Research Symposium 2020

ASBMB Research Symposium

10:00 – 16:00 AEST Online, Wednesday 30 September 2020

Please join us to celebrate and hear presentations from our 2020 ASBMB award winners and invited plenary speakers.

Registration is free for this special online event.


Plenary Speaker 1: Professor Shelley Berger

Epigenetic pathways as targets in human disease

Professor Shelley Berger is the Daniel S. Och University Professor at University of Pennsylvania and is a faculty member in the Cell & Developmental Biology Department and the Genetics Department in the Perelman School of Medicine, as well as the Biology Department in the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr Berger also serves as founding and current director of the Epigenetics Institute at Penn School of Medicine.

Research in Dr Berger’s lab has uncovered numerous chromatin enzymes and has addressed fundamental questions on their mechanisms in modifying both histones and DNA binding activators (i.e., the tumor suppressor p53) in transcription. These findings have contributed to the explosion in broad interest and focus on epigenetics in biomedical research. Indeed, in recent years her lab’s effort has become increasingly focused on the study of mammalian biology and human diseases, including epigenetics in cancer and other diseases associated with aging, as well as epigenetic control of learning, memory, and behavior in mammals and the ant model system. To fund this broad research portfolio, Dr Berger currently has three NIH individual R01 grants and she is PI of an NIH P01 grant. In 2017, Dr Berger established Epivario Inc to develop epigenetic treatments for neurological memory disorders. Dr Berger’s lab has published more than 200 papers and reviews, with many in high impact journals such as Nature, Science, Cell, and Genes & Development.

Plenary Speaker 2: Professor Glenn King

Deadly cures: a spider-venom peptide for treating ischemic injuries of the heart and brain

Professor Glenn King is a biochemist and structural biologist whose expertise lies in translating venom-derived peptides into human drugs and bioinsecticides. He completed his PhD at the University of Sydney before undertaking postdoctoral studies at the University of Oxford. After academic appointments at the University of Sydney and the University of Connecticut, he joined the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), University of Queensland. Professor King is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Deputy Head, Division of Chemistry & Structural Biology at IMB, along with being theme leader for the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide & Protein Science.

Professor King’s primary focus is developing novel analgesics for pain relief, novel drugs for treating severe paediatric epilepsies, and novel neuroprotective agents for treating stroke victims. His lab is working closely with several pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for clinical use and maintains the most extensive collection of venoms in the world, which includes venoms from more than 600 species of venomous spiders, scorpions, centipedes and assassin bugs. These venoms are a rich source of stable natural peptides that potently modulate the activity of a wide range of neuronal ion channels and receptors.


Opening and President’s Address 10:00
Opening and President’s Address (MP4)

Plenary Speaker 1 10:10-10:50

Shelley Berger (MP4)

Award Session 10:50-12:45

Trevor Lithgow (MP4) Lemberg Medal 10:50
Nirma Samarawickrema (MP4) SDR Scientific Education Award 11:20
Matthew Doyle (MP4) Boomerang Award 11:45
Colin Jackson (MP4) Shimadzu Research Medal 12:10

Lunch Break 12:35-13:00

ASBMB AGM 13:00-13:45

Early Career Researcher Session 13:55-15:20

Si Ming Man (MP4) Eppendorf Edman ECR Award 13:55
Amy Baxter (MP4) Fred Collins Award and Travel Fellowship 14:20
Steffi Cheung Travel Fellowship 14:35
Mengjie Hu Travel Fellowship 14:50
Anukriti Mathur Travel Fellowship 15:05
Steffi, Mengjie and Anukriti (MP4)

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Plenary Speaker 2 15:20-16:00

Glenn King (MP4)

Conclusion and Happy Hour 16:00


Tatiana Soares da Costa La Trobe University

Organising Committee
Melissa Pitman SA Pathology and University of South Australia
Kate Brettingham-Moore University of Tasmania
Kate Quinlan University of New South Wales
Benjamin Schultz University of Queensland
Dominic Ng University of Queensland
Monika Murcha University of Western Australia
Erinna Lee La Trobe University and Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute