<b>Professor Paul Alewood</b><br>
Laboratory Head, Chemistry and Structural Biology Division<br><p>
P: +61 7 3346 2982<br>
E: p.alewood@imb.uq.edu.au<p>
<b>Keywords</b><br>
- chronic pain<br>
- irritable bowel syndrome<br>
- breast cancer<br>
- inflammation<br>
- congestive heart failure<br>
- insecticides<br>
- drug discovery<br>
- drug development
Professor Paul Alewood
Laboratory Head, Chemistry and Structural Biology Division

P: +61 7 3346 2982
E: p.alewood@imb.uq.edu.au

Keywords
- chronic pain
- irritable bowel syndrome
- breast cancer
- inflammation
- congestive heart failure
- insecticides
- drug discovery
- drug development

Visit the Alewood Lab website for more information.

Design and discovery of bioactive peptides and proteins in venomous fauna

Our research focuses on identifying bioactive molecules from Australia’s venomous animals that have the potential to create drugs that will play important roles in finding treatments for chronic pain, heart disease, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, and breast cancer.

Although toxins from these animals can have a devastating effect, molecules within them have been found to be useful in treating human disease. Specifically, we are interested in the discovery and total synthesis of potent and selective peptides (toxins) from venomous animals; the chemical synthesis of proteins and bioactive peptides; the development of new synthetic and analytical chemistry; and protein structure and function.

A major focus of our research is determining the structure-function relationships of natural and designed molecules. Current research in our laboratory includes the discovery, isolation and characterisation of toxins from snakes, spiders, cone snails, platypus, ticks and scorpions; mimetics of calcium-binding inflammatory proteins from the S100 class; the chemical engineering of disulfide-rich peptides and proteases and uncovering new pain pathways in chronic pain.

Next steps

Our next steps are to underpin our research base through a centre of excellence where outcomes will include: the identification of new toxin families and their potential function; a greater understanding of the molecular evolution of venoms; new methods to accelerate de novo (from the beginning) sequence determination and posttranslational modification of toxins; and new chemistry to accelerate regioselective control of toxin folding.

We also hope to discover fast and efficient chemistry application to deliver chemically-modified toxin libraries; novel expression approaches to deliver fully folded toxins; new fast nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods to determine 3D structures of toxin families; novel cell-based molecular pharmacology to uncover toxin receptors; and tissue-based pharmacology to identify novel functionality, pharmacological tools, drug and insecticide leads.

Make a difference to Professor Alewood's research by donating today.

Student projects and opportunities

View current Alewood Lab honours projects.

Key publications

View more publications by Professor Alewood via PubMed.

Muttenthaler, M., Nevin, S.T., Grishin, A.A., Ngo, S.T., Choy, P.T., Daly, N.L., Hu, S-H., Armishaw, C.J., Wang, C.I.A., Lewis, R.J., Martin, J.L., Noakes, P.G., Craik, D.J., Adams, D.J., and Alewood, P.F. (2010). Solving the α-conotoxin folding problem: selenium-directed on-resin generation of more potent and stable nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists. Journal of the American Chemistry Society 132: 3514-3522.

Morales, R.A.V., Daly, N.L., Vetter, I., Mobli, M., Napier, I.A., Craik, D.J., Lewis, R.J., Christie, M.J., King, G.F., Alewood, P.F., and Durek, T. (2010). Total chemical Synthesis and Structure of the Prokineticin Bv8. Chembiochem 11: 1882-1888.

Beatrix, M., Ueberheide, D.F., Alewood, P.F., and Chait, B.T. (2009). Rapid, sensitive analysis of cysteine rich peptide venom components. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106: 6910-6915.

Brust, A., Palant, E., Croker, D.E., Colless, B., Drinkwater, R., Patterson, B., Schroeder, C.L., Wilson, D., Nielsen, C.K., Smith, M.T., Alewood, D., Alewood, P.F., and Lewis, R.J. (2009). Chi-conopeptides Pharmacophore Development: Towards a novel class of Norepinephrine Transporter Inhibitor (Xen2174) for Pain. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 52: 6991-7002.

Vernall, A.J., Cassidy, P., and Alewood, P.F. (2009). A single alpha-helical turn stabilized by replacement of an internal hydrogen bond with a covalent ethylene bridge. Angewandte Chemistry International Edition 48: 5675-5678.

Lab contacts

Professor Paul Alewood
Laboratory head
+61 7 334 62982
p.alewood@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr AiHua (Jean) Jin
Research staff
+61 7 334 62985
a.jin@imb.uq.edu.au
Ms Rachael Murray
Support staff
+61 7 334 62996
r2.wight@student.qut.edu.au
Dr Andreas Brust
Research staff
+61 7 334 62377
a.brust@imb.uq.edu.au
Mr Alun Jones
Support staff
+61 7 334 62383
+61 7 334 62996
a.jones@imb.uq.edu.au
Mr Tim Reeks
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62377
t.reeks@imb.uq.edu.au
Mr Zoltan Dekan
Research staff
+61 7 334 62377
z.dekan@imb.uq.edu.au
Ms Yuyang Kuang
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62985
yuyang.kuang@uq.edu.au
Ms Jingjing Wan
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62377
j.wan@imb.uq.edu.au
Dr Laura Grogan
Research visitor
+617 334 62996
laura.f.grogan@gmail.com

Mr Vincent Lavergne
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62377
v.lavergne@imb.uq.edu.au
 

Ms Jingyu Zhan
Research higher degree student
+61 7 334 62377
jingyu.zhan@uq.edu.au