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Overview of Research in the Supramolecular Biology


Projects Available in the Supramolecular Biology





    Group Head:


      • Dr Alanna Cooper - Postdoc
      • Dr Helma Antony - Postdoc
      • Dr Elecia Johnston - Postdoc
      • Samuel Askin - RA
      • Morgane Moreau - Postdoc

        Postgraduate Students

        • Morgane Moreau - PhD Student 2009 - Current

        Undergraduate Students

        • Thao Nguyen - Honours student
        • Christina Morianos




        Students interested in undertaking a PhD or Masters project in the Supramolecular Biology Group should contact Patrick Schaeffer to discuss projects of mutual interest. Most higher degrees students would be expected to be eligible for a scholarship through the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scheme, the James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship or an equivalent national or international scholarship.

        The Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (JCUPRS) are open to applicants with, or who expect to hold, a first class honours degree or equivalent by the end of the year and who wish to undertake full-time research Masters or PhD program. In 2010 the stipends for an APA were $22,500 pa (full time) or $12,176 (part-time). APA applicants must be Australian citizens or have been granted permanent resident status and lived in Australia continuously for 12 months prior to receiving the award; Information and application forms can be obtained from the Graduate Research School.  Closing Date: 31 October of each year.

        Students who have completed their undergraduate training in a BSc, BBiomedSc, BMedlabSc or equivalent program and are interested in participating in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Honours Program are encouraged to contact Patrick Schaeffer for a description of currently available projects. Honours studies require a full-time commitment for one year (two semesters) and can start in either February or August.

        There are two main opportunities for undergraduates to participate in the ongoing research of the Supramolecular Biology Group.

        Students enrolled in BC3203 (Special Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - second semester) could ask that they undertake their research project in the Supramolecular Biology Laboratory.

        Students can apply for a Comparative Genomics Centre Summer Studentships Award. The successful applicants receive instruction in the latest recombinant DNA and genetics techniques, receiving a stipend of $350 per week for a full-time commitment of between 6 and 10 weeks over the summer break. Applications for the CGC Summer Studentships are announced in September each year and close in late October. Contact Patrick Schaeffer for further details


        More references:

        1. Moreau, M.J., Morin, I. & Schaeffer, P.M. Quantitative determination of protein stability and ligand binding using a green fluorescent protein reporter system. Molecular bioSystems 6, 1285-1292 (2010).

        2. Askin, S.P. & Schaeffer, P.M. A universal immuno-PCR platform for comparative and ultrasensitive quantification of dual affinity-tagged proteins in complex matrices. The Analyst 137, 5193-5196 (2012).

        3. Moreau, M.J. & Schaeffer, P.M. A polyplex qPCR-based binding assay for protein-DNA interactions. The Analyst 137, 4111-4113 (2012).

        4. Moreau, M.J. & Schaeffer, P.M. Differential Tus-Ter binding and lock formation: implications for DNA replication termination in Escherichia coli. Molecular bioSystems 8, 2783-2791 (2012).

        5. Moreau, M.J.J. et al. Rapid determination of protein stability and ligand binding by differential scanning fluorimetry of GFP-tagged proteins. Rsc Adv 2, 11892-11900 (2012).

        6. Askin, S.P., Morin, I. & Schaeffer, P.M. Development of a protease activity assay using heat-sensitive Tus-GFP fusion protein substrates. Analytical biochemistry 415, 126-133 (2011).

        7. Dahdah, D.B., Morin, I., Moreau, M.J.J., Dixon, N.E. & Schaeffer, P.M. Site-specific covalent attachment of DNA to proteins using a photoactivatable Tus-Ter complex. Chem Commun, 3050-3052 (2009).

        8. Schaeffer, P.M. & Dixon, N.E. Synthesis and Applications of Covalent Protein-DNA Conjugates. Aust J Chem 62, 1328-1332 (2009).

        9. Morin, I., Dixon, N.E. & Schaeffer, P.M. Ultrasensitive detection of antibodies using a new Tus-Ter-lock immunoPCR system. Molecular bioSystems 6, 1173-1175 (2010).

        10. Morin, I., Askin, S.P. & Schaeffer, P.M. IgG-detection devices for the Tus-Ter-lock immuno-PCR diagnostic platform. The Analyst 136, 4815-4821 (2011).

        11. Morin, I. & Schaeffer, P.M. Combining RNA-DNA swapping and quantitative polymerase chain reaction for the detection of influenza A nucleoprotein. Analytical biochemistry 420, 121-126 (2012).

        12. Cooper, A. et al. ELISA and immuno-polymerase chain reaction assays for the sensitive detection of melioidosis. Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease 75, 135-138 (2013)