Leach Lecturer


Jennifer L. Martin

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), University of Wollongong

In a break from tradition, we are delighted to announce our 2020 Leach Lecturer ahead of the meeting - Professor Jennifer L. Martin the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) at the University of Wollongong.

Professor Martin is a renowned structural biologist who has made pioneering discoveries in the field of redox biology and drug discovery. She was the first to report a crystal structure of a DsbA oxidative protein folding catalyst and to identify the evolutionary link between thioredoxins and bacterial DsbAs. In 2018 she was awarded the highest civilian honour in Australia, Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia “For eminent service to science, and to scientific research, particularly in the field of biochemistry and protein crystallography applied to drug-resistant bacteria, as a role model, and as an advocate for gender equality in science”.

International Speakers



MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, United Kingdom

Anne has made seminal contributions to our current understanding of protein quality control mechanisms in cells, which represent the cellular defence systems against potentially harmful proteins. She was one of the pioneers in the discovery of mammalian unfolded protein response and more recently discovered the pathways by which cells maintain proteasome homeostasis…



National Institutes of Health, USA

Susan Buchanan’s research program focuses on the structure determination of integral membrane proteins from Gram-negative bacteria that have the potential to be vaccine or drug targets against infectious diseases. She has made seminal discoveries in the biogenesis of β-barrel membrane proteins and the structure of the Ton complex.  Her current interests involve how pathogenic bacteria move small molecules and proteins across the membrane and protein import across mitochondrial outer membranes.



Columbia University, USA

Oliver Clarke has recently established his laboratory in the department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University and is investigating the structure and gating mechanisms of ion channels using cryo-electron microscopy.

He received his PhD in membrane protein crystallography from the University of Melbourne in 2011, for work with Jacqui Gulbis at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute



University of Debrecen, Hungary

Monika Fuxreiter applies computational tools and in vitro evolution to study the role of conformational heterogeneity in protein interactions.

 Monika Fuxreiter received her PhD in theoretical chemistry and protein crystallography in Budapest, Hungary. She was a postdoc with Arieh Warshel, Nobel laureate in Chemistry (USC, Los Angeles).



Berkeley University, USA

Professor Jay T. Groves received his B.S. degree in Physics and Chemistry from Tufts University, and then went on to complete his Ph.D. in Biophysics with Professors Steven Boxer and Harden McConnell at Stanford University. He then spent a year as a visiting scholar at Academia Sinica in Taipei…



Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany

Prof Andrei Lupas studies how the first proteins arose at the origin of life and how they evolved into the diversity of forms observable today.

 Since 2001 Prof Andrei Lupas has been the Director and a Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology. He studied biology at TU Munich (1982-1985) and molecular biology at Princeton Univ….



University of Oxford, UK

Simon Newstead’s group focuses on understanding how nutrient transporters function at a molecular level, primarily using protein crystallography and single particle cryo-EM imaging.

 He is Professor of Molecular Membrane Biology in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford and the Biochemistry tutor at Christ Church. He received his MBiochem (Hons.) degree from the University of Bath in 2001 and his PhD from the University of St Andrews in 2004.



Cambridge Biomedical Campus, UK

Kelly Nguyen’s group studies telomerase regulation and other processes involved in telomere maintenance beyond telomerase. She employs an integrated structural biology approach with a focus on biochemistry, cryo-electron microscopy and in vivo studies in mammalian cells.

Kelly Nguyen earned her PhB (Honours) degree in chemistry from the Australian National University, followed by a PhD in structural biology from the MRC-LMB (Cambridge, UK) with Dr Kiyoshi Nagai.




Newcastle University, UK

Professor Tracy Palers is a Professor of Microbiology in the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology at Newcastle University in Tyne & Wear, England. She is known for her work on the twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway.

Palmer's main research interest is in the processes by which bacteria secrete proteins into their environment. She was one of the co-discoverers of the bacterial Tat protein secretion system…



Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Germany

Stefan Raunser’s work focuses on membrane homeostasis in eukaryotic cells, the molecular details of muscle contraction and the mechanism of action of bacterial toxin complexes.

He studied chemistry and biology at the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. He prepared his PhD thesis in the group of Werner Kühlbrandt at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt/Main and received his PhD in biochemistry at Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität Frankfurt in 2004.



Northwestern University, USA

Amy C. Rosenzweig’s laboratory uses structural, biochemical, and -omic approaches to attack problems at the forefront of bioinorganic chemistry. Her areas of interest include biological methane oxidation, metal uptake and transport, and oxygen activation by metalloenzymes.

Amy C. Rosenzweig is the Weinberg Family Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences in the Departments of Molecular Biosciences and of Chemistry at Northwestern University.



Harvard Medical School, USA

Hao Wu’s laboratory of structural immunology focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanism of signal transduction by immune receptors, especially innate immune receptors.

Hao Wu, Ph.D., received her pre-medical training at Peking University from 1982 to 1985 and studied Medicine at Peking Union Medical College from 1985 to 1988.