CAPON GROUP - Studies the defensive chemistry and chemical ecology of Australian marine and microbial biodiversity, as well as poisonous invasive pest species such as the cane toad. This research inspires innovative solutions to important scientific and societal challenges, including new analgesics to control acute and chronic pain, chemotherapeutics to challenge intractable cancers, antibiotics to treat drug resistant infections, agrochemicals to protect crops from commercially damaging pathogens, antiparasitics to safeguard livestock and companion animals, and pheromonal trapping technologies to preserve Australian native wildlife and ecosystems. To achieve these aims the group adopts a highly multi-disciplinary profile. As experts in many fields of organic chemistry and microbiology, we work closely with a wide network of Australian and international collaborators, to expand our capabilities across immunology, biochemistry, pharmacology, genomics, cell and developmental biology, ecology and more. With much of our research having applied potential, we are keenly alert to opportunities for translation and commercialization, and have strong links to industry.
Capon Group research activities are currently organized around five thematic programs;
Marine Biodiscovery: Documenting, evaluating and exploiting the chemical and biological properties of natural products from Australian marine invertebrates and algae.
Microbial Biodiscovery: Documenting, evaluating and exploiting the chemical and biological properties of natural products from Australian marine and terrestrial, bacteria and fungi.
Chemical Ecology: Documenting, evaluating and exploiting chemical communication between members of the same or different species – extending across microbes, plants, insects and animals.
Pharmaceutical Biodiscovery: Applying knowledge of natural products to inspire the development of new pharmaceuticals, with a particular focus on neurodegenerative and infectious diseases, cancer and pain.
Agrochemical Biodiscovery: Applying knowledge of natural products to inspire the development of agrochemicals, to enhance the health and productivity of livestock and crops.
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