BSc (Hons), PhD, DSc (Newcastle) Chemistry
Professor of Chemistry
+61 7 336 54266

After completing my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Newcastle, I held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Basel (Switzerland) from 1990-2. I returned to Australia in 1993 to take up an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Australian National University (Canberra) from 1993-4. I joined The University of Queensland in 1994.

Brief Research Description: 
Inorganic Chemistry - Coordination chemistry
Research Focus and Collaborations: 

Protein Electrochemistry

This research involves incorporating redox active enzymes with electrochemical systems such that the enzyme functions natively whilst in communication with an electrode (rather than with a natural electron transfer partner). We are currently investigating a number of systems, most from the molybdenum enzyme family that catalyse oxygen transfer reactions of both organic and inorganic substrates.

Chelators for Fe Overload Disorders
Fe overload is a potentially fatal condition that affects a significant proportion of the population and its incidence is particularly problematic in developing countries. Its current treatment is expensive and highly invasive and compliance is poor. We are working on developing orally active drugs to treat Fe overload (collaboration with Prof. D.R. Richardson, Uni. of Sydney, Australia). Also we are developing fluorescent Fe chelators that will identify the cellular compartments from which Fe is chelated (collaboration with Dr J.J. Davis, Oxford University UK).

Copper Complexes at ATRP Catalysts
Atom trabsfer radical polymerisation (ATRP) is one of the most widely used 'controlled' radical polymerisation techniques and has resulted in polymers with well defined molecular weights  and architectures. Our work is focuseed on complexes that catalayse this process by generating organic radicals from the simple reaction between a Cu(I) complex and an alkyl halide initiator. We can probe this atom transfer reaction with cyclic voltammetry and we have gained new insight to this interesting and fundamentally important reaction (collaboration with Prof. M.J. Monteiro, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, UQ).

Secondary Research Areas: 
Funded Projects: 

Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2015-2017

Enzyme Electrochemical Communication
Total value of grant: $319,812

Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2015-2017

The fate of copper in atom transfer radical reactions 2015-2017
Total value of grant: $308,412

Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2008-2010

Electrochemically driven molybdoenzyme catalysis
Total value of grant: $367,000

Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2010-2012

Spotlighting biologically active Fe chelators within cells
Total value of grant:  $330,000

Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2012-2014

Short circuiting redox enzymes
Total value of grant:  $298,000

National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant with the University of Sydney 2009-2011

Pharmacology of potential anti-tumour agents: iron chelators of the BpT class 
P Bernhardt, D Richardson, D Kalinoqski, D Lovejoy
Total value of grant: $563,500


Transition metal chemistry, coordination chemistry, electrochemistry, crystallography

Significant Professional Activities and Awards: 
  • Associate Editor, Australian Journal of Chemistry 2008-present
  • Australian Research Council College of Experts (Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences, 2011-2013)
  • Chair RACI Inorganic Chemistry Division 2007-2010
Selected Publications: 
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