Steven Polyak

Dr Steven Polyak

Research Associate

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences


My research goal is to understand the role of micronutrients, in particular biotin (aka Vitamin H or B7), on infectious and chronic diseases. This work is significant because:

Biotin is essential for human health
Recent research has highlighted that biotin is also a key nutrient required in bacterial physiology and pathogenesis
Whilst its role as a cofactor is well understood, there is a deficiency in understanding how biotin can also regulate gene expression, signaling pathways and metabolism.
Host and bacterial proteins that control biotin-dependent events during bacterial infection represent new therapeutic targets for antibiotic discovery.

I have established myself as an international expert in the field of biotin biology, as evidenced through invitations to speak at national and international meetings, and write book chapters and literature reviews. I have the expertise required to address new questions in this field and translate this fundamental research for drug discovery. Specifically, my research is directed towards exploiting our knowledge about key proteins to the discovery of new antibiotics to control the drug-resistant bacteria that are a growing threat to human health worldwide. Towards this objective, I have developed a network of collaborators from a variety of disciplines, including biochemistry and molecular biology, microbiology and medicinal chemistry.

My research goal is to understand the role of micronutrients, in particular biotin (aka Vitamin H or B7), on infectious and chronic diseases. This work is significant because:

  • Biotin is essential for human health
  • Recent research has highlighted that biotin is also a key nutrient required in bacterial physiology and pathogenesis
  • Whilst its role as a cofactor is well understood, there is a deficiency in understanding how biotin can also regulate gene expression, signaling pathways and metabolism.
  • Host and bacterial proteins that control biotin-dependent events during bacterial infection represent new therapeutic targets for antibiotic discovery.

I have established myself as an international expert in the field of biotin biology, as evidenced through invitations to speak at national and international meetings, and write book chapters and literature reviews. I have the expertise required to address new questions in this field and translate this fundamental research for drug discovery. Specifically, my research is directed towards exploiting our knowledge about key proteins to the discovery of new antibiotics to control the drug-resistant bacteria that are a growing threat to human health worldwide. Towards this objective, I have developed a network of collaborators from a variety of disciplines, including biochemistry and molecular biology, microbiology and medicinal chemistry. 

    Expand
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2001 Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    1999 - 2001 Research Associate Centre for Cancer Biology
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    University of Adelaide Australia PhD

In 2018 I am teaching into the following courses

Convenor Masters in Biotechnology - Drug Design and Development

Biomedical Science II students, Drug Discovery (3 lectures p.a.)

PBL facilitator for Biomedical Science III

Mentor 1st year small group discovery experience  

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Co-Supervisor Biochemistry Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Stephanie Nguyen
    2017 Co-Supervisor Identification of an RNA m5C demethylose from plants Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Xingyu Wu
    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 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Biotin Protein Ligase Inhibitors as New Antibacterial Agents to Target Staphylococcus aureus: Studies of Efficacy, Mechanism of Action and Resistance Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Andrew James Hayes
    2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Development of Biotin Protein Ligase Inhibitors as New Antibiotics to Treat Staphylococcus aureus Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Ashleigh Susan Paparella
    2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor In Vitro and In Vivo Characterization of Staphylococcus Aureus Biotin Protein Ligase Transcriptional Repressor Function Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jiulia Nurannisa Satiaputra
    2012 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Expression, Purification and Characterization of the Biotin Transporter from Staphylococcus aureus Master of Philosophy under a Jointly-awarded Degree Agreement with Master Full Time Miss Weiwei Tang
    2010 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Novel Inhibitors for biotin biosynthesis pathway in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Wanisa Salaemae
    2009 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Exploring the Structure-Function Relationship of Biotin Protein Ligase from Staphylococcus aureus: Implications for Selective Inhibitor Design Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Tatiana Pereira Soares da Costa
    2009 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Structure-function relationships of the biotin transporter from Staphylococcus aureus Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr . Al Azhar
    2007 - 2009 Co-Supervisor High Throughput Assays for Biotin Protein Ligase: A Novel Antibiotic Target Master of Science Master Full Time Miss Belinda Ling Nah Ng
    2007 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Functional characterisation of the N-terminal region of Holocarboxylase synthetase Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Lungisa Bickle
    2005 - 2009 Co-Supervisor The Structure and Function of Biotin Protein Ligase Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Nicole Pendini
    Expand
  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2010 - 2014 Director Australian Society for Medical Research Australia
    2005 - 2006 Board Member Australian Society for Medical Research Australia
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Representative Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    2015 - ongoing Representative Tall Poppy Awards selection committee - SA Australia
    2004 - 2005 Chair Australian Society for Medical Research - SA division Australia
    2001 - 2004 Member Australian Society for Medical Research - South Australia division Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2016 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Australia
    2016 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Medical Research Australia
  • Position: Research Associate
  • Phone: 83136042
  • Email: steven.polyak@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4362
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Molecular Life Sciences, floor 2
  • Room: 2 06
  • Org Unit: Molecular and Biomedical Science

Connect With Me
External Profiles

Other Links