Research Overview

 The study of macromolecular interactions

The group combines expertise in the functional and structural characterization of proteins and is particularly interested in the study of essential protein–ligand interactions. Proteins of interest to the group include: essential DNA replication proteins, transcription factors and metabolic enzymes of bacteria causing melioidosis and tuberculosis; and the nucleoproteins and replication proteins from influenza, Ebola and dengue viruses.

Drug discovery

This program is in full swing and builds on recent successes in the development of innovative high-throughput assays using the principle of high-throughput differential scanning fluorimetry of GFP-tagged proteins. The group is interested in the identification of drug leads and their mechanisms of action. Diseases of particular interest to the group include: dengue, melioidosis, Ebola and influenza.

Development of ultrasensitive immunodiagnostics

This program involves the discovery of new biomarkers and the development of innovative diagnostic platforms. The group’s successes include the development of the TT-lock Immuno-PCR platform and its application for the diagnosis of melioidosis as well as a sensitive assay to detect the presence of the influenza nucleoprotein. Diseases of particular interest to the group include malaria, dengue, melioidosis, Ebola and allergies.

Development of bio- and nanotechnologies

The group has a long-standing interest and track-record in developing innovative technologies with a focus on biomolecular recognition and self-assembly, and their applications.


Protein Biochemistry; DNA replication; Protein-ligand interactions; Immuno-PCR diagnostics; Surface Plasmon Resonance; Protein unfolding and aggregation; Drug targets; High-throughput biotechnologies: GFP

  • BC2013: Principles of Biochemistry (Level 2; TSV)
  • BC2014: Principles of Biochemistry for Pharmacy Students (Level 2; TSV)
  • BC2023: Molecular Genetics (Level 2; TSV)
  • BC3102: Molecular Basis of Disease (Level 3; TSV)
  • BC3201: Bioengineering (Level 3; TSV)
  • BC3202: Special Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Level 3; TSV)
  • BC5102: Advanced Molecular Basis of Disease (Level 5; TSV)
  • BC5201: Advanced Bioengineering (Level 5; TSV)
  • BC5202: Advanced Laboratory Practice in Molecular and Cell Biology (Level 5; TSV)
  • BC5312: Research and Dissertation in Molecular and Cell Biology (Level 5; TSV)
Socio-Economic Objectives

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 35+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Patrick Schaeffer from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

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

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

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility for Northern Australia

Indicative Funding
$270,000 , in partnership with the Charles Darwin University ($35,000)
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is a fundamentally and critically important technique in the characterisation of organic, inorganic and biological compounds. The purchase of a state-of-the-art instrument at James Cook University and a lower resolution instrument at Charles Darwin University are required to support productive existing research projects, and nurture future projects, in organometallic chemistry and the development of new materials and analytical sensors; organic photochemistry as applied in synthesis and degradation; natural products, pharmaceutical, inorganic chemistry, where multinuclear nuclear magnetic resonance is most important and applicable in drug design, development and delivery.
Peter Junk, Michael Oelgemoeller, George Vamvounis, Rosalie Hocking, Patrick Schaeffer, Martin Boland, Vinuthaa Murthy, Yean Yeow Tan, Hao Wang and Yasmin Antwertinger (College of Science & Engineering, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Charles Darwin University)
NMR Spectroscopy; Inorganic Chemistry; Organic Chemistry

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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.

  • Studies in the Ecology and Biocontrol of Burkholderia Pseudomallei (PhD , Associate Advisor)

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)

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