Associate Professor Ethan Goddard-Borger

Associate Professor Ethan Goddard-Borger



Associate Professor Ethan Goddard-Borger at the Institute


Associate Professor

BSc (Hons) PhD UWA

Laboratory Head

Lab focus: the glycobiology of disease

Healthy human cells, cancer cells, pathogenic microbes and even viruses modify their proteins with complex sugar molecules called glycans. These structurally diverse modifications are essential for protein production, stability and function.

Our group is studying the role that glycans play in the development and progression of disease using a combination of biological and chemical techniques.

We leverage this newfound knowledge to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of diseases as diverse as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPDs), cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer and  malaria.

Research interest

Our lab studies the glycobiology of human diseases and works towards the development of new therapeutics.

We have adopted an interdisciplinary approach to disease research, from cell biology to protein expression and chemical synthesis. Our research is bolstered by close collaborations with leading scientists in the institute, across Australia and abroad.

We provide an excellent interdisciplinary training environment for students and postdoctoral researchers alike. Modern molecular biology and chemical biology techniques are used to study and prosecute novel disease targets.

Typical lab activities involve:

  • Recombinant expression of target proteins (E. coli, yeast, insect cells, mammalian cells)
  • Target assay development and screening for drug-like molecules
  • Chemical synthesis of probe and drug-like molecules
  • Genetic manipulation of cell lines for target validation
  • Metabolic labelling, isolation and characterisation of glycans

Institute researchers have shown that malaria parasites have carbohydrate 'tags' that are important for parasite survival.

Leafy green vegetables

Discovering how bacteria feed on leafy green vegetables may explain how ‘good’ bacteria promote health.