Prof. Martin’s lab - at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Australia seeks to better understand the role of proteins in disease though the use of biochemical and biophysical techniques, and to use this information to guide the development of novel therapeutic drugs. More information about Prof. Martin’s research interests can be found at her website
We are seeking an outstanding, motivated student to undertake a PhD in the structural and functional characterization of bacterial protein folding enzymes. DiSulfide bond (DSB) proteins are a family of soluble and membrane protein disulfide oxidoreductases that co-operate to catalyse the oxidative folding of a variety of secreted and cell surface proteins in many bacteria. Disulfide bonds add a “structural bracing” that assists many bacterial proteins to resist degradation in the extracellular environment. Many DSB substrates are bacterial virulence factors that contribute to pathogenesis, and DSB proteins are thus attractive targets for anti-microbial drug development. This project will focus on the structural and functional investigation of DSB proteins from two multi-drug resistant human pathogens, Pseduomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia pseudomallei, furthering the fundamental understanding of bacterial redox biology and characterizing specific DSB proteins as the basis for structure-based drug design.