Two SCMB staff awarded UQ Fellowships

11 May 2016

Spiroketal substructures in naturally-occurring substances, and curriculum development for core biophysics courses are among topics to be studied in two prestigious UQ fellowships awarded within School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences staff.

UQ Fellowships aim to foster development of promising early career researchers and retain mid-career and senior academic staff of exceptional calibre at the University.

The three-year fellowships are awarded for research, teaching and service activities.

UQ Fellowships awarded to School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences academics are:

Dr Kasun Sankalpa Athukorala ArachchigeDr Kasun Sankalpa Athukorala Arachchige will conduct research-teaching in new bimetallic catalysts for synthesising spiroketals.  These are widely-occurring substructures in many naturally-occurring substances.  They are promising drug development candidates particularly for the treatment of HIV, but remain challenging to synthesise. The project will develop new bimetallic catalysts.  The development of proposed materials will allow highly efficient preparation of pharmaceuticals, reducing the cost of spiroketal-containing drugs and environmental damage from making them.  Dr Arachchige joins UQ from the University of New South Wales.

Professor Alan MarkProfessor Alan Mark will concentrate on curriculum and course development for two core foundational courses of the Biophysics major, BIPH2000 AND BIPH3001 The Biophyics major is intended to engage students at the interface between (bio)chemistry, biology and physics. As convenor, Professor Mark envisions the major as a suite of courses that equip students with the skills and knowledge that underpin our understanding and practice of modern biomolecular research.