Seminars | This Week

IMB Seminar Series

Date/Time: Friday 25th May 2018 12:30

Location: QBP Auditorium, Bld 80

Title of talk: Autoimmune diseases and diabetes - animal venom peptides as a basis for novel therapeutics
Speaker's name: Professor Raymond S Norton
Speaker's organisation: Monash University
Talk abstract: Animal venoms are a rich source of peptides that are potent and often exquisitely selective probes of the structure and function of ion channels and receptors. I will describe our studies on peptides from sea anemones and scorpions that are potent blockers of Kv1.3 channels and show considerable potential as therapeutics for autoimmune diseases.
As another example, we identified insulins in the venom of a fish-hunting cone snail. We determined the structure of one of these insulins and modelled its interaction with the insulin receptor. Con-Ins G1 has the potential to guide the development of novel rapidly-acting human insulin analogues.

Host name: Professor Glenn King
Host email:

Seminars | This Week

IMB Seminar Series

Date/Time: Friday 1st June 2018 12:30

Location: QBP Auditorium, Bld 80

Title of talk: Identifying genetic and environmental factors causing birth defects: disease-gene discovery and roles for oxygen, and vitamin B3
Speaker's name: Professor Sally Dunwoodie
Speaker's organisation: Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Talk abstract: Birth defects are present in 3-6% of live born babies and in greater numbers in those that die during gestation. The causes of birth defects are largely unknown with genetic and environmental factors, and a combination of these, proven and suspected to be the cause. We are identifying genetic and environmental factor that cause vertebral column and heart defects in human and mouse. Recently we identified a compelling new cause of embryo loss and birth defects in humans and mice. We discovered gene mutations that lead to a deficiency in NAD, and that vitamin B3 supplementation during gestation completely prevents embryo loss and defects in mice.

Host name: Dr Kelly Smith
Host email:

Seminars | This Week

CAI Seminar Series

Date/Time: Tuesday 22nd May 2018 09:30

Location: Level 2 Seminar Room, Building 57, Centre for Advanced Imaging

Title of talk: Protein encapsidation and delivery within recombinant virus-derived protein cages
Speaker's name: Dr Frank Sainsbury
Speaker's organisation: Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN)
Talk abstract: The use of viruses and recombinant virus capsids, or virus-like particles (VLPs), as nanoscale componentry shows great potential in diverse application areas including biocatalysis, immunotherapy and therapeutic delivery. As supramolecular assemblies, VLPs boast unrivalled structural precision, biocompatibility, and benign manufacturing conditions. Owing to the high-resolution structural knowledge that exists for several VLPs, they represent a powerful platform for rational bioengineering by both genetic and chemical means. I will present recent work to control protein encapsidation with two platforms, Bluetongue virus (BTV) core-like particles and Murine Polyomavirus (MPyV) VLPs. Each has a unique set of characteristics that define their suitability to different applications. Determining the structure of BTV cores by Cryo-EM has shown them to be remarkably stable and suited to expression in plant hosts. Unusual colloidal properties points to their potential use as recoverable biocatalytic nanoreactors. The in vitro self-assembly of MPyV VLPs permits the controlled, stoichiometric co-encapsidation of non-covalently anchored cargo proteins. The infection pathway of MPyV is mimicked by VLPs, pointing to use as intracellular protein delivery vehicles. Biophysical techniques such as Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between co-encapsidated fluorescent proteins, nanoparticle tracking, and super resolution microscopy has shed light onto the co-operative self-assembly process of VLPs and the impact of encapsidating protein cargo on self-assembly.

Host name: Dr Nick Fletcher
Host email:

Seminars | This Week

QBI Neuroscience Seminar

Date/Time: Wednesday 23rd May 2018 11:00

Location: QBI Auditorium

Title of talk: Gene-environment interactions mediating experience-dependent plasticity in the healthy and diseased brain
Speaker's name: Professor Anthony J Hannan
Speaker's organisation: University of Melbourne
Talk abstract: We have been investigating how various environmental manipulations selectively alter gene expression, cellular plasticity and associated cognitive processes and behaviours. Huntington's disease (HD) is one of over 40 tandem repeat disorders and involves a triad of psychiatric, cognitive and motor symptoms. In a transgenic mouse model of HD we have shown that expansion of the tandem repeat encoding a polyglutamine tract of the mutant huntingtin protein leads to a spatiotemporally specific cascade of molecular, cellular and behavioural abnormalities. We have also demonstrated that environmental enrichment can delay onset of the affective, cognitive and motor endophenotypes. Environmental enrichment and physical exercise induce changes in gene expression, which exhibit temporal specificity and regional selectivity. These findings have been extended to additional environmental factors (e.g. stress), pharmacological interventions and mouse models of other brain disorders, including schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. These approaches may also facilitate the development of 'enviromimetics' for a variety of brain disorders known to be modulated by environmental stimuli. We have also explored the transgenerational effects of paternal environmental exposures. Our findings reveal significant experience-dependent effects on offspring via transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, which occurs via epigenetic modifications in the sperm of the fathers. We are exploring the impact of specific environmental factors, including stress and exercise, and the relevance of these discoveries in mice to human transgenerational epigenetics. Our findings, and their relevance to the proposed transgenerational inheritance of increased predisposition to various brain disorders, have major public health implications.

Host name: Deirdre Wilson
Host email:

Seminars | This Week

Genomics of Development and Disease (GDD) Seminar Series

Date/Time: Thursday 24th May 2018 11:00

Location: QBP Large Seminar Room

Title of talk: Quantifying the effect of imputation errors on fine-mapping through the analysis of DNA methylation quantitative trait loci
Speaker's name: Kartik Chundru
Speaker's organisation: IMB, Wray Group

Title of talk: Systems genomics of Parkinson's disease
Speaker's name: Costanza Vallerga
Speaker's organisation: IMB, Visscher Group

Host name: Quan Nguyen
Host email:

Seminars | This Week

Cell Biology Forum

Date/Time: Wednesday 23rd May 2018 09:00

Location: Large Seminar Room

Title of talk: Domesticating natural proteins for use in synthetic protein switches
Speaker's name: Jake Parker
Speaker's organisation: IMB

Title of talk: Microtubules in morphogenesis: making the connections.
Speaker's name: Ivar Noordstra
Speaker's organisation: IMB, UQ

Host name: Melanie Shakespear
Host email:

Seminars | This Week

MBS Seminar

Date/Time: Wednesday 23rd May 2018 12:00

Location: AIBN Seminar Room

Title of talk: Targeting the Plasmodium M1 and M17 aminopeptidases as novel anti-malarial drug targets
Speaker's name: Dr Sheena McGowan
Speaker's organisation: Monash University
Talk abstract: Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents of malaria, have developed resistance to most of our current antimalarial therapies, including artemisinin combination therapies which are widely described as our last line of defense. Antimalarial agents with a novel mode of action are urgently required. Two Plasmodium aminopeptidases, M1 and M17, play crucial roles in the erythrocytic stage of infection, and have been validated as potential antimalarial targets for Plasmodium falciparum. Agents that inhibit the aminopeptidase enzymatic activity in parasites have been shown to control both laboratory and murine models of malaria. We have characterised the structure and function of the two drug targets as well as using a structure-guided approach to develop a novel series of antimalarial compounds.

Host name: Michael Landsberg
Host email:

Seminars | This Week

Kakadu Plum Workshop

Date/Time: Friday 1st June 2018 08:45

Location: Terrace Room, Level 6, Sir Llew Edwards Building 14, UQ St Lucia

Title of talk: Kakadu Plum Workshop
Speaker's name: Selina Fyfe
Speaker's organisation: QAAFI
Talk abstract: An interdisciplinary dialogue on the multiple ways in which the Kakadu Plum is a valuable Australian botanical resource will be integral to the success of these diverse projects.

Host name: Selina Fyfe
Host email:

Seminars | This Week

QAAFI Science Seminar Series

Date/Time: Tuesday 29th May 2018 12:00

Location: Level 3 Qld Biosciences Precinct (QBP) Building #80, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Room: Large Seminar Room (3.142)

Title of talk: Identifying and managing new hazards in the food supply
Speaker's name: Dr Glenn Stanley
Speaker's organisation: Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Talk abstract: Food safety risks can emerge when new hazards are identified or if new information comes to light about an existing hazard e.g. increased exposure.
Identifying and monitoring emerging issues allows Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to better predict possible food safety risks, and when necessary and working with our regulatory (including international and jurisdictional) partners, develop appropriate measures to reduce the effect of those risks. This presentation will provide some general background on how we approach these issues, and some case examples of new hazards and detail risk management strategies to keep levels of contaminants in the food supply to As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA).

Host name: Bernadine Flanagan
Host email: