SUPRAMOLECULAR BIOLOGY GROUP
COMPARATIVE GENOMICS CENTRE

Mail Address: Comparative Genomics Centre,
Molecular Sciences Bldg 21, James Cook University,
Townsville, 4811, Queensland, Australia
Telephone: 61-7-4781 5567 Fax:  61-7-4781 6078

CONTENTS:



RESEARCH OVERVIEW:
    The SSBG research interests are broadly based on the study at the molecular level of protein-ligand interactions and in particular protein-DNA interactions. The study and discovery of these interactions is primordial to the understanding of the complex spatio-temporal molecular communication patterns occurring within the cell. The discovery and study of novel interactions can provide new molecular tools with applications in the field of bio- and nanotechnology (e.g. molecular diagnostics, drug discovery, functional genomics and proteomics).
The SSBG is currently developing innovative methods for the discovery, characterization and quantification of such interactions. The SSBG has current collaborations with the research groups of Prof. Dixon (U of Wollongong), Prof. Otting (ANU Canberra), Dr Oakley (CSIRO Mebourne), Dr Sevick (ANU, Canberra) Dr Van Oijen (Harvard Medical School, Boston), Prof. Strazewski (Université Claude-Bernard, Lyons, France) and Prof. Keene (James Cook University). The research undertaken in the SSBG is multidisciplinary and spans across the disciplines of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Chemistry.
The SSBG is grateful for the generous support of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.


STAFF:

Group Head:

Staff:

Postgraduate Students

Undergraduate Students

POSITIONS IN THE SUPRAMOLECULAR BIOLOGY GROUP:

Postgraduate
Students interested in undertaking a PhD or Masters project in the Supramolecular Biology Group should contact Patrick Schaeffer to discuss projects of mutual interest. Most higher degrees students would be expected to be eligible for a scholarship through the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scheme, the James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship or an equivalent national or international scholarship.

The Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (JCUPRS) are open to applicants with, or who expect to hold, a first class honours degree or equivalent by the end of the year and who wish to undertake full-time research Masters or PhD program. In 2010 the stipends for an APA were $22,500 pa (full time) or $12,176 (part-time). APA applicants must be Australian citizens or have been granted permanent resident status and lived in Australia continuously for 12 months prior to receiving the award; Information and application forms can be obtained from the Graduate Research School.  Closing Date: 31 October of each year.

Honours
Students who have completed their undergraduate training in a BSc, BBiomedSc, BMedlabSc or equivalent program and are interested in participating in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Honours Program are encouraged to contact Patrick Schaeffer for a description of currently available projects. Honours studies require a full-time commitment for one year (two semesters) and can start in either February or August.

Undergraduate
There are two main opportunities for undergraduates to participate in the ongoing research of the Supramolecular Biology Group.

Students enrolled in BC3203 (Special Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - second semester) could ask that they undertake their research project in the Supramolecular Biology Laboratory.

Students can apply for a Comparative Genomics Centre Vacation Scholar Award. The successful applicants receive instruction in the latest recombinant DNA and genetics techniques, receiving a stipend of $200 per week for a full-time commitment of between 6 and 10 weeks over the summer break. Applications for the CGC Vacation Studentships are announced in September each year and close in late October. Contact Patrick Schaeffer for further details




RECENT PUBLICATIONS:


Moreau, Morgane J.J., Morin, Isabelle, and Schaeffer, Patrick M. (2010) Quantitative determination of protein stability and ligand binding using a green fluorescent protein reporter system. Molecular BioSystems, 6 (7). pp. 1285-1292. ISSN 1742-206X

Morin, Isabelle, Dixon, Nicholas E., and Schaeffer, Patrick M. (2010) Ultrasensitive detection of antibodies using a new Tus-Ter-lock immunoPCR system. Molecular BioSystems, 6 (7). pp. 1173-1175. ISSN 1742-2051

Dahdah, Dahdah B., Morin, Isabelle, Moreau, Morgane J.J., Dixon, Nicholas E., and Schaeffer, Patrick M. (2009) Site-specific covalent attachment of DNA to proteins using a photoactivatable Tus–Ter complex. Chemical Communications, 21 . pp. 3050-3052. ISSN 1364-548X

Schaeffer, Patrick, and Dixon, Nicholas (2009) Synthesis and applications of covalent protein-DNA conjugates. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 62 (10). pp. 1328-1332. ISSN 1445-0038

Tanner, Nathan A., Hamdan, Samir M., Jergic, Slobodan, Loscha, Karin V., Schaeffer, Patrick M., Dixon, Nicholas E., and van Oijen, Antoine M. (2008) Single-molecule studies of fork dynamics in Escherichia coli DNA replication. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, 15 (2). pp. 170-176. ISSN 1545-9985

Watt, Stephen J., Urathamakul, Thitima, Schaeffer, Patrick M., Williams, Neal K., Sheil, Margaret M., Dixon, Nicholas E., and Beck, Jennifer L. (2007) Multiple oligomeric forms of Escherichia coli DnaB helicase revealed by electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 21 . pp. 132-140. ISSN 1097-0231

Su, Xun-Cheng, Schaeffer, Patrick M., Loscha, Karin V., Gan, Pamela H. P., Dixon, Nicholas E., and Otting, Gottfried (2006) Monomeric solution structure of the helicase-binding domain of Escherichia coli DnaG primase. FEBS journal, 273 (21). pp. 4997-5009. ISSN 1742-4658

Ioannou, Charikleia, Schaeffer, Patrick M., Dixon, Nicholas E., and Soultanas, Panos (2006) Helicase binding to DnaI exposes a cryptic DNA-binding site during helicase loading in Bacillus subtilis. Nucleic Acids Research, 34 (18). pp. 5247-5258. ISSN 0305-1048

Mulcair, Mark D., Schaeffer, Patrick M., Oakley, Aaron J., Cross, Hannah F., Neylon, Cameron, Hill, Thomas M., and Dixon, Nicholas E. (2006) A molecular mousetrap determines polarity of termination of DNA replication in E. coli. Cell, 125 (7). pp. 1309-1319. ISSN 1097-4172

Beck, Jennifer L., Urathamakul, Thitima, Watt, Stephen J., Sheil, Margaret M., Schaeffer, Patrick M., and Dixon, Nicholas E. (2006) Proteomic dissection of DNA polymerization. Expert Review of Proteomics, 3 (2). pp. 197-211.

Graham, Stephen C., Lilley, Penelope E., Lee, Mihwa, Schaeffer, Patrick M., Kralicek, Andrew V., Dixon, Nicholas E., and Guss, J. Mitchell (2006) Kinetic and crystallographic analysis of mutant Escherichia coli aminopeptidase P: insights into substrate recognition and the mechanism of catalysis. Biochemistry, 45 (3). pp. 964-975. ISSN 1520-4995

Robinson, Andrew, Wu, Peter S.-C., Harrop, Stephen J., Schaeffer, Patrick M., Dosztanyi, Zsuzsanna, Gillings, Michael R., Holmes, Andrew J., Nevalainen, K. M. Helena, Stokes, H. W., Otting, Gottfried, Dixon, Nicholas E., Curmi, Paul M. G., and Mabbutt, Bridget C. (2005) Integron-associated mobile gene cassettes code for folded proteins: the structure of Bal32a, a new member of the adaptable α+β barrel family. Journal of Molecular Biology, 346 (5). pp. 1229-1241. ISSN 0022-2836

Oakley, Aaron J., Loscha, Karin V., Schaeffer, Patrick M., Liepinsh, Edvards, Pintacuda, Guido, Wilce, Matthew C.J., Otting, Gottfried, and Dixon, Nicholas E. (2005) Crystal and solution structures of the helicase-binding domain of Escherichia coli primase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280 (12). pp. 11495-11504. ISSN 1083-351X

Schaeffer, Patrick M., Headlam, Madeleine J., and Dixon, Nicholas E. (2005) Protein - protein interactions in the eubacterial replisome. IUBMB Life, 57 (1). pp. 5-12. ISSN 1521-6551

LINKS:


Molecular biology, biochemistry, biological chemistry, bio-inorganic chemistry, biotechnology, diagnostics, ELISA, biacore, surface plasmon resonance, structure, protein interactions, associations, dissociations, affinity, binding, DNA replication, transcription factor, Tus, DnaB, primase, polymerase, SSB, single molecule, protein stability, unfolding, aggregation, green fluorescent protein, chromatin immuno-precipitation, ImmunoPCR, real-time PCR, Escherichia coli, Bacillus, sortase, artificial nuclease, in vivo localization, proteomics, functional genomics, structural genomics, directed evolution, purification.lar science, biology.