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, and the ASBMB Roche Medal in 2009. I was awarded the ARC Federation Fellowship in 2005.

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

Projects

  • Molecular and structural basis of bacterial pathogenesis
  • Molecular and structural basis of innate immunity in animals and plants
  • Molecular and structural basis of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport
  • Molecular and structural basis of viral membrane fusion
  • Development of bioinformatic tools for protein-protein interaction analysis

Funded projects

  • ARC Discovery Project 2012-2015
    Understanding the molecular function of plant disease resistance proteins, pathogen effectors and their interaction to protect Australian agriculture
    Total value of grant: $370, 000
  • NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship 2011-2015
    Structural biology of infection and immunity
    Total value of grant: $630,505
  • NHMRC Program 2010-2014
    Pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of bacterial infectious diseases
    Total value of grant: $1,895,000
  • ARC Discovery Project 2012-2014
    Understanding the molecular function of plant disease resistance proteins, pathogen effectors and their interaction to protect Australian agriculture
    Total value of grant:$370,000
  • NHMRC Project 2011-2013
    Molecular and structural basis of signalling by TIR domain-containing adaptors in TLR pathways
    Total value of grant:$643,616
  • NHMRC Development Grant 2010-2012
    Developing a safe group A streptococcal vaccine
    Total value of grant: $483,600
  • ARC Federation Fellowship 2005-2010
    New Approaches to Functional and Structural Genomics
    Total value of grant: $1,551,626

Teaching interests

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

Achievements and awards

Appointments

  • Society of Crystallographers in Australia and New Zealand: President 2012-2014
  • Academic Editor, PLoS One
  • ARC College of Experts (2012-2015)

Awards

  • 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 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