Speaker:  Prof Johnson Mak

Title:  A journey in understanding HIV assembly - implications on protein trafficking 

Bio & Abstract:  Johnson Mak is a native of Hong Kong (as well as a Canadian and an Australian) who undertook his undergraduate and post-graduate training at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. During his PhD Johnson worked at the McGill AIDS Centre studying packaging of primer tRNA into HIV. He subsequently moved to Melbourne, Australia to continue work on HIV assembly at the Burnet Institute. Johnson also held appointments with Monash University, Deakin University and CSIRO AAHL. Johnson is currently a Professor at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast. Johnson has a broad research portfolio in virology having studied primer tRNAs in retroviruses, genomic RNA packaging and dimerization, cholesterol and lipids in virus formation, viral-host interactions, imaging of HIV and analysis of recombination and mutation mechanisms in virus replication. Data being shared in this seminar will offer a perspective how diverse viral components are coordinated to generate infectious viral particles. Specifically, polarised / precision targeting of protein complexes to their destination is fundamental to cellular homeostasis, yet the mechanism underpinning directional protein delivery is arguably incomplete. Using the uropod targeting HIV synapses as a model system, we will describe how HIV leverages intracellular calcium gradient (particularly via calcium sparks) to facilitate viral particle formation and intracellular trafficking. The reliance of calcium sparks in complex formation and trafficking could represent a general principle for the precision intracellular targeting of proteins in biology.

About School research seminars

Seminars cover all aspects of chemistry and molecular biosciences and are delivered by visiting national and international academics. PhD completion seminars are also incorporated into the program.

Seminars are usually held in person and via zoom. All are welcome to attend.  



07-234 - Parnell Building, Learning Theatre