, with Dr Luke Adams (Monash) and PhD Candidate Ashley Taylor (Monash) giving contributed talks and PhD Candidate Jamie Currie (Monash)- together showcasing the breadth of ARC CFBD research, while ARC CFBD Chief Investigators, ECRs and PhD candidates from the three universities and several of our industry partners were well represented.  We were fortunate to have a catch-up dinner during the Congress – meeting face-2-face for the first time and a lot of laughs to be had. ‘The First Scientists’ artwork for the Congress is by Artist Steven Bekue. 

Fellowship for David Hilko (Griffith Uni)

Congratulations to Centre Affiliate Dr David Hilko (Griffith Uni) on the award of a Bridge and BridgeTech Industry Fellowship Placement through the MTPConnect QUT (Queensland University of Technology) David will work on site with GRIDD’s industry partner A/Prof Rakesh N. Veedu founder of SynGenis, a Western Australian based company that works in the exciting oligonucleotide research space.

The Bridge and BridgeTech Industry Fellowship Placement

The Bridge and BridgeTech Industry Fellowships, facilitated by QUT and funded by MTPConnect’s Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative for the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund, provide up to $10,000 to support the placement of participants and alumni of the Bridge Program and BridgeTech Program within industry. More on the program can be found here.

New Acting Director Compounds Australia

Compounds Australia, through Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA), is part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), a network of world-class research infrastructure facilities that drives and supports greater innovation in the Australian biomedical research sector and associated economic impact. Recently, CFBD CI Prof Sally-Ann Poulsen was appointed as acting Director of Compounds Australia. Curating Australia’s largest collection of compounds and natural products (~1.5M), Compounds Australia supports 38 national/international member organizations and >250 research projects annually, including the fragment screening campaigns of the CFBD. Monash University, University of Sydney and Griffith University are all member organizations. CFBD CI Prof Jonathan Baell is an existing Advisory Board Member of Compounds Australia. Many of the fragment libraries that are used by the Centre are currently managed by Compounds Australia. Congratulations to Sally-Ann on this excellent new role.

Abstract submission extended – FBDD DU 2022

Good news! The abstract submission deadline for the 4th FBDD Down Under Conference will be extended to 29 July 2022.

Important Dates:
Abstract submission deadline oral presentation – 29 July 2022
Abstract submission deadline posters – 12 August 2022
Conference dinner – 28 September 2022
Registration close  – 14 September 2022 (5 pm AEST)

The conference will include workshops, scientific sessions and social events. For more details, please visit the FBDD DU website

Do you want to support this event? We offer a variety of sponsorship packages to help you promote your technology. Contact us to discuss the different options on offer.

New Industry Partner ANSTO

We are delighted to welcome The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) as our new Industry Partner to the Centre. ANSTO, Australia’s knowledge centre for nuclear science and engineering, leverages great science to deliver big outcomes. ANSTO partners with scientists and engineers and applies new technologies to provide real-world benefits. Their work improves human health, saves lives, builds our industries, and protects the environment. ANSTO is the home of Australia’s most significant landmark and national infrastructure for research. Thousands of scientists from industry and academia benefit from gaining access to state-of-the-art instruments every year.

Please join us in welcoming Dr Rachel Williamson and Dr Alan Riboldi-Tunnicliffe as our new Partner Investigators. You can also meet them in person at our Joint ANSTO & CSIRO workshop on 12 August 2022. Don’t forget to register your interest with the Centre Manager.

Abstract submission open – FBDD DU 2022

We are pleased to announce that abstract submission for the 4th Fragment-Based Drug Discovery Down Under Conference 2022 is now open!

Important dates

Abstract submission deadline oral presentations:15 July 2022
Abstract submission deadline posters:12 August 2022
Registration open:20 June 2022
Registration close: 14 September 2022

Visit to register your attendance.

We are looking forward to meeting everyone back in Melbourne from 28 to 30 September 2022!

We are hiring – Biomolecular NMR spectroscopist/Structural Biologist

We have a postdoctoral position available for a Biomolecular NMR spectroscopist/Structural Biologist within the ARC Centre for Fragment-Based Design.

The exciting opportunity for a Research Fellow who will be working our Centre. The successful candidate will contribute to research on fragment-based drug design projects with a focus on a range of therapeutic targets across different areas such as infectious disease, cancer and diabetes.

You will have:

  • A PhD in structural biology with related research experience
  • Strong theoretical knowledge of NMR spectroscopy and its application in the analysis of biomolecules
  • Strong practical experimental skills in the characterisation of protein structures from experimental data
  • Prior knowledge and experience in data analytics is desirable
  • Experience with industry will be highly regarded

If you are ready to take the next step in your research career, we look forward to receiving your application.

New paper out by PhD student Karoline Sanches

Congratulations to PhD student Karoline Sanches from Monash University who published a paper as first author. The paper was published in Toxicon in October 2021.

Conformational dynamics in peptide toxins: Implications for receptor interactions and molecular design

Karoline Sanchesa,b,1, Dorothy C.C. Waia,1, Raymond S. Nortona,b
aMedicinal Chemistry, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia
bARC Centre for Fragment-Based Design, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia
1These authors contributed equally

Peptide toxins are often potent and selective blockers of ion channels and are therefore of significant interest to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. For example, an analogue of the sea anemone peptide ShK, which targets the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3, is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. Studying the structure-function relationship and the dynamics of these peptides is pivotal to understanding their binding to receptors, as well as to designing new drugs. In this article, we highlight the important contribution of NMR to characterising peptide toxin dynamics. It is shown that even disulphide-rich peptides display dynamics in various timescales, the characterisation of which through NMR is crucial for understanding their receptor interactions.

WOW – TOP 10!

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Asia-Pacific

A HUGE congratulations to our very own Beatrice Chiew who is this years Monash 3MT winner and a Top 10 finalist of the 3MT Asia-Pacific final! 

This is a fantastic achievement and we are incredibly proud of her, her research and her amazing sci-com skills!

Watch her Asia-Pacific final presentation here.