Tess Malcolm


School of Chemistry

University of Melbourne

Dr Tess Malcolm completed her Bachelor of Biotechnology (Medical) at Monash University in 2015, followed by Honours under the supervision of Associate Professor Sheena McGowan within the Department of Microbiology. Her research project involved the screening of compounds against two essential aminopeptidases from Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax, which are targets for the design of novel antimalarials.

In 2017, Tess was awarded a Research Training Program scholarship to undertake a PhD in Associate Professor McGowan’s laboratory. During her PhD, Tess continued to investigate and characterise the antimalarial drug targets studied during her Honours year. Following her passion for structural biology, Tess integrated the use of X-ray crystallography in combination with cryo-electron microscopy and several biophysical techniques to investigate how to effectively inhibit aminopeptidase activity with small compounds.

Throughout her PhD, Tess’ research has been recognised with several national and international awards including the SCANZ Rising Star Award (2020), the Tilley Prize for a Promising Young Protein Scientist (2019) and the Poster Prize of the Czech Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the International Proteolysis Society General Meeting (2019). Tess was also involved in student advocacy during her PhD, as the president of the Monash University Microbiology Postgraduate Society and as a member of the Monash BDI Graduate Student Committee.

In 2020, Tess joined the laboratory of Associate Professor Megan Maher within the School of Chemistry at University of Melbourne as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Tess currently researches the manganese importer from Streptococcus pneumoniae, and she continues to use complementary structural biology techniques to understand protein structure and function.

This ASBMB Fellowship will allow Tess to travel to Jeju Island, South Korea, to present her research at the Asian Crystallographic Association (AsCA) 2022 Meeting.