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Developing new antibiotics by targeting specific molecular interactions in bacteria


This project focuses on developing a new class of antibiotics by targeting specific molecular interactions in bacteria using a multi-disciplinary fragment-based drug design approach.


Dr Ann Kwan.

Research location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program type



Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem globally and may bring about the end of modern medicine as we know it.

Predictions suggest the number of death from drug-resistant infections will surpass those from cancer by 2050.

New antibiotics are urgently required but their discovery has slowed dramatically in the last two decades.

Our solution involves developing a new class of broad spectrum antiobiotics by targeting a never exploited interaction between bacterial Signal Recognition Particle (SRP) and its Receptor (SR).

We have identified a number of small molecule fragments and analogues which can target SR and some of which have antibacterial properties. This project will involve developing these fragments and analogues into drug leads using a multi-pronged approach.

This project has recently been selected to join the SPARK Translational Program and won an AIMS award.
br/>We are currently seeking a highly motivated student with a strong interest in translational research to join this project.

Additional information

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2860

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