Research Symposium

We are excited to invite you to join us for our second ARC CCeMMP Research Symposium in 2022!


The Centre and scientific community will showcase their research in the field. This will be an opportunity to create new collaborations, network with others in the field and to share ideas and future directions.


This symposium will be held in Melbourne and will be an in-person only event. We welcome all researchers, partners, students and the scientific community to participate in the activities and to engage with the latest progress in this area of research. We have two international keynote speakers attending and delivering presentations.


More information and details will be updated on this page in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!

Symposium details

Date: Thursday 1st September 2022

Format: In-person only, Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute. 
Start time: 10:00am AEST
End time: 5:00pm AEST
Networking: 5:00pm – 6:30pm AEST 

Cost: Free, attendees must be registered.
Registrations closed on 22nd of August.


In line with University policies, all attendees must be fully vaccinated and present proof upon entry.

This is a fully catered event. 

Keynote Speakers

Professor Radostin Danev

Prof. Rado Danev graduated solid-state physics at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria. During his Ph.D., and in the following years, he worked on the development of phase plates for electron microscopy in the laboratory of Prof. Nagayama in Okazaki, Japan. In 2011 he became a group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, and led an academia-industry collaboration that resulted in the development of the Volta phase plate (VPP). Since 2018, Rado is a professor at the Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo. His current projects involve cryo-EM studies of GPCRs in collaboration with the GPCR team at Monash University, first forays into cryo-tomography, and more generally, methods development for cryo-EM.


Optimizing cryo-EM for GPCRs and first steps in cryo-tomography
The last few years have been very successful for GPCR studies by cryo-EM. In our collaboration with the Monash team led by Patrick Sexton and Denise Wootten, we determined numerous structures and pushed cryo-EM single particle performance into the ~2 Å domain. In recent months, our lab has been gradually shifting its methods development efforts towards cryo-tomography. It holds a promise for structural studies in native membranes but is less mature and significantly more challenging than single particle analysis, and therefore offers more advancement opportunities.


Doctor Raymond Schrijver

Dr. Raymond Schrijver is Senior Director of Strategic Technology in Thermo Fisher’s cryo-electron microscopy business. In this role, he’s responsible for setting the strategic directions of technology development for cryo-EM to serve the pharmaceutical industry. He’s been working at Thermo Fisher since 2005. Raymond has entered the field of cryo-EM in 2009, and held various positions from managing applications development, strategic collaborations, setting up customer support programs, and product management. He has a background in development and engineering of complex systems, having worked in FEI R&D and before that at ASML R&D. He earned his MSc degree and PDEng degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology. 


Impact of Advances in Cryo-EM for Drug Discovery
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has come to the forefront as a powerful technique for the structural characterization of proteins relevant for drug discovery. Technological developments around sample preparation, signal processing, faster cameras and image filters, have improved the resolution to near atomic levels, and also allow for higher analytical throughput. The many developments have enabled detailed visualization of previously inaccessible drug targets, that combined with computational modelling, accelerate structured based drug discovery.
An overview of these developments will be discussed.

Oral presenters

Dr. Sarah Piper

Dr Sarah Piper was awarded her PhD at The University of Queensland, with a focus on determining the cryo-EM structures of pore-forming, bacterial toxin complexes. Since 2019, she has been working at MIPS as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to specialise in biochemistry and cryo-electron microscopy of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in the labs of Prof. Patrick Sexton and Prof. Denise Wootten. Her scientific interests are membrane protein biochemistry, drug discovery as well as cryo-electron microscopy and data processing, and she is passionate about science visualisation. She takes advantage of the diversity of protein structures to produce artistic 3D illustrations and animations, published on her Twitter and YouTube accounts. 


Presentation: Dynamic drug targets: Using Cryo-EM data and MD simulations to create realistic 3D animations of Class B1 GPCR activation

Dr. Debnath Ghosal

Debnath Ghosal is a senior lecturer and an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow at the Department of Biochemistry & Pharmacology, University of Melbourne. Debnath received his PhD degree in structural biology from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (University of Cambridge) and his postdoctoral training from California Institute of Technology. His laboratory utilises cryoEM (specifically cryo-ET) to investigate the structure and function of bacterial membrane complexes and transporters that are responsible for various disease conditions and the spread of antibiotic resistance.


Presentation: Understanding architecture, assembly, and regulation of bacterial toxin delivery systems by electron cryotomography

Dr. Rhys Grinter

Rhys Grinter in an NHMRC Investigator and lab head at Monash University. He heads the Molecular Physiology of Microbial Pathogens lab, which employs structural, biochemical and microbiological methods to understand the basis for bacterial infection, with the aim of developing new antimicrobial therapies. Dr Grinter is an expert in the crystallography of membrane proteins and has recently embraced CryoEM as a preferred tool for structural analysis. He received his PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2015 before returning to Australia on a prestigious Sir Henry Wellcome fellowship. He has published 37 peer-reviewed journal articles and been cited 832 times. His work has been recognized by multiple awards including the Diamond Lightsource PhD Investigator Award and the Lorne Proteins Anders Young Investigator Award.


Presentation: Energy extraction from air: structural basis of atmospheric hydrogen oxidation

Dr. Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson completed her B.Sc., MChem, and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Leeds within the AstburyBiostructure Laboratory. Her Ph.D. project focused on determining whether cryo-EM could be used as a tool instructure-based drug design programs and was supervised by Stephen Muench and Colin Fishwick. In November2019, she moved to the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences to undertake a postdoctoral position in thelaboratories of Christopher Langmead, Patrick Sexton and Denise Wootten, where she continues to use cryo-EM toaid GPCR drug discovery


Presentation: Applications of cryo-EM for drug discovery programs: from conformational dynamics to inactive state structures

Dr. Gökhan Tolun

Dr. Gökhan Tolun has a B.S. in Biology, M.S. in Biotechnology, and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His training on electron microscopy of biological macromolecules was at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and his cryo-EM training was at the NIH, USA. He joined the University of Wollongong in 2018 as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience, and cryo-EM research group leader in Molecular Horizons. His main research interest is DNA recombination, repair and replication, and transcription. Since 2018, he has received ~$2.5M in funding, including an NHMRC Ideas grant as the lead, and taught >2000 students across seven subjects.


Presentation: Cryo-EM structure of phage λ annealase Redβ provides insights into its molecular mechanisms and evolution, half a century after its discovery

Dr. Hamish Brown

Hamish is a research fellow at the Ian Holmes Imaging Centre at the Bio21 Institute of the University of Melbourne. He completed his PhD in condensed matter physics at the University under the tutelage of electron scattering expert Prof. Les Allen and joined the Institute in late 2020 following postdoctoral positions at the School of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University and the National Centre for Electron Microscopy at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, USA.His current research interests include the physics of electron scattering, cryogenic electron microscopy for structural biology and new computational techniques for reconstructing objects from electron microscopy data.


Presentation: Measure Ice: Accessible Ice Thickness Measurement for Single Particle Cryogenic Transmission Electron Microscopy


Prizes & abstract information


The Centre is awarding prizes in two categories.


Thermo Fisher Scientific Poster Prize

A prize for best poster will be selected by a judging committee. The prize will be a certificate of recognition, $250 AUD and a 3D printed model of choice. All posters will be considered unless registrants opt out before presentation. 


Most Popular Oral Presentation

A prize will be awarded to the speaker with the most popular oral presentation as voted by the audience. The prize will be a certificate of recognition, a 3D printed model of choice and 2D print of choice. All oral presentations will automatically be considered for this award.

Abstract information

Please find the abstracts for poster and oral presentations available here.

Poster Presentation Guidelines

  • All authors submitting abstracts will be required to present a poster. Do not submit an abstract if you do not want to present a poster.

  • Posters must be presented in portrait orientation and must not exceed A0 (841x1189mm). Be mindful not to use large blocks of text and to use bullet points where possible.

Oral Presentation Instructions

  • Please indicate if you would like to be considered for an oral presentation. Abstracts will be reviewed by a selection panel and the speakers selected for an oral presentation will be contacted with further details regarding submission.
  • Oral presentations will be 20 minutes with 10 minutes of questions.
  • Important: All authors submitting abstracts will be required to present a poster, even if they are not selected for an oral presentation.


Abstract Guidelines (please read before submitting)

To present a poster and/or be considered for an oral presentation, please adhere to the following guidelines when submitting an abstract:

  • The submitted abstract should be relevant to the field of research i.e. membrane proteins, cryo-EM work or cryo-EM of membrane proteins.
  • Abstracts will be up to one A4 page in length, including any figures, photos or graphs.
  • Page margins should be a minimum of 2.0 cm.
  • A minimum font size of 12 point in Times New Roman.
  • Abstract title should be in bold font.
  • Authors should be listed and italicised.
  • Address line should be included below the authors names with a space in between author names and address.
  • All abstracts must be submitted and presented in English.
  • Authors should indicate whether they would like to be considered for an oral presentation in the submission form. The selection panel reserves the right to decide which abstracts will be presented in oral form.
  • Upon abstract submission, you will receive an email notifying you of your successful submission. If you have any issues with submission or need to make any corrections to an already submitted abstract (only accepted before the deadline), please email
  • If you have been selected for an oral presentation, you will be notified by August 18th. 


Abstract submission

The submission deadline for oral and poster presentations closed on 19th August 2022.