After completing my undergraduate and PhD studies at the University of WA I held postdoctoral fellowships at the Carlsberg Laboratory in Denmark (1992-94) and then at the University of British Columbia in Canada (1994-96). I then returned to Australia and spent 12 years in the biotechnology industry with Progen Pharmaceuticals Ltd where I held various positions including Director of Drug Discovery. In 2008 I moved to QUT as a Principal Research Fellow and Deputy Program Leader in the CRC for Polymers before joining The University of Queensland in 2010.
My research interests are in carbohydrate chemistry and medicinal chemistry, with a focus on the synthesis of compounds to probe and/or inhibit carbohydrate-protein interactions involved in disease processes. Of particular interest is heparan sulfate (HS) and the development of HS mimetics as potential drugs for cancer and other diseases. Previous work in this area resulted in the discovery of PG545, a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis and metastasis that entered Phase I clinical trials in cancer patients in late 2010. Current research interests and collaborations include: the development of artificial anticoagulants as replacements for heparin and LMWH (collaboration with scientists at CSIRO & the University of Melbourne), new antiviral agents for respiratory syncytial virus (the University of Gothenburg, Sweden), targeted liposomes for siRNA delivery in vivo (Griffith University) and pharmacological chaperone therapy for lysosomal storage diseases (the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit, Adelaide).