​​​PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

 

​Professor Robert J Capon, PhD (UWA), FRACI, CChem

 

Current Positions:

Professorial Research Fellow, Group Leader, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, UQ

Director of Postgraduate Studies, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, UQ

Director, Cane Toad Challenge

Affiliate Professorial Research Fellow, Queensland Brain Institute, UQ

Affiliate Professor, School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience, UQ

Principal Consultant, Chemotype​​

Memberships:

Royal Australian Chemical Institute (Fellow)

American Society of Pharmacognosy

American Chemical Society

Marine Fungal Natural Products Consortium

Australian New Zealand Marine Biotechnology Society

UQ Centre for Marine Science

Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre

Chemistry@UQ


University of Western Australia (1975-1982):  Following a BSc Hons I (1978) I completed a PhD in organic chemistry (1979-1982​, Marine Natural Products from Porifera and Algae of the Western Australian Coast) under the co-supervision of Emilio Ghisalberti and Phil Jefferies. This very exciting time at the dawn of marine natural products in Australia (certainly in Western Australia), lead to eleven marine natural product publications, with additional research leading to three chemical synthesis publications (as listed below).

 

GREEN ALGAE

New sesquiterpenes from Caulerpa flexilis var. mueller

(Aust J Chem, 1981, 34, 1775-1778) 

Metabolites of the green algae, Caulerpa species 

(Phytochem, 1983, 22, 1181-1184)

 

BROWN ALGAE 

Isoprenoid dihydroquinones from a brown alga, Cystophora sp.

(Phytochem, 1981, 20, 2598-2600)

 

RED ALGAE

Sesquiterpene metabolites from Laurencia filiformis

(Tetrahedron, 1981, 7, 1613-1621)

Structural studies of polyhalogenated monoterpenes from Plocamium species

(Aust J Chem, 1984, 37, 537-544) 

​Sesquiterpenes from Laurencia spp

(​J Nat Prod, 1988, 51 (6), 1301-1304)

 

SPONGES

Structural studies of halogenated biphenyl ethers from a marine sponge

(J Chem Soc, Perkin Trans 1, 1981, 2464-2467)

A new furanoterpene from a Spongia sp

(Experientia, 1982, 38, 1444-1445)

New aromatic sesquiterpenes from a Halichondria sp

(Aust J Chem, 1982, 35, 2583-2587)

Tetrahydropyrans from a marine sponge

(Tetrahedron, 1982, 38, 1699-1703)

 

BLUEGREEN ALGAE

​Poly-3-hydroxyalkanoates from marine and freshwater cyanobacteria

(Phytochem, 1983, 22, 1181-1184)

 

SYNTHETIC CHEMISTRY

The synthesis and study of some potential affinity labels for oestrogen receptors

(Steroids, 1981, 38, 537-555)

Synthesis of deuterated ent-beyeranes. Stereospecific reduction a 4-axial aldehyde

(Aust J Chem, 1982, 35, 613-620)

Synthesis of the thermolysis product of 6-beta-hydroxyaplysistatin 

(J Chem Res, Synop, 1987, 4, 118-119)

 

Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1982-1984):  Buoyed by my PhD efforts in marine natural products chemistry, I accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, under the mentorship of John Faulkner. This 20 month stint provided a productive and practical initiation into bioassay guided isolation and chemical ecology, and culminated in four publications and a patent filing.*

 

MOLLUSCS

Metabolites of the pulmonate Siphonaria lessoni 

(J Org Chem, 1984, 49, 2506-2508)

 

SPONGES

​Herbasterol, an ichthyotoxic 9,11-seco sterol the sponge Dysidea herbaria 

(J Org Chem, 1985, 50, 4771-4773)

Luffalactone and (4E,6E)-dehydromanoalide from the sponge Luffariella variables

(J Org Chem, 1992, 57, 2956-2957)

Antimicrobial metabolites from a Pacific sponge, Agelas sp* 

(J Am Chem Soc, 1984, 106, 1819-1822)

Australian National University (1984-1988):  Keen to continue an academic career, I passed on invitations for industry appointments, and accepted a Research Fellowship at the Research School of Chemistry (RSC), Australian National University, under the mentorship of John MacLeod. This position expanded my natural product repertoire to include plant toxins produced by an invasive ornamental, Bryophyllum tubiflorum (mother-of-millions), responsible for poisoning grazing livestock (i.e. cattle). In collaboration with the Queensland State Government, Department of Primary Industries, this research identified the toxic agents as new bufadienolides (bryotoxins), a class of cardiotoxic steroids that poison by inhibiting heart muscle Na/K ATPase. Knowledge of the chemical structure and mechanism of action of bryotoxins permitted, for the first time, an effective veterinary treatment for poisoned livestock.  As a quirk of fate, this early study into mother-of-millions toxin foretold of a future research interest in cane toad toxin that was still 30 years away! A collaboration with Roger Summons at the Australian Government Bureau of Mineral Resources led to multiple publications in the field of organic geochemistry, including the first report of 2- and 3-alkyl steranes in hydrocarbon deposits, as unprecedented biomarkers of proto-steroids. I also took this opportunity to consolidate my interest in marine natural products chemistry, collecting and studying the chemistry of marine sponges from the mid-south coast of New South Wales. A list of scientific publications originating from my time at ANU are shown below.
 

PLANT TOXINS

Structure elucidation of a new bufadienolide toxin from the flowers of Bryophyllum tubiflorum Harv. (Crassulacea) 

(J Chem Res M, 1985, 3666-3685)

​Bryotoxins B and C, toxic bufadienolide orthoacetates from the towers of Bryophyllum tubiflorum (Crassulacea)

(Aust J Chem, 1986, 39, 1711-1715)

Toxic analogues of wedeloside and carboxyatractyloside from Australian plant species 

(Plant-associated Toxins: Agricultural, Phytochemical and Ecological Aspects, S.M. Colegate and P.R. Dorling, Editors. 1994, CAB International: Wallingford UK. p. 238-244)

Isolation and identification of the toxic principles in Bryophyllum tubiflorum (Kalanchoe) 

(Poisonous plants: Proceedings of the third international symposium. 1992, p. 288-292)

 

ORGANIC GEOCHEMISTRY

Fossil steranes with unprecedented methylation in ring-A

(Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 1988, 52, 2733-2736)

Identification and significance of 3-beta-ethyl steranes in sediments and petroleum 

(Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 1991, 55, 2391-2395)

Botryococcenone, an oxygenated botryococcene from Botryococcus braunii 

(Aust J Chem, 1991, 44, 313-322​)

​The structure of a new C25 isoprenoid alkene biomarker from diatomaceous microbial communities of Hamelin Pool 

(Aust J Chem, 1993, 46, 907-915)

SPONGES

Stereochemical studies on marine cyclic peroxides

(Tetrahedron, 1988. 44, 1637-1650)

New isothiocyanate sesquiterpenes from the Australian marine Acanthella pulcherrima

(Aust J Chem, 1988, 41, 979-983)

Trunculins A and B, norsesterterpene cyclic peroxides from a marine sponge, Latrunculia brevis

(J Org Chem, 1987, 52, 339-342)

A new sesterterpene tetronic acid from an Australian sponge, Ircinia sp.

(Aust J Chem, 1987, 40, 1327-1330)

Thiofurodysinin, a sulfur-containing furanosesquiterpene from the marine sponge Dysidea avara

(J Nat Prod, 1987, 50, 1136-1137)

Revision of the absolute stereochemistry of ilimaquinone

(J Org Chem, 1987, 52, 5059-5060)

5-Thio-D-mannose from the marine sponge Clathria pyramida (Lendenfeld) 

(J Chem Soc, Chem Commun, 1987, 15, 1200-1201)

Structural and stereochemical studies on marine norterpene cyclic peroxides.  Part 2 

(J Nat Prod, 1987, 50, 225-229)

Two epimeric dibromo nitriles from the Australian sponge Aplysina laevis

(Aust J Chem, 1987, 40, 341-346)

The trikentrins: Novel indoles from the sponge Trikentrion flabelliforme

(Tetrahedron, 1986, 42, 6545-6550)

Structural and stereochemical studies on marine norterpene cyclic peroxides

(Tetrahedron, 1985, 41, 3391-3404)

Australian Antarctic Territories (1986-1987):  During my tenure at RSC

I accepted an invitation from the Australian Antarctic Division, to travel to

the Australian Antarctic Territories (visiting Heard Island, as well as Mawson,

Casey and Davis Bases), summering at Davis Base (1986-1987). 

 

This experience was memorable on so many levels, and generated contacts

that provided Antarctic marine invertebrate samples that remain in my

research collection to this day.


University of Melbourne (1988-2003):  To 
formally commence my independent academic career I secured a Lectureship in the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne (1988).  During this period I established a highly productive biodiscovery research group, specialising in marine natural products chemistry. In addition to mentoring undergraduate and postgraduate research students, I took this opportunity to assemble a network of academic collaborators and industry partners. During my tenure at the University of Melbourne I rose through the ranks of Senior Lecturer (1993) and Associate Professor (1998), to Professor and Chair of Chemistry (2002). Scientific publications originating from my years at the University of Melbourne, grouped around theme areas, are listed below.

 
SPONGES
Equilibrating isomers: Bromoindoles and a seco-xanthine encountered during a study of nematocides from the southern Australian marine sponge Hymeniacidon sp.

(J. Nat. Prod., 2002. 65: p. 368-370)
Phoriospongin A and B: Two new nematocidal depsipeptides from the Australian marine sponges Phoriospongia sp. and Callyspongia bilamellata.
(J. Nat. Prod., 2002. 65: p. 358-363)
Onnamide F: A new nematocide from a southern Australian marine sponge, Trachycladus laevispirulifer
(J. Nat. Prod., 2001. 64: p. 640-642)
Phorbasins B and C: Novel diterpenes from a southern Australian marine sponge, Phorbas species
(J. Nat. Prod., 2001. 64: p. 645-647)
The isolation and synthesis of novel nematocidal dithiocyanates from an Australian marine sponge, Oceanapia sp
(J. Org. Chem., 2001. 66: p. 7765-7769)
Mirabilin G: A new alkaloid from a southern Australian marine sponge, Clathria species
(J. Nat. Prod., 2001. 64: p. 643-644)
Phorbasin A: A novel diterpene from a southern Australian marine sponge, Phorbas species
(J. Nat. Prod., 2000. 64(63): p. 1684-1685)
Discorhabdin R: A new antibacterial pyrroloiminoquinone from two latrunculiid marine sponges, Latrunculia and Negombata sp.
(J. Nat. Prod., 2000. 63: p. 1527-1528)
1,9-Dimethylhypoxanthine from a southern Australian marine sponge, Spongosorites species
(J. Nat. Prod., 2000. 63: p. 261-262)
Clathrins A-C: Metabolites from a southern Australian marine sponge, Clathria species
(J. Nat. Prod., 2000. 63: p. 821-824)
Amphilactams A – D: Novel nematocides from southern Australian marine sponges of the genus Amphimedon
(J. Org. Chem., 1999. 64(4): p. 1140-1144)
Nuapapuin A and sigmosceptrellins D & E: New norterpene cyclic peroxides from a southern Australian marine sponge, Sigmosceptrella sp.
(J. Nat. Prod., 1999. 62(2): p. 214-218)
Echinosulphonic acids A-C and echinosulphone A: Novel bromoindole sulphonic acids and a sulphone from a southern Australian marine sponge, Echinodictyum
(J. Nat. Prod., 1999. 62(9): p. 1246-1249)
Geodin A magnesium salt: A novel nematocide from a southern Australian marine sponge, Geodia
(J. Nat. Prod., 1999. 62(9): p. 1256-1259)
Trunculins G-I: New norsesterterpene cyclic peroxides from a southern Australian marine sponge, Latrunculia sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1998. 51: p. 573-579)
Dragmacidins: New protein phosphatase inhibitors from a southern Australian deep-water marine sponge, Spongosorites sp.
(J. Nat. Prod., 1998. 61: p. 660-662)
Callyspongynes A and B: New polyacetylenic lipids from a southern Australian marine sponge, Callyspongia sp.
(Lipids, 1998. 33(6): p. 639-642)
Mycaperoxides F and G and a related norterpene ketone from southern Australian marine sponges, Mycale species
(J. Nat. Prod., 1998. 61: p. 525-528)
Cis-3-hydroxy-N-methyl-L-proline: A new amino acid from a southern Australian marine sponge, Dendrilla sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1998. 51: p. 169-170)
A new lipid from an Australian marine sponge, Callyspongia sp.
(Lipids, 1997. 32: p. 675-678)
Cyclic peroxides and related norterpenes from a southern Australian marine sponge, Mycale sp.
(J. Nat. Prod., 1997. 60: p. 1261-1264)
Sigmosceptrins A-C: New norterpenes from a southern Australian marine sponge, Sigmosceptrella sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1997. 50: p. 1137-1143)
Deoxyspongiaquinones: New sesquiterpene/quinones and hydroquinones from a southern Australian marine sponge, Eurospongia sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1996. 49: p. 611-615)
Hippospongins A-F: New furanoterpenes from a southern Australian marine sponge, Hippospongia sp.
(J. Nat. Prod., 1996. 59: p. 1024-1028)
Mycalone: A new steroidal lactone from a southern Australian marine sponge, Mycale sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1996. 49: p. 715-718)
Mirabilins (A-F): New alkaloids from a southern Australian marine sponge, Arenochalina mirabilis
(Aust. J. Chem., 1996. 49: p. 767-773)
A new sesquiterpene alcohol from an Antarctic sponge
(Nat. Prod. Lett., 1995. 6: p. 187-192)
Lamellarins Q and R: New aromatic metabolites from an Australian marine sponge, Dendrilla cactos
(Aust. J. Chem., 1995. 48: p. 1491-1494)
A new furanoditerpene from a southern Australian marine sponge, Thorectandra choanoides
(Aust. J. Chem., 1995. 48: p. 1903-1906)
New oxygenated sesquiterpenes from a southern Australian marine sponge, Dictyodendrilla sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1995. 48: p. 1757-1760)
Isobromotopsentin: A new bis(indole) alkaloid from the deep water marine sponge Spongosorites sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1995. 48: p. 2053-2058)
A new sesterterpene tetronic acid from an Australian marine sponge, Psammocinia  sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1995. 48: p. 1899-1902)
A new alkaloid from an Australian marine sponge, Spongosorites sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1994. 47: p. 2279-2282)
Lamellarins O and P: New aromatic metabolites from the Australian marine sponge, Dendrilla cactos
(Aust. J. Chem., 1994. 47: p. 1919-1924)
Two for one: structure revision of the marine sesterterpene tetronic acid strobilinin to (8Z,13E,20Z)-strobilinin and (8E,13E,20Z)-strobilinin
(Aust. J. Chem., 1994. 47: p. 933-936)
A sesquiterpene quinone and hydroquinone from the southern Australian marine sponge, Thorecta choanoides
(J. Nat. Prod., 1994. 57: p. 539-540)
Carduusynes (A-E): acetylenic acids from the Great Australian Bight marine sponge Phakellia carduus
(Aust. J. Chem., 1994. 47: p. 1901-1918)
Isopalinurin: A mild protein phosphatase inhibitor from a southern Australian marine sponge, Dysidea sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1993. 46(8): p. 1291-1294)
Two new scalarane sesterterpenes: isoscalarafuran-A and -B, epimeric alcohols from a southern Australian marine sponge, Spongia hispida
(Aust. J. Chem., 1993. 46(8): p. 1295-1299)
Spongiaquinone revisited: Structural and stereochemical studies on marine sesquiterpene/quinones from a southern Australian sponge, Spongia sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1993. 46(8): p. 1245-1253)
Extraordinary levels of cadmium and zinc in a marine sponge, Tedinia charcoti topsent: Inorganic chemical defense agents
(Experientia, 1993. 49(3): p. 263-264)
Trunculin-F and contrunculin-A and -B: Novel oxygenated norterpenes from a southern Australian marine sponge, Latrunculia conulosa
(Aust. J. Chem., 1993. 46(9): p. 1363-1374)
Beyond polygodial: New drimane sesquiterpenes from a southern Australian marine sponge, Dysidea sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1993. 46(8): p. 1255-1267)
Brominated pyrrole carboxylic acids from an Australian marine sponge, Axinella sp.
(Nat. Prod. Lett., 1993. 1(4): p. 243-250)
5-Epi-isospongiaquinone, a new sesquiterpene/quinone an Australian marine sponge, Spongia hispida
(J. Nat. Prod., 1992. 55(11): p. 1638-1642)
Cometins (A-C), new furanosesterterpenes from an Australian marine sponge, Spongia sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1992. 45(8): p. 1255-1263)
A new sesterterpene tetronic acid and a pentaprenylated p-quinol from an Australian marine sponge, Spongia sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1992. 45(8): p. 1321-1325)
Psammopemmins (A-C), novel brominated 4-hydroxyindole alkaloids from an Antarctic sponge, Psammopemma sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1992. 45(11): p. 1871-1877)
Conulosins (A and B): Novel norsesterterpene acids from an Australian marine sponge, Latrunculia conulosa
(Nat. Prod. Lett., 1992. 1(3): p. 171-178)
The luffarins (A-Z), novel terpenes from an Australian marine sponge, Luffariella geometrica
(Aust. J. Chem., 1992. 45(10): p. 1705-1743)
Sulfolane as a natural product from the sponge/tunicate Batzella sp./Lissoclinum sp.
(J. Nat. Prod., 1992. 55(9): p. 1330-1331)
Two new norsesterterpene cyclic peroxides from a marine Mycale (carmia) cf. spongiosa
(J. Nat. Prod., 1991. 54(1): p. 190-195 )
The bastadins revisited:  New chemistry from the Australian sponge Ianthella basta
(Aust. J. Chem., 1991. 44(2): p. 287-296)
Aromatic bisabolenes from an Australian marine sponge, Arenochalina sp.
(J. Nat. Prod., 1991. 54(2): p. 619-623)
Norterpene dienes from an Australian marine sponge Latrunculia brevis
(Aust. J. Chem., 1991. 44(1): p. 77-85)
Alkyl and alkenyl resorcinols from an Australian marine sponge, Haliclona sp. (Haplosclerida:  Haliclonidae)
(Aust. J. Chem., 1991. 44(10): p. 1393-1405)
Two new bromotyrosine-derived metabolites from an Australian sponge, Aplysina sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1989. 42(8): p. 1427-1433)

TUNICATES
The lobatamides, novel cytotoxic macrolides from southwestern Pacific tunicates

(J. Org. Chem., 1998. 63(22): p. 7805-7810)
Lamellarin-S: A new aromatic metabolite from an Australian tunicate, Didemnum sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1996. 49: p. 711-713)
New chromenols from a southern Australian tunicate, Aplidium solidum
(Aust. J. Chem., 1996. 49: p. 1217-1219)
Aplidites (A to G): Macrocyclic orthonitrites from an Australian tunicate, Aplidium sp.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1995. 48: p. 1253-1266)

BROWN ALGAE
Marine nematocides: Tetrahydrofurans from a southern Australian brown alga, Notheia anomala

(Tetrahedron, 1998. 58(10): p. 2227-2245)
A new sesquiterpene/phenol from the Australian marine brown alga Perithalia caudata
(J. Nat. Prod., 1994. 57(6): p. 849-851)
The chemistry of
Notheia anomala, III:  Two new methylene-interrupted trisepoxylipids
(J. Nat. Prod., 1992. 55(9): p. 1332-1335)
Epoxy lipids from the Australian epiphytic brown alga Notheia anomala,  II.
(Aust. J. Chem., 1991. 44(6): p. 843-854)
Epoxy lipids from the Australian epiphytic brown alga Notheia anomala
(Aust. J. Chem., 1990. 43(5): p. 895-911)

GREEN ALGAE

Dictyosphaerin: A novel bicyclic lipid from a southern Australian marine green alga, Dictyosphaeria sericea
(J. Nat. Prod., 1996. 59: p. 1154-1156)

RED ALGAE
Parguerenes revisited: New brominated diterpenes from the southern Australian marine red alga, Laurencia filiformis

(Aust. J. Chem., 1996. 49: p. 19-26)
A new macrocyclic γ-pyrone from a southern Australian marine red alga
(Aust. J. Chem., 1995. 48: p. 1485-1489) 

BLUE GREEN ALGAE

A novel brominated lipid from an Australian cyanobacterium, Lyngbya sp.
(J. Nat. Prod., 1991. 54(6): p. 1668-1671)
A new brominated biindole from an Australian cyanobacterium, Rivularia firma
(J. Nat. Prod., 1991. 54(6): p. 1661-1663)

BACTERIA

Lorneamides A and B: Two new aromatic amides from a southern Australian marine actinomycete
(J. Nat. Prod., 2000. 63: p. 1682-1683)

BIOMIMETIC CHEMICAL SYNTHESIS

Acid-mediated conversion of methylene-interrupted bisepoxides to tetrahydrofurans: A biomimetic transformation
(J. Org. Chem., 1998. 63(1): p. 75-83)
The biomimetic synthesis of marine epoxylipids: Bisepoxides to tetrahydrofurans
(Tet. Lett., 1997. 38(43): p. 7609-7612)

STEREOCHEMICAL ASSIGNMENTS

Structure revision and assignment of absolute stereochemistry of a marine C21 bisfuranoterpene
(J. Nat. Prod., 2001. 64: p. 638-639)

The acid-catalyzed rearrangement and absolute stereochemistry of isospongiaquinone
(J. Nat. Prod., 1990. 53(3): p. 753-756)
Absolute stereochemistry of puupehenone and related metabolites
(J. Nat. Prod., 1996. 59: p. 900-901)
The absolute stereochemistry of variabilin and related sesterterpene tetronic acids
(Nat. Prod. Lett., 1994. 4: p. 51-56)
Marine sesquiterpene quinones and hydroquinones: Acid-catalysed rearrangements and stereochemical investigations
(Aust. J. Chem., 1994. 47: p. 1023-1029)

BIOLOGY

The effect of the marine natural product variabilin on contractile activity of the guinea-pig ileum
(Pharm. Commun., 1995. 5(2): p. 127-135)
Pharmacological properties of the natural marine product furospongin-1
(Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol., 1994. 21: p. 945-953)
Biochemical and morphometric differences of two sympatric sibling species of Clathria (Porifera: Demospongia: Microcionidae) from northern Australia
(Invertebr. Taxon., 1990. 4: p. 123-148)
Chemotaxonomy of marine sponges: Families Microcionidae, Raspaliidae and Axinellidae, and their relationships with other families in the orders Poescilosclerida and Axinellida (Porifera: Demospongiae)
(Invertebr. Taxon., 1992. 6: p. 261-301)


REVIEWS AND BOOKS
Marine Bioprospecting: Trawling for treasure and pleasure

(Eur. J. Org. Chem., 2001: p. 633-645)

Marine sesquiterpene/quinones

(Studies in Natural Products Chemistry, Structure and Chemistry (Part C), Atta-ur-Rahman, Editor. 1995, Elsevier)
Marine norterpene cyclic peroxides:  A stereochemical paper chase

(Studies in Natural Products Chemistry: Structure and Chemistry (Part B), Atta-ur-Rahman, Editor. 1991, Elsevier)

 

PLANT CHEMICAL ECOLOGY
Cyanogenic polymorphism in Eucalyptus polyanthemos Schauer subsp. vestita L. Johnson and K. Hill (Myrtaceae) 

(Biochem. Sys. Ecol., 2002. 30: p. 617-630)

INSECT CHEMICAL ECOLOGY
Mimicry of host cuticular hydrocarbons by the salticid spider Cosmophasis bitaeniata that preys on the larvae of tree ants Oecophylla smaragdina 

(J. Chem. Ecol., 2002. 28: p. 835-848)
Exploitation of an ant chemical alarm signal by zodariid spider Habronestes bradleyi walckenaer 

(Proc. R. Soc. B, 1996. 263 (1366)(Series B): p. 69-73)

DENTISTRY

Long-term quantification of the release of monomers from dental resin composites and a resin-modified glass ionomer cement 

(J. Biomed. Materials Res. A, 2002. 63: p. 299-305)

 

BIOCHEMISTRY
A spectroscopic and equilibrium binding analysis of cationic detergent-protein interactions using soluble and insoluble recombinant porcine growth hormone

(Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1994. 1206: p. 71-82)

University of Queensland (2003-):  In 2003 I accepted an invitation to relocate to the University of Queensland, as a Professorial Research Fellow and Group Leader in the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. This move facilitated a rapid expansion of my research group capabilities in many areas of chemistry, extending to microbiology, biochemistry and pharmacology, as well as cell, molecular and developmental biology, and ecology. I continued to build a diverse network of Australian and international academic and industry collaborators, enabling a portfolio of basic, pharmaceutical, agrochemical and environmental research. Molecular discoveries made within my research group have application in human and animal therapeutics, in crop and environmental protection, and in the development of molecular probes to advance our understanding of living systems. Illustrative of this potential, we are advanced in developing a first-in-class marine sponge-inspired analgesic (glycianins), a first-in-class marine alga-inspired anthelmintic (thionotheians), and a chemical ecology-inspired technology for the environmentally sustainable control for cane toads. For further details on my UQ research select Capon Group.

Awards/Nominations:  I am a recipient of a University of Melbourne Multimedia Fellowship (1995), a Universitas 21 Fellowship (1997), the inaugural RACI Occasional Lectureship (1996), an Apple Lectureship (1996) and the Grimwade Prize in Industrial Chemistry (2001). I was a University of Melbourne nominee for the Clunies Ross National Science and Technology Award, and an awardee in the UniQuest Trailblazer competition for commercialising science (2012). 

Patents:  I am co-inventor on patents spanning arthritis, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, gastrointestinal parasites, and pheromonal control of poisonous invasive pest animals (cane toad). In the last few years I have obtained freedom to operate assessments on inventions relating to the treatment of chronic inflammatory pain (GlyR potentiators), acute pain (mu-opioid agonists) and cancer (K-Ras inhibitors), with additional intellectual property in an advanced state of progress in the areas of crop protection and anti-tubercular agents. For details select Patents.

Undergraduate Teaching:  I have a long and successful record in undergraduate teaching and innovation, largely influenced by my 16-year tenure at the University of Melbourne – where I rose from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor and finally Professor and Chair of Chemistry. I have taught organic chemistry across all years, including to science, optometry, medicine, agriculture and veterinary science majors. Although currently a research focused academic, I still deliver 3rd year medicinal chemistry lectures.


​Postgraduate Training and Postdoctoral Mentoring: I have extensive experience in postgraduate training (>100 undergraduate research trainees, >50 honours and >25 PhD graduates) and in postdoctoral  mentoring (>20 postdoctoral researchers and >30 visiting scientists). 

 

Interactive Multimedia:  I was an early pioneer of multimedia technology in large class undergraduate training, and designed, developed and commercialized some of first multimedia CD chemistry training software packages to be used in lecture theatres and computer labs (Molecular Models Workshop, and Chemistry Animated Reaction Mechanisms - for details select Software). As a Universitas 21 Fellow, the inaugural RACI Occasional Lecturer, and an Apple Lecturer, I presented on multimedia technology across all major Australian universities, as well as multiple Canadian, UK, Belgium and German universities, and accepted an invitation to visit Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, to discuss future directions in multimedia technology.

For my early commentary on interactive multimedia in higher education see; 

 

Personal reflections on interactive multimedia in the nineties

(UniServe Science News. 2000. p. 13-15)
ChARMs & MMW

(Chemistry in Australia. 1997. p. 12-14)
The reality of virtual laboratories: a chemist's perspective

(The Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science

and Mathematics Education. 1996. Sydney)
Teaching chemistry with interactive multimedia -

How to avoid being an information superhighway statistic

(UniServe Science News. 1995. Vol 1, July)

Referee and Assessor:  I am a referee for many high impact scientific journals, including Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., J. Am. Chem. Soc., J. Med. Chem., and Org. Lett., and an assessor for multiple NHMRC and ARC programs. I serve on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Special Research Centre in Chemistry and Biotechnology, Deakin University, and have advised the Australian Federal and Qld State governments, as well as international research funding agencies (i.e. Holland, Norway, Ireland, South Africa, China and New Zealand). In recent years I have been an invited speaker at meetings across Australia and internationally, including Brazil, New Zealand, USA, Greece, Portugal, UK, Jamaica, China and Sweden. I am a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, and a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Society of Pharmacognosy,  the Australian Infectious Diseases Researcher Centre, the Marine Fungal Natural Products Consortium, and the Australian New Zealand Marine Biotechnology Society.

Service and Engagement:  As IMB Director for Postgraduate Studies I have responsibility for the IMB Postgraduate Program (>135 PhD candidates), and as a member of the UQ Research Higher Degrees Committee these responsibilities extend to the broader UQ postgraduate program. I am a multi-term elected member of the UQ Academic Board, and the UQ Academic Board Standing Committee, representing the Board on academic appointments and reviews of all UQ Schools, Departments and Institutes. I am an inaugural member of the IMB Translation Committee, charged with fostering a greater awareness of, and a culture for, excellence in Life Sciences as a pathway to innovative solutions for real world problems.

Commentator:  I am an expert commentator for print and electronic media on matters relating to biodiscovery, and the environmental impact of invasive pest animals (particularly cane toads).

 

Consultant:  I am founder and principal for a consultancy company (ChemoType Pty Ltd) providing expert scientific advice to the Australian legal community (civil, criminal and intellectual property). For further details select Chemotype.