Local Success Stories

Local Academics

Richard Simpson (Richard.Simpson@latrobe.edu.au)
A pioneer of proteomics in Victoria – With an exemplary grounding in protein chemistry, Richard was well placed to be a pioneer of proteomics. And that he certainly has accomplished with recognition extending to a leadership role in the world body of proteomics, HUPO. Back home, Richard’s leadership efforts with the Lorne Protein and Proteomics conferences have played a key role putting Victoria on the world map of protein science. His lab continues to help numerous other scientists and students explore the power of proteomics. And somehow he even found time to write a benchmark book about how its all done. More information.

Peter Meikle (peter.meikle@baker.edu.au)
In search of healthier hearts – A recent arrival in Melbourne, Peter brings vast experience from his genetics research in Adelaide. There he used metabolomics to illuminate the mysteries of severe genetic disorders called lysosomal storage diseases. His work identified small molecules useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients. Now at the Baker Heart Research Institute, Peter is applying his metabolomics skills to unravel links between heart disease and fat metabolism. Potentially, ‘fingerprinting’ of small fat molecules (lipids) in blood will improve diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring – that should earn a Heart Foundation tick! More information

Eric Reynolds (e.reynolds@unimelb.edu.au)
Down in the mouth can be a good thing – Mouths around the world are already benefiting from Eric’s invention of a new way to harden soft tooth enamel. Originating from proteomic investigations of milk proteins called caseins, the Recaldent line of products uses natural casein fragments to blend calcium and phosphate minerals into a stable mixture. With this supercharged mineral mixture available in a variety of flavours and formats including chewing gum, its little wonder that many dentists now recommend this pain-free, natural repair method to alleviate the need for fillings. Little wonder too that Eric’s work has received many honours, including the Victoria PrizeMore information.

Mike Hubbard (mike.hubbard@unimelb.edu.au)
From rats’ teeth to a new human drug target – Keen to understand how some types of cell but not others avoid being poisoned by large amounts of calcium, Mike studied the cells that form dental enamel – the most highly calcified tissue of all. Applying proteomics to developing rat teeth, he not only made novel findings about how calcium is handled safely but also discovered a new type of protein he named ERp29. Now known to be present in all our cells, ERp29 has recently been linked with serious diseases including cancer, cystic fibrosis and diabetes. Proteomics continues to help in unearthing the cellular role of this intriguing new medical target. More information.