Mucus at the molecular level

Mucus at the molecular level

Project details

Mucus gels protect the epithelia of the lung, gastrointestinal tract and other organs from physical, chemical and infectious insults. Changes in the composition of this mucus can alter its physical properties and this contributes to the development of diseases in these organs. Relatively little is known about how the components of mucus interact at a molecular level to create this protective gel.

The aim of this project is to biochemically and structurally characterise interactions between glycoprotein molecules in mucus. This will help to identify new therapeutic targets for common respiratory diseases like asthma and COPDs. The project will provide an Honours or PhD student with expertise in protein science, glycobiology, rheology and structural biology. 

Protein structure
Structural representation of a molecule found in mucus

About our research group

Our lab studies the glycobiology of human diseases to discover and develop new therapeutic targets. We take an interdisciplinary approach to this research, using techniques in cell biology, protein science and medicinal chemistry. Our research is bolstered by close collaborations with leading scientists at the Institute, across Australia and abroad. Our lab is an excellent interdisciplinary training environment for students and postdoctoral researchers alike, allowing one to become proficient at: 

  • expression and characterisation of target proteins 

  • biochemical assay development 

  • genetic manipulation of cell lines for target validation 

  • chemical synthesis of probe and drug-like molecules 



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