Sydney Protein Group – Recent Activities




Recent Activities




Recent Activities (last 5 years)


22.11.18 Thompson Prize Night

The 28th Annual Thompson Prize Talks and half-day symposium was held on the 22nd of November at the University of Sydney.

Harry Rathbone (UNSW) described his work on phycobiliproteins and how the cryptophyte Hemiselmis andersenii have ‘modified’ these proteins to maximise and capture various wavelengths of light. His work also implied that these various light-harvesting proteins are specifically organised in an ordered manner to maximise efficiency during light harvesting; something that has not been previously shown. Next, Sayantani Chatterjee (Macquarie Uni) spoke about her work on the discovery of the pre-dominance of paucimannosylation in human cancers, and its potential to be a cancer biomarker. Her work involved a massive collaboration across multiple international institutions and represent a significant technical advance in the field of glycoproteomics. After afternoon tea, Yichen Zhong (USyd) who used single molecule techniques to probe, with exquisite detail, how the nucleosome remodeller CHD4 ‘slide’ nucleosomes mechanistically. Her work showed that DNA translocation at the entry and exit sites of the nucleosome are decoupled; DNA tranlocates smoothly at the entry site, while at the exit site, this appears to be an abrupt process. Our penultimate speaker, Yi Zeng (VCCRI), showcased his work on archeal TF55 chaperonin protein from Sulfolobus solfataricus. He serendipitously found that TF55 might be forming reversable protein filaments as a method for regulating its activity, and show using cryoEM that the apical regions are facilitating these filamentous formations. Finally, Ngee Kiat Jake Chua (UNSW) describe his PhD project on the regulation of squalene monooxygenase – an important player of cholesterol homeostasis. He describes his tumultuous pursuit through the use of many(!) alanine mutants, how he finally identified a key 12aa regulatory region, and how this protein was ultimately regulated by the use of non-canonical serine ubiquitinylation to trigger protein degradation.

We think all our speakers deserve a prize. However, only one was ultimately crowned the Thompson Prize winner for 2019. Our symposium guest speakers (Ad Bax, Rasmus Linser and Kevin Gardner) doubled up as judges for the event and decided, after careful deliberation, that it was Yichen who deserved the title – Congratulations! As for Travel Awards, Charlotte Franck (USyd) and Serene El-Kamand (WSU) won the ATA Scientific and ANSTO Travel Awards, respectively. Teegan Lawson (WSU) was also awarded the Greg Ralston Memorial Prize.

We would like to thank everyone who attended – we hope you enjoyed it. We would also like to thank our event sponsors: ATA Scientific, ANSTO, Thermofisher Scientific and ASBMB, for generously providing funds to make the event possible.


23.11.18 Thompson Prize Night

The Thompson Prize Event took place on Friday, the 23rd Nov from 3-6pm in the CPC (University of Sydney), Level 6, Seminar room, with food/drinks in the Level 6 lounge afterwards (hosted by Dr Mark Larance).

Sept-Oct.18 Special Seminar sponsored by the SPG in September/October

Professor Nigel Unwin (MRC laboratory of Molecular Biology) talked about ‘Experiments in electron microscopy: from metals to nerves’ on Thursday, 20th September 2018 at The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (Level 4 Seminar Room) from 2 – 3pm. Professor Bostjan Kobe (School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland) talked about ‘Signalling by cooperative assembly formation (SCAF) by TIR domains in innate immunity and cell death pathways’ on Tuesday, 2nd October 2018 at Macquarie University (4WW (F7B) 322 seminar room, 1-2 pm) and on Wednesday, 3rd Oct 2018 at Western Sydney University (Parramatta Campus, Building EHa, 12.30-1.30pm).


9.2.17 Special Seminar sponsered by the SPG

The SPG has sponsored a special seminar given by Dr Tanja Mittag from the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the US on Friday, the 9th of February, 2018 at 10.45 at the University of Sydney (Buidling G08). She talked about intrinsically disordered proteins (title: ‘sequence-conformation-function relationships of intrinsically disordered protein regions that undergo liquid-liquid phase separation or multisite phosphorylation’) and this event was hosted by Prof. Joel Mackay (University of Sydney).

24.11.17 Thompson Prize Night

The Thompson Prize evening took place at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) on the 24th of November, 2017 at 3 pm (hosted by A/Prof Iain Duggin).

14-16.7.17 East Coast Protein Meeting (ECPM) 2017

The East Coast Protein Meeting was held from Friday, 14th of July to Sunday, 16th of July, 2017. The meeting was a joint initiative by the Sydney Protein Group and the Queensland Protein Group. This three-day conference was an excellent arena for established and young protein scientists to mix on an equal footing in a relaxed atmosphere. One of the primary goals of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for younger protein scientists to present their work.


22.11.16 Thompson Prize Night

The event was held on Tuesday, the 22nd of November at the University of Wollongong, hosted by Justin Yerbury and Heath Ecroyd. We had some great student talks, a good lunch and fun!

8.2.16 Proteomics Seminar

The SPG together with the University of Sydney has hosted a special seminar by the ‘Godfather’ of proteomics, Prof Matthias Mann (Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry). This seminar took place on Monday, 8th of February, 2016 at 4 pm at the Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium (with refreshments from 5 pm onwards).

12.2.16 SPG/UTS Gene Regulation Meeting

SPG in collaboration with UTS has been organising a special Gene Regulation Meeting on Friday, 12th of February, 2016 at the new UTS Science building (a short walk from Central Station). The meeting started with a lecture on structure-function analyses of eukaryotic transcription complexes and cutting edge electron cryo-microscopy, from Lori Passmore (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK), who was in Australia as an invited speaker at the Lorne Protein Structure and Function conference. This was followed by 3 talks by local scientists (Dr Sandro Ataide, Prof Jacqui Matthews and Prof Peter Lewis), and then an optional tour of the UTS superresolution imaging facility, which is available to external users.


26.11.15 Thompson Prize Night 2015

Some of the SPG’s best work was again showcased at the annual Thompson Prize Night! This year’s event was held at the Garvan on Thursday the 26th of November, kindly hosted by Mary Christie. In addition to the Thompson Prize, we have also awarded the Lorne Travel Awards, which help students to attend the Lorne Protein or Proteomics conference.

24.07.-26.07.15 ECPM15 Meeting

The East Coast Protein Meeting (organized by the Queensland Protein Group and the SPG) has been taken place in Coffs Harbour from Friday 24th July to Sunday 26st July, 2015.


3.10.14 Thompson Prize Night 2014

The annual Thompson Prize Night was held at UNSW on Thursday the 27th of November, kindly hosted by Dr Till Boecking. The best candidates were selected to present their work at the Thompson Prize Night and the best presenter was awarded the prize and a cheque for $600. We have also awarded 3 Travelling Scholarships to Lorne worth $600 each.

3.10.14 SPG Spring Symposium

The SPG has organized this half-day meeting on Friday, 3rd of October, 2014, hosting international speaker Prof Steve McKnight (ComBio Plenary Speaker). Steve is an exceptional scientist who has made a number of seminal findings in the field of gene regulation, including the discovery of the leucine zipper motif that allows transcription factors to dimerise. More recently, his laboratory has taken to unravelling the complexities of metabolism, neurogenesis and the circadian rhythm. In addition, we have also hosted an excellent collection of local speakers: Iain Duggan (University of Technology Sydney), Renae Ryan (University of Sydney), Justin Yerbury (University of Wollongong), Melanie White (University of Sydney) and Morten Thaysen-Anderson (Macquarie University). The meeting was held at the new Charles Perkins Centre at Sydney University and Ben Crossett was conducting tours of the brand new mass spectrometry facilities on site. We thank everyone who was able to join us for what was a great day of local and international protein-centric research!

14.2.14 SPG Lorne Proteins Satellite Talks at UTS

This was the first SPG event to be held at UTS University of Technology Sydney in recent years and was hosted by Dr Iain Duggin. Many thanks to Iain for hosting 2 excellent speakers: Prof Jakob Moller-Jensen from the University of Southern Denmark (title: “Uncovering protein glycosylation in bacteria”) and Prof Jan Lowe from the MRC in Cambridge (title: “Filaments of the bacterial cytoskeleton”). Iain has also organised a tour of the UTS microscope facility and the 3D-SIM super-resolution microscope following afternoon tea.


For information about earlier events please contact the SPG or see the pdf file located here.