School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB)

The University of Queensland

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Researcher holding up a sample

Research at the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences is a diverse and powerful research grouping with unique expertise in the chemical and molecular life sciences is across seven overlapping themes of Infection & Immunity, Molecular Genetics & Genomics, Structural Biology & Biochemistry, Nanotechnology & Materials Chemistry, Biomolecular Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, and Science Education. Much of the work of the School is translational in nature with industry engagement and commercialisation of discoveries being a feature. The School is recognised internationally for its research quality and output and for commecialisation of discoveries. Biomolecular research in SCMB spans the range from small synthetic molecules through proteins, nucleic acids, viruses and microorganisms. Materials research encompasses the design and synthesis of molecular devices, functional polymers and nanomaterials as key strengths.


Key science sectors

Strengths and capabilities

  • Biomolecular Chemistry
  • Infection and Immunity
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Molecular Genetics and Genomics
  • Nanotechnology and Materials Chemistry
  • Science Education
  • Structural Biology and Biochemistry

Facilities and major equipment

  • Physical Containment Class 2 (PC2) laboratories
  • Physical Containment Class 3 (PC3) laboratories
  • Real-Time PCR and Molecular Diagnostics Facilities
  • Deep Sequencing, Genomics and Bioinformatics Facilities
  • Confocal, Epifluorescence and Light Microscopy Facility
  • Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography Facilities
  • Proteomics Facility
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facilities
  • Circular Dichroism, Photochemistry and Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy
  • Scientific Glassblowing Facility

Number of research staff

100-200 research staff


Cooper Road, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, 4072

Lead researchers

  • Professor Philip Hugenholtz—Professor Hugenholtz has been at the forefront of major advances in molecular microbial ecology which now form the basis of this field
  • Professor Paul Burn—ARC Australian Laureate Fellow and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science
  • Professor Alan Mark—University of Queensland Fellow and Australian Grants Council Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA)

Achievements of the centre

  • Research activities published in the top international science journals, Nature and Science in the areas of microbial genomics and plant immunity
  • Recognition of the quality of our research leaders with two Australian Laureate Fellowships and a further 34 Fellowships
  • SCMB research has led to the filing of dozens of patents and the creation of multiple spin-off companies.

Organisation type

  • University

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