Professor Daly was awarded her PhD from the University of Queensland. Her studies involved using NMR spectroscopy to determine the structure of domains of the LDL receptor; a receptor critical for the control of cholesterol levels. Following these studies she was involved in establishing a new field of research involving plant derived cyclic peptides. This work resulted in several granted patents and the establishment of a small biotechnology company associated with The University of Queensland.

Norelle has published more than 170 journal articles, 3 book chapters, been awarded a UQ Research Excellence Award, awarded a National Breast Cancer Foundation Novel Concept award, and held a NHMRC Industry Fellowship, a Queensland Smart State Fellowship and an ARC Future Fellowship.



  • MD1010: Introduction to Integrated Medical Studies Part 1 of 2 (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • MD1020: Introduction to Integrated Medical Studies Part 2 of 2 (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • Professor Daly’s research involves exploring the potential of peptides as drug candidates for therapeutic applications. Peptides are of significant interest in drug design as they can be highly potent and specific for a range of different drug targets. However, the inherent poor stability of peptides limits their application. Her research aims to overcome this limitation by using tightly folded scaffolds, such as those found in the venom of spiders, cone snails, scorpions as well as parasite-derived peptides, to improve stability. It is anticipated that these studies will significantly expand the potential of peptides as therapeutics. In particular, peptide-based drug leads for wound healing and inflammatory diseases are being explored because of the enormous impact it has on health care in Australia and the urgent need for more effective treatments.
  • 2012 to 2016 - ARC Future Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2008 to 2011 - Queensland Smart State Fellow, The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 2004 to 2008 - NHMRC Industry Fellow, The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2012 to 2016 - ARC Future Fellowship
  • 2008 to 2011 - Queensland Smart State Fellowship
  • 2004 to 2008 - NHMRC Industry Fellowship
  • 2004 - The University of Queensland Research Excellence Award

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 130+ research outputs authored by Prof Norelle Daly from 2002 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Commonwealth Department of Health - Medical Research Future Fund - Cardiovascular Health

Activation of AMPK to treat abdominal aortic aneurysm (5As).

Indicative Funding
$1,044,836 over 3 years
Twenty million people worldwide (100,000 Australians) have weakening and dilatation of their main abdominal artery (AAA), responsible for 200,000 deaths/year due to aneurysm rupture. Randomised controlled trials show that surgery does not benefit patients with aneurysms <55mm in diameter. About 95% of AAAs are identified when they are small and are simply imaged every 6 to 12 months until aortic diameter becomes ?55mm, when surgery is considered. About 5% of AAAs fatally rupture during surveillance and 70% grow within 5 years to 55mm and are repaired, with the risk of complications. The lack of treatment for small AAA concerns patients who worry about aneurysm rupture, which impairs their quality of life. Surveys of patients and specialists, and our systematic reviews show the number one deficiency in AAA management is the lack of drugs to prevent aneurysm growth and rupture. A wealth of evidence suggests that pharmacological activation of the AMPK pathway may prevent AAA growth and rupture. We have access to a novel potent 5? adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway activator (O304) which has been shown to be safe in older adults for other indications. This 5As project will build on our past discoveries using our unique resources and expertise (clinically-relevant mouse model, human AAA explant culture methods, novel drug, statistical methods, human AAA biobanks, registries and genome wide data) to test if: 1. AMPK agonist 0304 inhibits aneurysm growth and rupture in our mouse model; 2. AMPK agonist 0304 reduces markers of AAA growth in human AAA samples in vitro; 3. Genetic AMPK upregulation is protective against AAA development and growth.
Jon Golledge, Joseph Moxon, Catherine Rush, Norelle Daly and Jenna Pinchbeck (College of Medicine & Dentistry, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Prevention; Complications; Peripheral artery disease; Risk factors

Heart Foundation - Vanguard Grant

Testing a 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase inhibitor in models of the two main clinical presentations of peripheral artery disease.

Indicative Funding
$150,000 over 2 years
250 million people worldwide (>1 million Australians) have leg artery blockage (peripheral artery disease; PAD). Thecommonest clinical presentations of PAD are: a) leg pain on walking which limits daily function and reduces quality of life; b) ischemic ulceration which is associated with a high risk of major amputation. The only widely available PAD treatment in Australia is surgery to improve leg blood supply (revascularisation) but this has limited effectiveness and safety concerns. There are currently no drug therapies for these clinical presentations of PAD. A major limitation with past efforts to develop PAD drugs has been the absence of clinically-relevant animal models. We have developed mouse models representative of the two main clinical presentations of PAD. Based on the findings of our extensive preliminary research, this project tests a promising drug therapy (SBI-0206965) in these models. This study has real potential to discover a clinically valuable drug and will further validate valuable laboratory models.
Jon Golledge and Norelle Daly (College of Medicine & Dentistry and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Peripheral artery disease; Complications; Prevention; Risk Factors; amputation

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Development of a novel wound healing agent

Indicative Funding
$24,249 over 1 year
Ancient traditional medicines, while often not mechanistically well characterised, can be incredibly useful in directing the development of new therapeutics and treatments. Inspired by traditional remedies for wound healing, our Cairns based team (Daly, Widi, Wilson and Smout) has shown that two plant-derived glycosides can act synergistically to promote fibroblast cell proliferation. This in vitro bioactivity correlates strongly with potent in vivo activity in a mouse model of wound healing based on our previous studies with an unrelated parasite-derived peptide. Our research question is whether glycosides acting synergistically can be used in the design of a novel wound healing treatment, and we now aim to carry out in vivo studies on our plant-derived compounds to begin to answer this question.
Norelle Daly, Antin Widi, David Wilson and Michael Smout (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Research Infrastructure)
Wound healing; NMR spectroscopy; Chromatography; Plant extracts

National Health & Medical Research Council - Ideas Grants

Substandard bed nets and malaria: Causes, Impact and Solutions

Indicative Funding
$827,057 over 4 years
Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) are a cornerstone of malaria control. LLIN undergo strict testing overseen by WHO and are subject to inspections prior to delivery to recipient countries. Despite this, we found that LLINs delivered to Papua New Guinea (PNG) between 2013 and 2019 were unable to kill malaria mosquitos. Concurrently we observed a massive increase in malaria in PNG. This study is aimed at understanding the causes and impact of substandard LLINs on the global malaria burden.
Stephan Karl, Norelle Daly, Ellie Sherrard-Smith, Jeremy Bougoure, Michael White, Lisa Reimer and Moses LAMAN in collaboration with Leanne Robinson, Ivo Mueller, Thomas Churcher, Julie Healer, Amelie Vantaux, David MacLaren and Tim Freeman (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, Imperial College London, University of Western Australia, Institut Pasteur, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Institute of Medical Research (PNG), Burnet Institute, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Institut Pasteur du Cambodge and Rotarians Against Malaria PNG)
Papua New Guinea; Malaria; Bed Nets; Bioefficiency; Anopheles

National Health & Medical Research Council - Development Grant

Hookworm peptide therapeutic for oral treatment of IBD

Indicative Funding
$732,700 over 2 years
We intend to develop an orally delivered peptide that can modulate the immune system and be developed as a therapeutic for inflammatory bowel disease. We have identified a peptide, derived from a hookworm protein, that alleviates the clinical symptoms of experimental colitis when orally administered to mice. The peptide has bioactivity with human cells ex vivo and displays desirable drug-like properties. The aim of this project is to acquire further data on the mechanism of action and formulation conditions to facilitate formal product development prior to licensing and clinical trials.
Alex Loukas, Norelle Daly, Paul Giacomin, John Miles, Roland Ruscher, Keith Dredge, Istvan Toth, Mariusz Skwarczynski, Matthew Moyle, Ashley Waardenberg, John Croese, Matt Field and Tony Rahman (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, The University of Queensland and The Prince Charles Hospital)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Peptide; therapeutic; Hookworm; Oral delivery

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Infrastructure (L-IEF)

An integrated, multi-model bio-layer interferometry facility

Indicative Funding
$945,000 over 1 year (administered by The University of Queensland)
Biomolecular interaction research in Australia is currently constrained by low-throughput, labour intensive techniques that impede research progress and often forces it overseas. This project aims to develop a world class, integrated, multi-node bio-layer interferometry facility. This project expects to generate new knowledge in diverse areas of research ranging from biodiscovery to agricultural vaccine technology. Using biolayer interferometry, the leading-edge biomolecular interaction technique will provide significant benefits by developing high-significant assay techniques, thus enabling diverse streams of national benefit research and propelling Australia to the forefront of biomolecular interaction research.
Brian Fry, Godwin Ayoko, Brett Collins, Scott Cummins, Norelle Daly, Denise Doolan, Luke Guddat, Emad Kiriakous, Alex Loukas, Stephen Mahler, John Miles, Bernd Rehm, Tomer Ventura, Irina Vetter and Wang Tianfang (The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and Griffith University)
Protein Interactions; interferometry; Therapeutics

Merchant Charitable Foundation - Donation

Pre-clinical development of a liver fluke growth factor for treating non-healing wounds

Indicative Funding
$450,000 over 3 years
This research proposal aims to develop more effective treatments for wound healing, improving treatment options for diabetic patients in Australia and eventually worldwide. This is likely to alleviate suffering from the disease and also decrease the AUD$3.6 billion financial burden of diabetic wound ulcers on the healthcare system. Although we showed that the liver fluke granulin protein has wound healing properties, it is difficult to produce in recombinant form. We have now developed a minimized version of granulin and produce it as a synthetic peptide that when applied topically displays wound-healing properties as potent as the full-length protein. Using the peptide as a topical agent is ideal because it capitalizes on the potency and specificity often associated with peptide-based drugs but does not require the high levels of bioavailability necessary for orally administered drugs. Our research will also provide advances in the field regarding the structure and folding of Ov-GRN-1, which will be of significant interest to researchers working specifically on growth factors and more broadly for those working on disulphide-rich peptides and proteins. Moreover, we believe that our decision to be guided in drug discovery by millennia of host-parasite coevolution will ensure that the most efficacious and safe drugs are identified and developed.
Alex Loukas, Michael Smout, Norelle Daly and Paramjit Bansal (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Liver Fluke; Growth Factor; Wound Repair; Therapeutics; Diabetes

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Efficacy of long-lasting Insecticidal Nets and alternative Vector Control strategies against Malaria and Dengue Mosquitoes in the South-Pacific region (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Development of Anti-Inflammatory Peptides (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • The role of ?Daun Patah Tulang? (Euphorbia tirucalli) as a traditional remedy for healing (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Structure and Function of Novel Peptides from Cone Snail Venom (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:

  • E4.112, Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Advisor Mentor
Find me on…
Icon for ResearcherID page Icon for Scopus Author page

Similar to me

  1. A/Prof Michael Oelgemoeller
    Physical Sciences
  2. Dr Phurpa Wangchuk
    Biomedical Sciences and Molecular Biology
  3. Dr Paul Giacomin
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  4. Dr Roland Ruscher
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  5. A/Prof Severine Navarro
    Veterinary Science