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McGowan Laboratory

Structural Microbiology

Welcome to the McGowan Lab

We focus on therapeutically important microbial proteins and aim to characterise how these proteins function on an atomic level. We investigate whether interruption of this function has therapeutic potential and then use our structural information to discover lead molecules and guide drug development.

We're part of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, and a member of the Infection and Immunity and Cancer Programs and the Department of Microbiology.

Associate Professor Sheena McGowan

My global research connections, partners and funding can be viewed on my Monash Research Profile.

If you are a student interested in doing research in our lab, visit Supervisor Connect.

Click the links below to connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, ORCID and Google Scholar.

Our research

We are a structural microbiology laboratory using techniques in molecular and structural biology, microbiology, biochemistry and biophysics to analyse drug targets of interest. We use this mechanistic information to design inhibitors or analogues with potential applications in human medicine. Our laboratory has close connections with many Monash BDI laboratories, as well as the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Parkville).

  • Structure, Function and Mechanism: the three pillars that drive discovery.

    Bridging the gap between fundamental microbiology and drug discovery requires a complete understanding of how a new drug target works, both at an atomic level as well as its role in the microorganism.

  • A new drug class: aminopeptidase inhibitors for malaria, cancer and infectious disease.

    Our advanced structure-based drug design program has produced potential lead compounds for malaria and cancer as well as new routes to anti-virulence agents for bacteria.

  • Harnessing the antibacterial power of phage: characterisation and engineering of phage endolysins.

    Understanding what controls the activity and specificity of the phage-encoded endolysins is essential to fully exploit their antibacterial potential.

Lab members

We are committed to excellence in research.


View our chosen highlighted key publications.

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We want to share our research discoveries & successes with you.

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Join Our Lab

We're always interested in collaborating with bright and motivated researchers, clinicians and industry. Whether you want to research, study or partner with us to accelerate our discoveries, find out about the work we do.

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