John Bruning

Dr John Bruning

Senior Lecturer

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


I head the Laboratory of Protein Crystallography which studeis Nuclear Receptors, Microbial Enzymology, and Broad-Based Cancer Therapeutics. Understanding human disease requires knowledge of the structure-function relationships in protein sensor modulation.This knowledge is incomplete on a broad spectrum of biological systems including nuclear receptor (NR) signalling, proteins involved in cancer biology, and pathogen protein machinery. Our research is focused on understanding these classes of protein interactions on an atomic level. In addition to gaining a basic understanding of protein mechanism, we also focus on structure guided drug design. In our work in understanding NR signalling, we have uncovered new paradigms in NR allostery. These allosteric modulations can now be further studied on a broader scale and harnessed to employ structure guided drug design. Work in the tuberculosis (TB) structural biology consortium has led to a quantum leap in understanding enzymology of the pathogen allowing for new chemotherapy development. We wish to use similar methodology to study a fungal pathogen for the discovery of new anti-fungal molecules.Our research with proteins of the human replication fork, such as PCNA (Proliferating Cellular Nuclear Antigen) has uncovered atomic determinants of these protein modulators that can be used as new paradigms for cancer therapeutic targeting. We will continue this research to aid in the discovery of alternative cancer therapeutic targets and seek to understand their structure-function relationship.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2016 - ongoing Adjunct Professor The Scripps Research Institute
    2016 - ongoing Senior Lecturer Level C (Tenured) The University of Adelaide
    2012 - 2015 Lecturer Level B The University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2012 Associate Research Scientist Texas A&M University
    2005 - 2007 Post-doctoral Research Associate Scripps Research Institute
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1998 - 2004 Rice University United States PhD
    1994 - 1997 Texas A&M University USA BSc
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2007 - 2012 Assistant Research Scientist Texas A&M USA
    2005 - 2007 Post-doctoral Research Assistant The Scripps Research Institute USA
  • ARC LIEF Grant (2014). LE15010023.  Michael, Dr. Micahel Z; Booker, A/Prof., Grant W; Venter, Dr. Henrietta; Pitson, Prof. Stuart M; McKinnon, Prof. Ross A; Abell, Prof. Andrew D; Soole, A/Prof. Kathleen L; Sykes, Prof. Pamela J; Bruning, Dr. John B. “High Throughput Screening Facility.” ($860,000).
  • Environment Institute Major Collaborative Project (2015). Dr. Frank Reith, Prof. Peter Hoffmann, Dr. Florian Weiland, Dr. Benjamin Wade, Dr. John Bruning. ($50,000).
  • Biochemistry Discipline Collaborative Research Grant (2015-2018).  Bruning, JB and Booker, GW.  “Structural studies of Aspergillus fumigatus enzyme targets for drug discovery.” ($45,000).
  • AIB Labs, Research Infrastructure Fund (2015).  Parkinson-Lawrence, E., Polyak, S.W., Brooks, D., Booker, G.W., Forbes, B.E., Pitson, S., Cowin, A., Bruning, J., Butler, L. ($12,793).
  • IPAS Pilot Projects (2015).  Krogsgaard-Larsen, N.; Bruning, J.B.; Luiten, A.; Callen, D.; Zhang, X.Z.; Alaknanda, A.  “First Steps toward a Cancer Biosensor.” ($6,000).
  • Australian Synchrotron CAP (2013). CAP6919. Hrmova, M. and Bruning, J.B.  “X-ray crystal structures of plant and mammalian proteins, and protein design.”
  • Australian Synchrotron CAP (2014). CAP8221. Hrmova, M. and Bruning, J.B.  “X-ray crystal structures of plant and mammalian proteins, and protein design.”
  • BIOCHEM3000 – Molecular and Structural Biology
  • BIOCHEM3230 – Molecular and Structural Biology (Biomedical Science)
  • BIOCHEM3125 – Advanced Molecular Biology IIIA (Biochemistry)
  • BIOCHEM3001 – Cancer, Stem Cells and Development III
  • BIOCHEM3235 – Cancer, Stem Cells and Development III (Biomedical Science)
  • BIOCHEM3520 – Cancer, Stem Cells and Development (Theory) III
  • BIOCHEM3225 – Advanced Molecular Biology IIIB (Biochemistry)
  • BIOCHEM2500 – Biochemistry II: Molecular & Cell Biology
  • BIOCHEM2502 – Biochemistry II (Biotech): Molecular & Cell Biology
  • BIOCHEM2504 – Biochemistry II (Mol Biol):  Molecular & Cell Biology
  • BIOLOGY1201 – Biology I – Human Perspectives
  • CHEMENG 2015 - Principles of Biotechnology II
  • BIOTECH7000 – Advanced Research Platforms
  • BIOTECH7001 – Drug Discovery and Development
  • Science2300 – Principles and Practice of Research

 

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2021 Principal Supervisor Development and Analysis of Gold Sensing Protein Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Akhil Kumar
    2020 Principal Supervisor Peptidomimetic approaches for inhibiting sliding clamp proteins Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Bethiney Chantel Vandborg
    2020 Co-Supervisor Development of 2-aminoquinoline Derivatives with Improved Drug-like Character as Small Molecule Inhibitors for the Tec SH3 Domain Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Ellen Lillian Swan
    2019 Principal Supervisor Structural Mechanisms of Estrogen Receptor Allostery and Endocrine Disruption Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Daniel Patrick McDougal
    2018 Principal Supervisor Biochemistry Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jordan Luke Pederick
    2018 Co-Supervisor Characterising signalling cascades and investigating therapeutic targets in JAK2-rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukaemia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Charlotte Emma-Jeane Downes
    2018 Co-Supervisor Optimizing Drug Design by Inhibiting the Steroid Biosynthesis Enzyme CYP51 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Hebatalla Ahmed Ibrahim Mohamed
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Targeting PCNA with Cell and Nuclear Permeable p21- derived Peptides Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Theresa Chav
    2018 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Structural and Biochemical Insights into Antifungal Drug Targets from Aspergillus fumigatus Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Stephanie Nguyen
    2018 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Approaches to study protein interactions Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Aimee Jade Horsfall
    2018 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Structural and Biophysical Characterisation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Dethiobiotin Synthetase Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Andrew Philip Thompson
    2017 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Understanding PPARg-Ligand Interactions to Treat Type 2 Diabetes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Rebecca Louise Frkic
    2017 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Microbial Biosynthesis of Grapevine Specialised Metabolites Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Emi Kaye Schutz
    2016 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Defining the Key Residues in PCNA-Protein Interactions Master of Philosophy Master Part Time Alice Jane Kroker
    2016 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K): its relation to cancer cell survival, autophagy and other cell signalling pathways Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Roman Valeryevich Lenchine
    2015 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Structural Characterization of Lysogeny-Promoting Transcription Factor of Bacteriophage 186 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jia Quyen Truong
    2014 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Structural and Biochemical Studies on Three Aspergillus fumigatus Proteins That Present as Targets for Novel Antifungal Drugs Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Andrew Craig Marshall
    2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Molecular and Structural Characterization of the Candidate Enzymes Responsible for Tartaric Acid Synthesis in the Grapevine Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Yong Jia
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83135218
  • Email: john.bruning@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 83134362
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Molecular Life Sciences, floor 2
  • Org Unit: School of Biological Sciences

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