I have more than three decades of expertise in structural biology and protein engineering, with a focus on combining state-of-the-art protein biochemistry, biophysical, structural and computational approaches in protein engineering programs. I have published more than 145 peer-reviewed scientific papers in high impact journals that include Science, PNAS (10), Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. (2), Nature Chem. Biol., Nature Communications and Nature Immunology (2), and delivered more than 100 research seminars. I have secured in excess of AUD$15 million in research funding and am the named co-inventor on 7 patents. In 2020 I founded PTNG Consulting, specialising in providing solutions in structural biology, protein engineering and design, and computational biology. Current clients include Biotechnology companies and academic institutions worldwide. In collaboration with partners from industry and academia, PTNG is also using protein engineering approaches to create a toolbox of novel synthetic protein therapeutics, notably antibodies, antibody-like proteins and serine protease inhibitors. In 2021 I founded Biovidera, a molecular visualisation and animation company. I currently hold an Adjunct Associate Professor appointment at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Australia. Further details at ORCID: https://bit.ly/2PyU9mX.
Skills and Expertise
Protein engineering and design
Molecular modelling and molecular dynamics simulations
Track record in delivering projects from inception using computational design, through to laboratory implementation, including protein production, biophysical, structural, and functional characterisation.
Co-inventor of minichaperone protein refolding technology, leading to MRC spin out Avidis.
Discovered autoinactivation mechanism of GAD65, an autoantigen in type 1 diabetes and regulator of neurotransmitter homeostasis.
Design of hyperstable non-antibody scaffolds for therapeutic and diagnostic use.
Creation of new protease inhibitor biologics
Design of novel multi-specific immunoglobulin-like molecules.
Determined high resolution X-ray crystallographic structures of over 90 proteins, including several ‘firsts’ of medically important proteins; the autoantigen GAD65, Membrane Attack Complex / Perforin (MACPF)-like protein, the bacteriophage lysin PlyC, and T-Cell receptor:MHC complex.
Created 8 Bioinformatics resources, including REFOLD, PolyQ, KINETOCHORE and D2Odb.
Created the Australasian Repositories for Diffraction Images (TARDIS), the world’s first online repository for raw X-ray data. Known now as Store.Synchrotron, it serves as a model implementation source of raw data archiving and dissemination within the structural biology research communities (https://bit.ly/2BJSZwH).
2021 – present
Biovidera (CEO & founder). A molecular visualisation and animation company.
Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Monash University (https://bit.ly/36ohyxl).
2007 – 2020
Head, Protein Engineering and Design Lab/Associate Professor, Dept of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Monash University, Australia.
2007 – 2012
NHMRC Senior Research Fellowships.
Visiting Professor at the Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy.
Erskine Fellowship (visiting Professor), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ.
Visiting Professor, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, Paris, France.
2003 – 2006
Senior Research Fellow, Dept. Biochemistry, Monash University.
1999 – 2003
Biodesigns Ltd (founder). Consultancy in bioinformatics. Clients: Cambridge University Transfusion Medicine; National Blood Service, UK.
1999 – 2003
Senior Staff Scientist (tenured), MRC Centre for Protein Engineering, Cambridge, UK.
1999 – 2001
Consultant for Avidis (now Imaxio after merger with Diagnogene). Avidis developed recombinant protein refolding technology based upon my postdoctoral work on minichaperones.
1994 – 1999
Postdoctoral Fellow, MRC Cambridge, UK, group of Sir Alan Fersht, a founder and pioneer of protein engineering. Training in X-ray crystallography at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, the birthplace of structural biology.
1990 – 1995
Consultant for Cambridge Antibody Technology UK (molecular modelling). Acquired by AstraZeneca in 2006 for £702m.
1988 – 1989
Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals (now Novartis), Horsham, UK. Research student in Advanced Drug Delivery Research Unit (1 year of BSc degree).
1990 - 1994
PhD (Biochemistry), University of Cambridge (UK), group of Sir Alan Fersht (FRS).
Medical Research Council (UK) Postgraduate Scholarship, University of Cambridge.
Bachelor of Science (Honours; Chemistry), Kingston University (UK).
Peer Review and Service to Community
15 years’ experience assessing funding applications: Wellcome Trust, European Research Council, MRC UK, Human Frontiers, Cure Cancer Australia, NHMRC, ARC, Austrian START, Marsden Fund NZ, Prostate cancer foundation, Health Research Foundation of NZ, and Worldwide Cancer Research. NHMRC (Australia) Project grant panel (Biochemistry, 2015-2017) and Monash University strategic grants panel (2015-2018).
Ashley Buckle; Benjamin Porebski: PCT/AU2015/050795: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2017. Highly stable polypeptide scaffolds.
Nelson, Fischetti, Whisstock, Buckle, McGowan: 12/166,602: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2009. Expired. Octameric protein for use in bio-nanotechnology applications.
Whisstock, Law, Buckle, Fenalti, Rowley: PCT/AU2007/001362: AUSTRALIA, 2007. Crystal structures of both isoforms of human glutamic acid decarboxylase. Development of activators of GAD65 as therapeutic agents in anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress and movement disorders.
Buckle, A.M. and Fersht, A. R.: PCT/GB00/02019: UNITED KINGDOM, 1994: GroEL Mutants with Improved Stability.