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Peptide Users Group


Who we are;

The Peptide Users Group (PUG) is dedicated to the promotion and understanding of the synthesis of peptides, peptidomimetics and peptide materials and their use in mechanical and biological systems. Our aim is to bring together peptide and organic chemists, engineers, physicists, immunologists, microbiologist, molecular biologists and clinicians to gain understanding of the complexities involved in synthesis and bio-assays and to foster collaboration and dialogue to improve the synthesis and use of peptides.

To do this we conduct two annual meetings at venues around Melbourne and make PUG members aware of new techniques, assays and symposia and lectures that may be of interest. The two PUG half-day symposia cover all aspects of peptide/protein synthesis, structural characterisation and analysis, and biological evaluation. An important role of PUG is the promotion of the work of early career researchers and awards prizes and travel bursaries to student presenters at local and national peptide meetings.


News and Events;

The Peptide Users Group - Spring Symposium 2016

Date; 1 December 2016 1.00pm-5.00pm

Venue; Melbourne Brain Centre (Kenneth Myer Building), Foyer and Lecture Theatre, 30 Royal Parade, The University of Melbourne, VIC.

Invited Speakers;

Prof David Andreu (Department of Experimental & Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain) - President of the European Peptide Society. -Plenary Speaker - “Peptides from across the globe: progress on vaccines and anti-infectives”.

Prof Mibel Aguilar ( Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Monash University) - "β-Peptides: From Bioactive Ligands to Functional Biomaterials” 

Dr Akhter Hossain (Florey Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourme) - "Insulin and insulin-like peptides: Chemical synthesis and structure-function studies" 

Dr Wioleta Kowalczk ( CSIRO Manufacturing - Melbourne) - "Synthesis of Thrombopoetin receptor anatagonists"

Cost $20

Please Click Here to Register

Please Click Here for the Flyer



Committee Members


Assoc. Prof Neil O'Brien-Simpson


Affiliation: The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Dental School, Oral Health CRC.

 Current Research Activities:

  • Design and development of antimicrobial and anticancer peptides.
  • Peptide and protein vaccine design, delivery and testing.
  • Innate and adaptive immune responses to bacteria and outer membrane vesicles
  • Nanomaterial and particles for the delivery of vaccine and peptide therapeutics.

Has expertise in:

  • Fmoc solid phase peptide synthesis.
  • Synthesis of fluorescent and fluorescent-quenched peptides.
  • Synthesis of phosphopeptides and lipopeptides.
  • Animal models for evaluation of vaccines (antibody and T cell based); evaluation of antimicrobial peptides and anticancer peptides.
  • Tissue culture – T cell (CD4+ and CD8+) assays, epithelial/fibroblast/endothelial culture and assays, macrophage assays, ELISPOT, cytokine profiling, ELISA, phagocytosis assays, apoptosis.
  • Flow cytometry – mouse and human cell phenotyping, microbial flow cytometry.
  • Nanomaterials for targeting mammalian and microbial cells.
  • Innate immunity – cell isolation and assays with – NKT, gdT cells, DCs, macrophages.
  • Adaptive immunity – cell isolation and assays wit CD4+, CD8+ T cells, B cells.
  • Mucosal immunology.
  • Diagnostics – point-of-care and saliva based.
  • Dental and oral research, e.g. microbial interactions with host cells, material interactions with host cells.
  • Microbiology – anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, growth and biofilm development.



Dr Alessia Belgi

Affiliation: School of Chemistry, Monash University

Current Research Activities:

  • Design and synthesis of new synthetic analogues of human insulin.
  • Design and synthesis of dicarba mimetics of disulfide rich peptides

 Has expertise in:

  • Fmoc solid phase peptide chemistry
  • Peptide purification using RP-HPLC and characterisation using ESI-MS, MALDI-TOF and CD
  • Disulfide replacement with dicarba mimetics using olefin metathesis and alkyne metathesis
  • Regioselective formation of disulfide bonds
  • Aseptic techniques and fundamental principles of cell culture



Dr Akhter Hossain

Affiliation: Florey Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health. The University of Melbourne.

Current Research Activities and expertise in:

  • Solid phase peptide synthesis;
  • Synthesis of insulin and insulin-like peptides (Human Insulin, H2-relaxin, INSL5, Human relaxin-3),
  • Anti-microbial peptides (AMP) and amyloid beta peptides;
  • Peptidomimetics,
  • Bioorganic and medicinal chemistry; Circular dichrosim spectroscopy, Mass spectrometry.


Past Chair and Founding Member

Prof John Wade

Affiliation: Florey Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health. The University of Melbourne.

Current Research Activities and expertise in:

  • Adipokines,
  • Organic Synthesis, Synthetic Chemistry, Synthetic Organic Chemistry,
  • Peptide Synthesis, Peptide Chemistry,
  • Bioorganic Chemistry,
  • Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis,
  • Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry,
  • Drug Discovery, Peptidomimetics,
  • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry,
  • Peptides, Amino Acids,
  • Endocrinology, Chemical Biology, Physiology, Cell Biology, RAS.


Additional Committee Members

Immediate Past Chair

Prof Andrea Robinson

Affiliation: Monash University

Current Research Activities and expertise in:

  • Chemical Biology Cyclic peptides
  • Disulfide replacement
  • ALTMET polymerisation
  • Catalysis
  • Spirocycles
  • Renewables chemistry
  • Fungal pigments


Dr James Gardiner

Affiliation:  CSIRO

Current Research Activities:

  • Peptide-based materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery.
  • Continuous flow chemistry for industrial applications of fine chemical synthesis.
  • RAFT polymerisation and polymer conjugates.

Has expertise in:

  • Solid-phase peptide synthesis,
  • organic synthesis,
  • non-natural amino acids, labelling and functionalisation,
  • cyclic and constrained peptides,
  • peptidomimetics,
  • β-peptides, fluorinated peptides,
  • antimicrobial and cell-penetrating peptides,
  • peptide-based materials.


 Dr Troy Attard


Affiliation: The University of Melbourne

Current Research Activities and expertise;

  • Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis,
  • phosphopeptides,
  • antimicrobial peptides,
  • Mass Spectrometry, High Pressure Liquid Chromatography,
  • Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry,
  • cyclic peptides.


 Dr Susan Northfield


Affiliation: Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, The University of Melbourne

Current Research Activities:

  • Design and synthesis of structural mimetics of neurotrophins
  • Development of peptide therapeutics with optimised membrane permeability
  • Development of disulfide-rich peptides as therapeutics

Has expertise in:

  • Organic and medicinal chemistry
  • Fmoc solid phase peptide chemistry
  • Development of orthogonal protection strategies to label cyclic peptides
  • Synthesis of amino acids for inclusion in peptidomimetics
  • Utilising NMR amide temperature coefficients to direct peptide design
  • PAMPA and caco-2 cell permeability assays
  • Synthesis of disulfide-rich peptides- including ‘grafting’ bioactive epitopes into rigid frameworks


Mr Philip Rea

Affiliation: Mimotopes Pty Ltd

Has expertise in:

  • Fmoc solid phase peptide synthesis.
  • Synthesis of fluorescent and fluorescent-quenched peptides.
  • Synthesis of phosphopeptides and lipopeptides.
  • Solid phase synthesis of small molecules.


PUG Sponsors (Alphabetical Order);

Website: abacus 

 Abacus ALS (celebrating 50 years), is a leading Australian supplier of quality life science products including:

Multiplexing kits & Luminex and Magpix instruments

Primary and secondary antibodies, including a full range of immunological reagents

Peptide libraries

MHC tetramers and much more


Website: Agilent 

Suppliers of; 

Website: Australian Peptide Association 

The Australian Peptide Association organizes and hosts biennial international scientific conferences, satellites and local state meetings, and promotes emerging techniques in peptide science to the Australian scientific community, of Australian peptide science internationally and of students and young post doctoral peptide researchers by way of travel bursaries.

Website: CSIRO

Australian Journal of Chemistry - an International Journal for Chemical Science publishes research papers from all fields of chemical science. Papers that are multidisciplinary or address new or emerging areas of chemistry are particularly encouraged. Thus, the scope is dynamic. It includes (but is not limited to) synthesis, structure, new materials, macromolecules and polymers, supramolecular chemistry, analytical and environmental chemistry, natural products, biological and medicinal chemistry, nanotechnology, and surface chemistry.


Website: Beckman Coulter

Website: Hobsons Instruments

Hobsons Instrument Services has been a long-standing service agent for Gyros Protein Technologies (previously trading as Protein Technologies Inc.) and is now pleased to also represent the company as exclusive sales distributor for Australia and New Zealand. Gyros Protein Technologies offers the widest range of parallel peptide synthesizers in the market with class-leading technology and build quality.

Suppliers of;

Website: Merck Millipore

We are Now One

Merck Millipore and Sigma-Aldrich bring together world-class products, services and innovative capabilities to create a global leader in the life science industry.

We are a leading supplier to the global Life Science industry: solutions and services for research, development and production of biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug therapies.

Life Science Research:

-Antibodies and Assays

-Cell Analysis

-Cell Culture and Systems

-Chromatography Sample Preparation

-Drug Discovery

-Filters for Particle Monitoring

-Genomic Analysis

-Inhibitors and Biochemicals

-OEM, Custom and Bulk Reagents

-Proteins and Enzymes

-Protein Detection and Quantitation

-Protein Sample Preparation


Suppliers of;

Website: Miltenyi Biotec

 Miltenyi Biotec & MACS® technology is the global market leader in magnetic cell separation. We offer complete workflow solutions from sample preparation to cell separation, media and cytokines for cell culture and reagents and instruments for flow cytometry. Miltenyi  Biotec provides expert technical advice in a wide range of scientific fields including, amongst others: immunology, cancer, stem cells and neuroscience.

Website: Mimotopes

Suppliers of;

Website: John Morris

John Morris Group are proud to be the oldest Australian, family owned partner for Chemistry research, production and analysis Instrumentation. We work with quality partners such as CEM who are the clear leader in Automated Peptide Synthesis from bench to scale-up volumes.

You can find our focused applications and service team in every major city of Australia & New Zealand and we are proud to be a trusted partner in your research.


Website: Scientifix

Suppliers of;

Website: Shimadzu

“Since its inception in 1875, Shimadzu’s philosophy has been to apply its thinking ‘for the well-being of mankind and the Earth’. That means real world solutions that benefit scientist, doctors and ultimately, everybody.

Our products and solutions serve the research community and analysts in diverse fields such as chemistry, molecular biology, medical science, environmental analysis and industry.

It has resulted in our leadership in spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry, environmental analysers, medical systems, aircraft equipment, semiconductors and flat panel display equipment.

It’s that thinking that brought Shimadzu direct to Australia and New Zealand since 1991 with offices and service centres in all major cities.”