Centre Nodes

Monash University Node

The Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) is the research arm of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Australia’s leading Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Program and among the top 3 Institutions in the world for Pharmacy and Pharmacology. MIPS uniquely integrates all aspects of the preclinical drug discovery research pipeline, from target discovery and validation, to medicinal chemistry, drug candidate optimisation and the formulation of drugs for delivery. MIPS houses international leaders in the application of cryo-EM to membrane proteins, with a particular focus on understanding the structure and dynamics of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), the largest family of cell surface receptors and a major target class for therapeutic drug development. There are over 800 GPCRs in the human genome including hundreds of receptors of potential therapeutic interest. MIPS researchers have extensive links to both cryo-EM technology leaders and the pharmaceutical industry.

The University of Melbourne node

The University of Melbourne node of the CCeMMP is located in the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute (Bio21). Bio21 is one of Australia’s largest biotechnology research centres, housing state-of-the-art equipment, scientists, students, university departments and industry groups. Bio21 has international leaders in the characterization of membrane proteins including their structure determination by the complimentary methods of X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy. Members of Bio21, and their collaborators, have world-class facilities to express, purify and optimise samples for cryo-EM including a diverse range of membrane protein targets such as ion channels, bacterial transporters, large pore-forming complexes, and toxins involved in protein translocation. We are able to discover and develop small molecule and biologic (eg. antibodies) drugs and study their interaction with key membrane proteins including determination of protein-drug complex structures using cryo-EM.

University of Wollongong node

Molecular Horizons is a new molecular life sciences institute at the University of Wollongong. As a home to the Wollongong node of the CCeMMP, it houses world-class research in structural biology, molecular biophysics, and cell biology. The facility support team consists of researchers with experience in the entire cryo-EM workflow, from sample preparation to computational analysis. The CCeMMP research at Molecular Horizons, in collaboration with the adjacent Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI), focuses on the structural study of a number of channels involved in pain regulation and understanding the relationship between structural information to functional behaviour.

The Walter and Eliza Institute Node

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) Node of the CCeMMP houses international leaders in the application of Structural Biology to understand the structure and dynamic of key membrane-bound signalling receptors that control essential signalling transduction pathways involved in cell development, fate determination, and polarity. Their dysregulation underlies the cause of many human cancers, classifying them as a major target class for therapeutic drug development.
This program of research at WEHI, that focuses on using cryo-EM to explore the druggability of target receptor membrane proteins has three arms, (i) technical advancement in cryo-EM, (ii) application of cryo-EM to explore structure and function of (a) essential components of the Wnt signalling pathways and (b) a subset of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases identified as critical regulators of Wnt signalling, (iii) the application of the knowledge gained to drug discovery.