Structural biology of proteins involved in cancer

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Craig Morton
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Michael Parker Personal web page

Project Details

Conventional cancer chemotherapy kills rapidly growing cells indiscriminately, causing significant side-effects and can lead to disease re-occurrence and resistance to the drugs. One of our interests is the Glutathione S-Transferase (GST) family of proteins that function by recognising foreign small molecule toxins in the body, causing them to be eliminated from the cell. Unfortunately, commonly used anti-cancer drugs are also recognised as toxic by GST, which is often overexpressed in cancer tissues and is associated with transformation to malignancy and the adaptive resistance to anti-cancer drugs. There is thus an urgent need for the design of new anti-cancer drugs that circumvent the development of GST-mediated resistance to treatment. Very recently, there has been an increasing interest in the development of metal-based drugs as effective and potent protein targeted chemotherapies. We are investigating, though structural and biochemical means, how a range of ruthenium, arsenic and osmium-based drugs and drug-like compounds interact with GSTs. Students will investigate how these compounds work, as well as any drug-like molecules we develop, using X-ray crystallography and a range of biophysical techniques.

This project is conducted in St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, Structural Biology Unit.




Research Publications

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Structural biology unit

Research Node

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

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