Dr Stephen Fairweather

Dr Stephen Fairweather

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Career focus: Membrane Protein Physiology and Biochemistry

My research focuses on the biochemistry and physiology of membrane transporter proteins. We use various biophysical and analytical chemistry methods for the investigation of structure-activity relationships in these proteins.

Current research interests include elucidating the identity, function and importance of amino acid transporters in Humans and in the major human pathogens from the phylum Apicomplexa: Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium spp. I am immensely interested in showing how the intrinsic physical chemistry of membrane transporters are vital for understanding their more obviously manifest biological and physiological roles in the whole organisms. I enjoy very much applying new techniques into the novel setting of membrane physiology. Recently this includes widening our research expertise to incorporate high resolution metabolomic techniques such as GC-QQQ and LC-MS/MS, and the use of Molecular Dynamic simulations to enhance our understanding derived from classical physiology and protein chemistry experiments.

Awards and funding (selected)

  • National Computer Infrastructure (NCI) Australian Leadership Computing Grant (ACLU) COVID-19 Special Call Grant (2020) Round. Amount: $600,00 (AUD) 
  • Medical Advances Without Animals (MAWA) Fellowship (2019, Grant). Development of a new membrane protein expression system to replace the use of Xenopus laevis oocytes. Amount: $60,000 (AUD). 
  • Australian Physiological Society (AuPS) Research Initiative (2017, Award). Competitively selected paid visit to laboratory in the Asia-Pacific. Amount: $500 (AUD). 
  • Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Fellowship (2016, Award). Awarded to 3-5 doctoral candidates or early career researchers (up to 2 years post-PhD) in Australia/New Zealand for outstanding doctoral research and publications. Amount: N/A. 
  • Phyllis-Montgomerie Award (2016). Awarded by the Royal Commonwealth Society to a doctoral candidate in Australia in any Science discipline for excellence in doctoral research. Amount: $5000 (AUD). 

Selected research

Current research

  1. Structure Function of the Apicomplexan Amino Acid Transporter Family (ApiAT) in Human Pathogens Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium Spp.
  2. Molecular Dynamic Simulations of the Human SARS-CoV-2 Receptor ACE2.
  3. Using GC-QQQ and Other High-resolution Analytical Chemistry Methods for the Discovery of Novel Membrane Transporter Function.
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