The School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences is a diverse and powerful research grouping with unique expertise in the chemical and molecular life sciences. Research income is more than $13 million per year and the School is recognised internationally for its research quality and output and for commecialisation of discoveries.
Biomolecular research in SCMB spans the range from small synthetic molecules through proteins, nucleic acids, viruses and microorganisms. Materials research encompasses the design and synthesis of molecular devices, functional polymers and nanomaterials as key strengths.
Our coherent integration of molecular, biological and chemical science in the one School is unique in Australia and has been valuable in enabling us to take a leading role in a number of interdisciplinary areas.
In the 2015 (latest) Excellence in Research Australia assessment of disciplines in which SCMB is active, UQ achieved the top rating of 5 (well above world standard) in Chemical Sciences, Microbiology, Genetics and Biotechnology, and a rating of 4 (above world standard) in Biochemistry & Cell Biology.
The School's current research themes are listed here.
World Renowned Staff
School staff regularly contribute to international conferences and journals, provide expert consulting services and work extensively with government and industry on a wide variety of projects. Amongst the around 140 equivalent full-time staff engaged in research are the holders of prestigous fellowships:
- Professor Paul Burn, FAA, Vice-Chancellor's Research Focused Fellow - Organic optoelectronics
- Dr Jack Clegg, ARC Future Fellow - Metallo-supramolecular chemistry
- Professor Phil Hugenholtz, ARC Laureate Fellow - Microbiology and genomics
- Professor Alex Khromykh, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow - Virology
- Professor Bostjan Kobe, National Health & Medical Research (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow - Structural biology of molecular recognition.
- Professor Alan Mark, UQ Fellow - Macroscopic properties of biomolecular systems
- Professor Michael Monteiro - Vice-Chancellor's Research & Teaching Fellow - Designer polymers
- Professor Mark Schembri, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow - Molecular mechanisms of infectious diseases
- Professor Gary Schenk, ARC Future Fellow - Biophysical chemistry
- Assoc Professor Kate Stacey, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow - Cellular response to foreign nucleic acids
- Professor Gene Tyson, Vice-Chancellor's Research Focused Fellow - microbial ecology
- Professor Mark Walker, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow - Group A Streptococcus as an agent of invasive disease and GAS vaccine development
Significant investment has been made in recent years in the refurbishment of many of our research laboratories and in the acquisition of specialised scientific equipment. Read more here.
Collaboration and Industry Relevance
- Alchemia - using expertise in chemistry to discover and develop human thearpeutic products.
- Impedimed - pioneering the use of next generation bioimpedance spectroscopy technology.
- Microba - unlocking the power of metagenomics to explore, compare and monitor the organisms that make up your unique microbiome.
- Q-sera - developing technology for producing high quality serum in a clinical setting, based on the blood clotting properties of specific snake venom.
- TetraQ - offering preclinical services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
- Ridley Agriproducts - high performance animal nurition solutions
- Integria - natural healthcare brands
SCMB researchers are actively involved in a number of professional societies and provide services to Government and public sector organisations.
Research Student and Staff Opportunities
The School is committed to attracting the best staff and students to participate in its growing research endeavours. Early Career Research staff are assisted with computing and travel resources and grant applications and have their own committee of representatives.
Prospective research higher degree (RHD) students can learn more about opportunities available to them here. Tuition fee waivers are available to outstanding international RHD students for selected, funded research projects. Professional development opportunities are available to RHD students, including student symposia and travel to attend conferences. There is an active social group which organises events.