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Honours in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Welcome! This page lists available Honours projects in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB). For further information about Honours in MCB, please refer to the current handbook.

Academic staff: Members of the teaching and research staff in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

Contact Person Research Interests and Project details

mohammed alsharifi

Dr Mohammed Alsharifi

Vaccine Research Laboratory

Influenza virus vaccine development & immunity

  • Cross-Protective influenza vaccine
  • Exhaustion of IFN-I response and the susceptibility to secondary infections

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Michael Beard

Dr Michael Beard

Hepatitis C Virus Pathogenesis Laboratory

Replication and Pathogenesis of Hepatitis C Virus

  • Identification of essential domains in the dengue virus NS5 protein
  • Anti-viral host proteins
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Associate Professor Grant Booker

Structural Biology and Drug Design Laboratory

Structural Biology and Drug Design

  • The Biotin Biocycle
  • Drug discovery
  • Antagonists of cell cycle control proteins

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Dr John Bruning

Protein X-ray Crystalography Laboratory

Structural Biology of Nuclear Receptors cancer therapeutic and Antimicrobial Design

    • Structural Basis for Nuclear Receptor Allostery
    • Fungal Structural Genomics
    • PCNA: a Broad-Based Cancer Target
    • Structural Biology of Protease Inhibitors
    • Biochemical Analysis of the Synthesis and Regulation of Organic Acids during Grape Development
    • Designing Gold Sensors
    • Designing drugs to human DDAH-2: Let’s stop cancer once and for all

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Professor Peter Hoffmann

Adelaide Proteomics Centre

Protein and proteome analyses

  • Yeast subtyping and markers for fermentation performance using MALDI mass spectrometry profiling
  • Predicting chemoresistance in ovarian cancer
  • Differential proteome-wide profiles of primary ovarian cancer cells to stratify patients for Olaparib treatment

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Dr Kirk Jensen

Jensen Laboratory

Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulatory Mechanisms and the Control of Development

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stephen kidd

Dr Stephen Kidd

Stress Response in Pathogenic Bacteria Laboratory

Stress Response in Pathogenic Bacteria

  • Haemophilus influenzae stress response
  • Group B Strep and oxidative stress
  • Staphylococcus aureus and lifestyle variations
  • Mixed colony biofilms and disease outcome.

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shaun mccoll

Professor Shaun McColl

Chemokine Biology Laboratory

Role of Chemokines in Immunity and Disease Processes

Multiple honours and M Phil projects are available in the following areas

  • Chemokines and their receptors in leukocyte activation and trafficking in health and disease
  • Genetically modifying human adult stem cells to treat neuroinflammation

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chris mcdevitt

Dr Christopher McDevitt

Research Centre for Infectious Diseases

The Molecular Mechanisms of Metal Ion Scavenging at the Host Interface

  • Biochemical and biophysical basis of pneumococcal disease
  • Zinc homeostasis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Co-evolution of heavy metal and drug resistance genetic elements in pathogenic bacteria

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renato morona

Associate Professor Renato Morona

Invasive Bacterial Pathogens Laboratory

  • Structure, function, and biosynthesis of Shigella flexneri virulence factors and their role in pathogenesis.
  • Regulation of complex capsule polysaccharide production in Streptococcus pneumonia.

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Dr Dan Peet

Peet Laboratory

Molecular Components of Cellular Oxygen Sensing and the Hypoxic Response

  • O2-dependent regulation of TRP Ion Channels
  • Deciphering the specific roles of HIF1 and HIF2 in cancer

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Dr Frank Reith

Microbes and Heavy Metal Laboratory

  • A Biosensor for gold
  • Gold nano-particles – Healthy Blessing or Environmental Curse?
  • Understanding gold formation - A pathway to sustainable ore processing
  • Novel microbial communities in extreme environments
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Dr Keith Shearwin

Shearwin Laboratory

Biological Switches and Synthetic Biology

  • Using a synthetic loop-o-meter circuit to discover DNA looping proteins
  • Design, construction and testing of a 186 CII-based bistable switch
  • Does transcriptional interference play a role in phage lambda late gene expression?

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Professor Paul Thomas

Developmental Genetics Laboratory

Molecular Genetics of Brain Development in Mice and Man

    • Investigating the molecular function of SOX3 in neural stem cells using genome editing technology
    • Functional analysis of DEPDC5, a novel gene for Familial Focal Epilepsy with Variable Foci

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Dr Kate Wegener

Structural Biology and Drug Design Laboratory

Structural Biology & Drug Design

  • The Biotin Biocycle
  • Drug discovery
  • Antagonists of cell cycle control proteins

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Professor Murray Whitelaw

Whitelaw Laboratory

Signal Regulated Transcription Factors in Stess Responses, Development and Disease

  • Sim1
  • NPAS4
  • Structure determination of bHLH/PAS proteins

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Danny Wilson

Dr Danny Wilson

Research Centre for Infectious Diseases

Characterisation of Plasmodium falciparum (Malaria) therapeutic targets.

Honours, masters and PhD projects available looking at:

  • Identification of novel drug-like inhibitors of merozoite invasion.
  • Characterisation of the function of poorly defined proteins in invasion.

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Affiliate staff: Affiliate staff from various partner organisations with expertise in Molecular and Cellular Biology who contribute to teaching and research in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide

Contact Person Research Interests and Project details


Dr Simon Barry

  • Molecular identification of Regulatory T cells
  • Is there a role for FOXP3 in Breast Cancer?
  • Lentiviral vectors for gene delivery gene ablation and genome editing.

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Tony Ferrante

Professor Tony Ferrante

Department of Immunopathology, SA pathology at WCH

Developmental and Genetic Immunology

  • Regulation of T cell maturation in neonates by PKCζ
  • Characterization of macrophages expressing Complement Receptor Immunoglobulin (CRIg)
  • Treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalitis with TNF receptor peptides
  • Activation of NADPH oxidase in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) due to mutations in the α-helical loop region of CYBB/gp91phox

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Prof Chris Proud

Regulation of Protein Synthesis in Health and Disease

  • Oncogenic potential of constitutively active (CA) Rheb (Ras-homolog enriched in brain) mutations
  • Systematic analysis of the eIF4E interactome: understanding the distinct functional roles of the three mammalian eIF4E proteins in translation initiation
  • Cellular-stress induced activation of non-TFEB regulated lysosomal genes

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  • Detection system for cAMP to monitor spatial cellular signalling

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Professor Sarah Robertson

The Robertson Laboratory

  • The role of microRNA miR-155 during the inflammatory response to conception in early pregnancy
  • T-regulatory (Treg) cell stability and plasticity in progesterone receptor null mutant mice
  • Macrophage Regulation of embryo implantation and placental development
  • Immune regulation of preterm birth

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Professor Debora White

Professor Deborah White

SAHMRI Cancer Theme - Leukaemia Research Group

A translational and research group involved in research into haematological malignancies: chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

  • Utilising precision medicine to maximise cures in childhood/young adult cases of high risk ALL undergoing transplantation
  • Investigating mechanisms of drug resistance, and therapeutic approaches to reverse/prevent resistance, in models of high-risk Ph-like ALL treated with targeted therapies
  • Determining the prerequisites for the achievement of treatment-free remission in CML to facilitate the development of new therapeutic approaches with curative intent
  • Investigation of signalling molecules involved in ABL001-mediated inhibition

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School of Biological Sciences

School of Biological Sciences


T: +61 8 8313 5352
F: +61 8 8313 4362

Student Enquiries

T: +61 8 8313 5673
F: +61 8 8313 4386