Dr Chandrika Deshpande

Dr Chandrika Deshpande is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Fragment-Based Design (CFBD) based at the University of Sydney. A biochemist with a strong background in protein structural biology, Chandrika’s research career thus far has focused on understanding genes and proteins involved in critical human diseases. She hopes to one day establish herself as an independent researcher in membrane protein structural biology.

As a member of the CFBD, Chandrika looks forward to networking both within the Centre and at conferences to establish new collaborations and engage with the Centre’s industry partners.

In addition to her role at the CFBD, Chandrika works part-time as a staff scientist within the Drug Discovery node of Sydney Analytical, where she is involved in multiple projects aimed at production and structural characterisation of critical proteins. Chandrika loves travelling and discovering new places and cultures. She thinks science is a lot like travelling; “The more you discover, the more there is to find, and the excitement never ends.”

Research Overview

At the CFBD, Chandrika’s research is focused on structural characterisation of P2X family of purinergic receptors. The P2X receptors are promising drug targets for a variety of diseases, including neuropathic pain, inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis and depression. The structural information will assist in the development of better drugs.

Prior to joining the CFBD, Chandrika worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centenary Institute, where she specialised in the expression, purification and crystallisation of membrane proteins from bacteria and eukaryotes. Her most recent contribution to the field was the investigation of the two most central players in the iron regulatory cycle, ferroportin and hephaestin. This work was published in Nature Communications and PLoS One, respectively.

Latest Publications

View Dr Deshpande’s latest ORCID publication listing here.


Before moving to Australia, Chandrika worked as a Research Scientist at the Institute of Bioinformatics (IOB, India). During her tenure at IOB, she was involved in several genomics-based projects and worked extensively with functional analysis using protein sequences.

With a desire to further her studies, Chandrika moved to Sydney to pursue a PhD at Macquarie University.

“A PhD in structural biology seem the perfect foil to bridge my knowledge-gap between protein sequence, structure and its eventual function,” says Chandrika.

Grants and Awards

  • Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship
  • Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012-2015)
  • University of Sydney Early Career Researcher grant