A chief investigator, lecturer and group leader in the University of Sydney’s School of Pharmacy and co-Chair of Sydney Nano's NanoPharma cluster, Dr Pegah Varamini’s (pictured above right) research focuses on develop novel targeted therapies for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer. She was a team leader in the 2020/21 SPARK Sydney program, hosted by the DDI in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine and Health.
Diseases relating to metabolic and cardiovascular disorder, such as diabetes and obesity, represent a rapidly growing health problem in Australia and globally. Drug discovery researchers in these areas are pursuing therapeutic leads to target such diseases, working in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Initiative and Charles Perkins Centre.
A group leader specialising in synthesis of novel bioactive small molecules at the School of Chemistry, Dr Jonathan Danon (pictured above right) began a prestigious NHMRC research fellowship in 2022 focusing on developing novel compounds for studying and treating disorders of the brain.
Dr Danon is also currently a member of the DDI ECR Committee, which aims to provide early career researchers and Higher Degree by Research students with events, opportunities and representation.
Neurodegenerative and central nervous system disorders such as dementia and systemic pain, affect 1 in 5 Australians and are becoming increasingly prevalent as our life-spans increase. We are working with researchers at the Brain and Mind Centre to identify targets and develop lead compounds that selectively modulate the central nervous system.
Dr Eleanor Drummond is looking to advance understanding of what, exactly, causes Alzheimer's disease - and what can be done to arrest its progression.
"No drug has been developed that can bring back neurons and synapses, so we’ve got to act before this begins to happen," she says.
For her intriguing research, Dr Drummond was awarded $20,000 as part of the DDI's 2022 EMCR Seed Funding Program.
Our researchers are working to tackle the spread of infectious diseases and overcome drug resistance by discovering new targets and lead compounds for tuberculosis, malaria and fungal infections. This research is in collaboration with the Sydney Infectious Diseases Institute.
We are also supporting urgent research into antimicrobial and COVID-19 drug discovery through platforms for drug screening and protein production and a seed funding program in partnership with Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases.
As Principal Research Fellow in Infectious Diseases Medicine at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Associate Professor Julie Djordjevic (pictured above right) says that "the ultimate goal is to make a pan-fungal drug."
A/Prof Djordjevic received seed funding from the DDI and Sydney ID in 2019 and 2021, which she says has been pivotal in helping her antifungal therapy research project gain momentum and be published in journals such as Biomolecules.
Regulating the body’s inflammatory responses for treating pain and inflammation have applications in a growing list of disorders.
Our research focuses on the identification and validation of novel targets implicated in pain, inflammation and autoimmunity, with potential applications in the understanding and treatment of cancers, central nervous system, metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.
A lecturer and researcher at the Charles Perkins Centre and Westmead Hospital, Dr Belal Chami's research examines reactive oxygen species and inflammation in the setting of chronic inflammatory etiologies such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
For the 80,000 Australians that suffer from IBD, it's clear that there needs to be a prognostic tool that works quickly, accurately and conveniently. This is what Dr Chami is aiming to discover - something that could allow IBD patients to manage their chronic disease in the comfort of their own homes.
With a background in medicinal, organic and computational chemistry, Dr Andrew Montgomery - the inaugural DDI Fellow - sees his future in the field of drug discovery. Find out more about his work, and how he's benefited from being part of the DDI community.
Find out how the DDI can help to support your research.