News

Monash University researchers unlock the key that could lead to the development of non-opioid painkillers to treat chronic pain

09 September 2021

Monash University researchers have made a breakthrough discovery that could pave the way for the development of novel non-opioid painkillers (analgesics) to safely and effectively treat neuropathic pain. 

In the study, Monash researchers used electrophysiology and preclinical pain models to demonstrate that a particular class of molecule, called a ‘positive allosteric modulator’ (PAM), can provide much more selective targeting of the A1 receptor by binding to a different region of the protein than traditional, previously investigated, activators. Another breakthrough in the study was facilitated by the application of cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM) to solve the high-resolution structure of the A1 receptor bound to both its natural activator, adenosine, and an analgesic PAM, thus providing the first atomic level snapshot of where these drugs bind.

The research was published today in the prestigious journal Nature. For more information please click here.

NSW Premier’s Prize Winner for Excellence in Medical Biological Sciences (Cell and molecular, medical, veterinary and genetics)

Distinguished Professor Antoine van Oijen

27 October 2020

Biomolecular physicist Professor Antoine van Oijen received the Prize for Excellence in Medical Biological Sciences and is a pioneer in the visualisation of biological processes at the single molecule level. Since moving to Australia as an ARC Laureate Fellow, he has developed a research program that has transformed our understanding of how bacteria copy and repair their DNA and how these processes play a role in the development of drug resistance. 

“I’m extremely honoured to receive this award,” Professor van Oijen said. “It’s a demonstration, I think, of the fact that people appreciate research that spans different disciplines.”

For more information please click here.