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Associate Professor Lisa Martin

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Lisa Martin

Associate Professor
BSc(Hons) (Monash), PhD (ANU), MRACI, C.Chem

Room: 157 bld 23S
Phone: +61 3 9905 4514
Fax: +61 3 9905 4597
Email: Lisa.Martin@monash.edu

About Lisa

Lisa works in the School of Chemistry at Monash University as an Associate Professor

The Martin group uses a multi-disciplinary approach to answer research questions ranging from Inorganic Chemistry through to Chemical Biology. Our philosophy is that biology raises the questions and chemistry provides the solutions.

Of particular interest is the use of lipid membranes as a biomimetic material to explore activity, structure and function of (i) redox active membrane proteins, including protein assembly in membranes and (ii) peptide-membrane interactions; including anti-microbial peptides (AMP), carrier peptides (eg. Tat), insulin and neurodegenerative peptides that aggregate. We employ a wide range of physicochemical techniques combined with synthetic chemistry, molecular and electronic (redox) considerations in order to target biomedical problems. Thus our research applies novel, innovative and highly cross-disciplinary methodologies to exciting and challenging research problems; strong national and international collaborations are involved.

Professional Profile

Currently

Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry
Associate Head of Research in the School of Chemistry
Member of Faculty of Science Research Committee
Member, Medical & Research Committee, Victorian Cancer Council
Director, Tacnia Pty. Ltd.

Past Positions

2003-08 Senior Lecturer in Chemistry (Monash);
1992-03 Senior Lecturer & Lecturer (Flinders University of South Australia)
1992 Selby Research Award
1992 Fullbright Fellowship (University of California, Irvine)
1990-91 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (Rhur Universitat, Bochum, Germany)
1989 Post-doctoral Fellowship, University Basel, Switzerland
1987-88 Post-doctoral Fellowship, Monash University, Australia

Research Group

Dr Jinzhen Lu - Postdoctoral Fellow
Mr George McCubbin – Research Assistant
Ms Slavica Praporski – PhD student
Ms Stefania Piantiviagnia – PhD student
Ms Chun In Yeung (Joyee) – PhD student
Mr Muhammad Abdulhamid – MSc student

Research Interests

The Martin group uses a multi-disciplinary approach to answer research questions ranging from Inorganic Chemistry through to Chemical Biology. Our philosophy is that “biology raises the questions and chemistry provides the solutions”.

Of particular interest is the use of lipid membranes as a biomimetic material to explore activity, structure and function of (i) redox active membrane proteins, including protein assembly in membranes and (ii) peptide-membrane interactions; including anti-microbial peptides (AMP), carrier peptides (eg. Tat), insulin and neurodegenerative peptides that aggregate. We employ a wide range of physicochemical techniques combined with synthetic chemistry, molecular and electronic (redox) considerations in order to target biomedical problems. Thus our research applies novel, innovative and highly cross-disciplinary methodologies to exciting and challenging research problems; strong national and international collaborations are involved. Specific research areas include:

1. Proteins and Peptides:

(i) Protein regulation of steroid synthesis by cytochrome P450 enzymes: Biosynthesis of many steroid hormones by cyt. P450 (CYP) enzymes is essential for the control of salt balance, sugar metabolism and the production of male and female sex hormones in humans. Recent studies using cyt. P450c17 and P450 aromatase enzymes aim to elucidate the biomolecular and electronic basis of their activity. Our objective is the development of new treatments for prostate and breast cancers.

(ii) Peptide-membrane activity: The membrane activity of both naturally occurring and synthetic peptides are being explored as alternative therapeutics or bio-nanotechnological tools. Classes of activity include: antimicrobial (AMP), cell-penetrating (eg. Tat) and aggregating peptides (eg. Abeta). Novel biophysical approaches, such as the quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) are being used to provide “fingerprints” for these peptides as they bind to a lipid membrane bilayer.

2. Novel biologically-derived ‘charge-transfer’ materials:

(i) TCNQ and TTF derived salts:New classes of semi-conducting materials based on charge-transfer salts eg. TCNQ and TTF derivatives, are being developed. Driven by the need to discover biocompatible surfaces to immobilize redox-active biomolecules for applications in biotechnology; such as, biosensors and nanodevices, Our ability to explore these novel materials from the chemical (electrochemical) synthesis through to the biological (biomoleuclar) applications has resulted in the development of new bio-materials and biomimetic surfaces. These materials will define the next generation of surfaces for ‘point-of-care’ diagnostic applications.

(ii) Nano-architechure – Synthesis of biomimetic surfaces: The need for proteins to be immobilized on surfaces without loss of activity has led to the development of novel functional surfaces for Histidine-tagged proteins. Substantial challenges remain for the development of new modifications which achieve immobilization of membrane proteins, biomolecules or cellular components at solid interfaces.

The Bioelectrochemical & Biophysical facility is now in place, which includes Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM), Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), Scanning Electrochemical Microscope (SECM) and spectroelectrochemistry. All have electrochemical control, including Fourier Transform AC voltammetry. This assembly of complementary techniques enables the comprehensive characterisation of small molecules to large biomolecular assemblies to be studied.

Publications

  1. QCM-D “fingerprinting” of membrane active peptides, European Biophysics J., Special Issue (2010) DOI: 10.1007/s00249-010-0652-5.
  2. (Pro2H+)2(TCNQ.-)2·TCNQ: an Amino Acid Derived Semiconductor, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., (2011) in press, Dec 2010.
  3. Oncocin, a novel antibacterial peptide optimized against Gram-negative human pathogens, J. Medicinal Chemistry, (2010) 53 (14), 5240–5247
  4. Organization of Enzymes Involved in Sex Steroid Synthesis: Protein-protein interactions in lipid layers, J. Biol. Chem. (2009), 284(48) 33224-33232.
  5. Cell penetrating Apidaecin peptides exhibit thresholded interactions with biomimetic phospholipid membranes, Inter. J. Pept. Res. Therapeutics, (2009) 15(2) 139-146.
  6. Novel Engineered Ion Channel Provides Controllable Ion Permeability for a Polyelectrolyte Microcapsule Coated with a Lipid Membrane, Adv. Functional Materials, (2009) 19(2) 201-208.
  7. Structure and homogeneity of pseudo-physiological phospholipid bilayers and their deposition characteristics on carboxylic acid terminated self-assembled monolayers, Biomaterials, (2009) 30(4), 682-689.
  8. Electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance study of azurin adsorption onto an alkanethiol self-assembled monolayer on gold. Langmuir, (2008) 24, 323-327
  9. Specific and selective peptide–membrane interactions revealed using Quartz crystal microbalance,Biophys. J. (2007) 93, 3907-3916.
  10. High resolution STM of the ß-amyloid protein (Aß1-40) of Alzheimer’s disease….., J. Structural Biology, (2006) 155(1) 104-110.
  11. Controlling protein orientation at interfaces using histidine tags: an alternative to Ni/NTA, J. Amer. Chem. Soc (2005) 127, 2018-2019.
  12. The Electrochemistry of Cytochrome P450, Met. Ions Life Sci., (2007) 3, 127-155
  13. Electrochemical characterisation of human, bovine and porcine cytochrome P450c17, Molecular Endocrinology, (2006) 36(2), 349-359.
  14. Electrochemical Characterisation of purified R.v. laccase – voltametric evidence for a sequential 4-electron transfer Biochemistry, (2003) 42, 10229-10237.

Publications and citation metrics are listed on ISI Web of Knowledge