Prof James Whisstock
James is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow at Monash University.
He trained in Bioinformatics and Structural Biology and obtained his PhD from University of Cambridge in the UK in 1996. Since arriving in Australia in 1997, James has established himself as one the leading structural biologists nationally and internationally. He has played a critical role in establishing state-of-the-art research platforms in Protein Production, eResearch and Structural Cryo-Electron Microscopy at Monash University.
His specialty is in decoding the atomic structures of complex protein molecules with a particular interest in membrane attack complex/perforin-like proteins, which play a critical role in immunity and developmental biology.
James has won numerous awards during his career including Science Ministers Prize in Life Sciences (2006), Commonwealth Health Ministers Award (2008) and the Australian Academy of Science Gottschalk Medal (2010).
Prof Katharina (Kat) Gaus
Kat is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at UNSW and leads the UNSW Centre in Single Molecule Science at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre.
She is a trained physicist with a PhD in biotechnology from the University of Cambridge in the UK. Her specialty is super-resolution microscopy, which she uses to study how T cells make decisions on actions such as moving, secreting signalling compounds such as cytokines or committing suicide. She has been collaborating with renowned German manufacturer of optical systems, Carl Zeiss AG in developing a super-resolution fluorescence microscope that can image molecules within living cells.
Together with Justin Gooding and Peter Reece, colleagues at UNSW, Kat was one of the finalists for the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research in 2014. for developing an optical device that can monitor the activity of a single cell. She also won an Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship in 2014.
Assoc Prof Brian Abbey
Brian is an ARC Future Fellow in the Department of Physics and leads the Materials characterisation and XFEL Science group at La Trobe University.
He holds masters degrees from University College London and Imperial College of Science and Technology, and a PhD in Chemistry from University of Cambridge in the UK. An experimental scientist, Brian works along with Centre colleagues, Keith Nugent and Harry Quiney, to develop new X-ray free electron laser imaging technology that will revolutionise the field of structural biology. XFEL-based imaging has the potential to allow structural biologists to determine the atomic structures of single biomolecules with unprecedented resolution without the need to form large crystals.
To develop this cutting edge technology, Brian collaborates with leading scientists and engineers at the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, Germany as well as the Stanford Linear Coherent Light Source (LCLS) in California, USA.
Prof Keith Nugent
La Trobe University
Keith is currently Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at La Trobe University.
He holds a PhD in laser physics from the Australian National University and has previously served as Director of the Australian Synchrotron, Laureate Professor of Physics at the University of Melbourne and Research Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-ray Science.
Working together with his fellow Centre colleagues, Brian Abbey and Harry Quiney, Keith is developing new X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) imaging technology to determine the structure of single molecules. This is presently not possible with existing X-ray crystallography techniques and requires improved understanding of fundamental physics.
Over a distinguished career, Keith has won numerous awards for his scientific excellence and leadership including the Victoria Prize in 2004, Centenary Medal in 2003 and two R&D100 awards for innovation in 1988 and 2001.
Assoc Prof Harry Quiney
University of Melbourne
An experienced theoretical physicist, Harry holds a Master’s degree in Theoretical Chemistry from Monash University and a PhD in Physical Sciences from University of Oxford in the UK, he previously served as Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-ray Science. His expertise is in developing computational models of the structure of atoms and molecules, the quantum nature of materials, chemical bonding and the interaction between light and matter.
Working with his experimental Centre Colleagues, Brian Abbey and Keith Nugent, Harry is developing computational algorithms that interpret and translate single molecule diffraction data from X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) into meaningful atomic structures. Modelling the interaction of molecules with XFELs is complex and involves discovering new physical phenomena because XFELs are a billion times more powerful than the X-rays used in traditional X-ray crystallography.
Harry carries out his computational work on supercomputers such as those available through the Victorian Life Sciences Computational Initiative (VLSCI).
He is also passionate about communicating the excitement and value of science to young students. He is heavily involved with the Growing Tall Poppies Program which provides practical scientific training to secondary school students.
Prof William (Bill) Heath
University of Melbourne
Bill is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne.
An experienced and distinguished immunologist with a PhD in Medicine from the University of Melbourne, Bill uses infectious diseases, particularly malaria and Herpes simplex (the virus that causes cold sores), to study how the immune system functions. Specifically, he focuses on understanding the role and functions of memory T cells, which are critical in the development of vaccines, and dendritic cells, which play a critical role in triggering an immune reaction by presenting antigens to T cells.
Working with Centre colleagues, Scott Mueller, Kat Gaus and Woei Ming (Steve) Lee and Prof. Frank Carbone and the University of Melbourne, Bill uses and develops imaging technology to look at immune responses in tissues and whole animals.
In addition to a long and successful track record in obtaining competitive research funding, Bill was also selected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and awarded the Burnet Oration and Medal by the Australasian Society for Immunology in 2011.
Prof Jamie Rossjohn
Jamie is a NHMRC Australia Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash University.
He is a world-leading X-ray crystallographer and holds a PhD in X-ray crystallography from Bath University. His expertise is in understanding the structural and biophysical basis for T cell recognition of foreign antigens. Working together with fellow Centre colleagues Dale Godfrey and David Fairlie, Jamie studies the molecular interactions of a number of different classes of immune cells with a view to understanding the role they play in infection and immunity.
Jamie has won numerous awards for scientific excellence including the Prime Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year in 2004, Gottschalk Award from the Australian Academy of Science in 2007, and the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research in 2013. He was also elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2014.
Prof Dale Godfrey Mentorship Officer,
University of Melbourne
Dale is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and current President of the Australasian Society for Immunology, a society with over 1,000 members. He also serves as Imaging CoE Mentorship Officer responsible for the development of mentoring and training programs for Centre students.
Holding a PhD in immunology from Monash University, Dale has worked in the field of T cell biology for over 25 years with a focus on T cell development and innate- like T cell biology. Specifically, he has made progress in understanding the roles and functions of two innate T cell subgroups – Natural Killer T (NKT) cells and Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells.
Working together with Centre colleague, Jamie Rossjohn, Prof. James McCluskey at the University of Melbourne and a number of high profile international collaborators, Dale and his group aim to identify and study all the different types of innate T cells, which form between 5% – 20% of the body’s overall T cell population.
Dale was awarded the Woodward Medal at University of Melbourne in 2013 in recognition of his research excellence.
Prof David Fairlie Commercialisation Officer,
University of Queensland
David is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Division of Chemistry and Structural Biology at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland. David holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of New South Wales. His research involves chemistry (design, synthesis, structure), biochemistry (enzymology, protein-protein interactions) and pharmacology (molecular, animal). His focus is on inventing new drugs and in understanding molecular mechanisms of disease development and drug action.
Immune responses and the pervasive influences of chronic inflammation in development and progression of diseases are central in his research.
David has experience in translating laboratory research into commercial successes by forming industry linkages with pharmaceutical companies and brings this experience to the Centre as the Commercialisation Officer for the Imaging CoE.