Kate Wegener

Dr Kate Wegener

Ramsay Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

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


I work at the interface of chemistry and biology, using structure-guided molecular design to develop therapeutics and diagnostic biosensors for a variety of applications. By investigating how molecules interact with their target, we can rationally improve their chemistry for both function and stability.

Projects in my laboratory involve the development of both small molecules and peptidomimetics that interact with their biological target with high affinity.  As part of multi-disciplinary collaborations, we apply structural techniques, including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and crystallography, to examine these molecular interactions at high resolution, and rationally alter ligand chemistry to produce compounds with desirable biochemical and pharmacological properties. Interaction kinetics are quantified using a variety of biophysical techniques such as fluorescence polarization and NMR spectroscopy, as well as surface plasmon resonance (SPR) using our state-of-the-art Biacore S200.

Peptidomimetic projects involve the rational design of peptide-based inhibitors of protein-protein interactions, using chemical modification to stabilise the peptides and improve their pharmacological potential.

Current projects include:

  • Development of novel antibiotics targeting essential enzymes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Constrained peptidomimetics targeting PCNA – the human DNA sliding clamp – as a novel approach to cancer treatment.
  • Constrained peptidomimetics as antagonists of nuclear receptor function, for applications in cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.

Channel 7 Children’s Research Fund  “Designed Antibiotics Targeting Drug-Resistant and Latent Tuberculosis” ($74,411)

ARC Discovery Grant (DP120100582) (2012) Abell, A.D., Wegener, K.L., Callen, D.F., Ginsberg, M.H. “Defining peptide structure and function: the shape of things to come.”

Kidman Fellowship (2015), The University of Adelaide

Ramsay Fellowship (2009), The University of Adelaide.

Guest lecturer on Peptidomimetics, for the Masters in Biotechnology, Drug Discovery and Development course (2014-), The University of Adelaide.

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 Co-Supervisor Zero Toxin Grain Pulse Vetch Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Vy Hoang Thao Nguyen
    2015 Co-Supervisor Fragment Screening Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Louise Marie Sternicki
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Structural and Biophysical Characterisation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Dethiobiotin Synthetase Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Andrew Philip Thompson
    2013 - 2018 Co-Supervisor A Study on Side Chain Linked Peptides, Toward the Development of Talin Inhibitors using B3 Integrin Peptide Analogues Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Kelly Lee Keeling
  • Position: Ramsay Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Phone: 83135289
  • Email: kate.wegener@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4362
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Molecular Life Sciences, floor 2
  • Room: 2 06
  • Org Unit: Molecular and Biomedical Science

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