Primary research interest

Structural biology of infection and immunity

Additional roles

About me

I received my BSc (Hons) degree from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and my PhD degree from the University of Texas Soutwestern Medical Center at Dallas, USA, under the supervision of Johann Deisenhofer. I worked as Postdoctoral Fellow at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Dallas Texas, and at St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. I have been at the University of Queensland since the year 2000. I have been awarded the Minister's Prize for Achievement in Life Sciences in 2001, the ASBMB Roche Medal in 2009 and the ASBMB Beckman Coulter Discovery Science Award in 2018. I was awarded the ARC Federation Fellowship in 2005 and the ARC Laureate Fellowship in 2017. I become Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2018.

Research focus and collaborations

Protein structure and function

The group’s research theme is protein structure and function, with the emphasis on understanding the structural basis of intra- and intermolecular interactions formed by these macromolecules and inferring function from structure. The biological focus is on proteins involved in infection and immunity. The goal of the research is to use structural and molecular information to understand the molecular and cellular functions of proteins, validate proteins as therapeutic targets or biotechnological products, and to design new therapeutics and biotechnological applications. The primary techniques used in the laboratory are X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron. icroscopy, combined with a plethora of other molecular biology, biophysical and computational techniques.

Projects

  • Molecular and structural basis of innate immunity in animals and plants
  • Molecular and structural basis of bacterial, fungal and viral pathogenesis

Funded projects

  • ARC Laureate Fellowship 2019-2023
    Unifying mechanisms of innate immunity signaling in animals and plants
    Total value of grant: $2,682,165
  • NHMRC Project 2019-2021
    Molecular basis and inhibition of TIR-domain function in Toll-like receptor and neuronal cell-death pathways
    Total value of grant: $772,521
  • ARC Discovery Project 2019-2021
    Molecular mechanisms of signalling by plant immune receptors
    Total value of grant: $538,287
  • NHMRC Program 2015-2019
    Proteins and glycans in host-pathogen interactions: targets for novel drugs and vaccines
    $8,795,785

Teaching interests

  • Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BIOC3000)
  • Cell Structure & Function (BIOL2200)
  • Foundations of Biophysics (BIPH2000)

Achievements and awards

Appointments

  • Academic Editor, Acta Crystallographica Section D Structural Biology
  • Academic Editor, PLoS One
  • Lone Proteins Conference Organising Committee (2017-)
  • ARC Medical Research Advisory Group (2018-)
  • NHMRC Projects Grant Review Panel (2016-2018)
  • ARC College of Experts (2012-2015)

Awards

  • 2018 ASBMB Beckman Coulter Discovery Science Award
  • 2018  Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science
  • 2018 ARC Federation Fellowship
  • 2017 School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Higher Degree by Research Supervision Excellence Award
  • 2016 NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship
  • 2014 School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences High Impact Research Achievement Award
  • 2011 Q-Index Award for Postgraduate Supervision
  • 2011 NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship
  • 2009 ASBMB Roche Medal
  • 2005 ARC Federation Fellowship
  • 2003 NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship
  • 2001 Minister's Prize for Achievement in Life Sciences 
  • 2000 Erice Vaciago Award, International School of Crystallography
  • 1998 National Association of Research Fellows of NHMRC Post-Doctoral Award
  • 1997 Wellcome Senior Research Fellowship in Medical Science
  • 1996 ARC Postoctoral Fellowship
  • 1994 University of Texas Southwestern Nominata Award

Featured publications

Researcher biography

Dr Kobe's research interests are in protein structure and function, with the emphasis on understanding the structural basis of intra- and intermolecular interactions formed by these macromolecules.

The primary technique used in the laboratory is X-ray crystallography, combined with a plethora of other molecular biology, biophysical and computational techniques.

Current projects include:

  • Structural genomics of macrophage proteins
  • Understanding the mechanism and specificity of nuclear import
  • Structural basis of signal transduction
  • Structural basis of plant disease resistance and development
  • Molecular and structural basis of retroviral and dengue virus membrane fusion