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Network Aims

Australians have made innovative contributions individually to understanding and regulating these enzymes. However this initiative aims to network their efforts by value-adding to current protease research through promoting national and international collaborations to improve our understanding of biology, and encourage exploitation of proteases/inhibitors/receptors for pharmaceutical and industrial applications.

The principal objectives are to build a highly interactive research and educational protease network within Australia; to catalyse the exploration of new frontiers and opportunities for developing important new protease-related research programs relevant to life, ageing, disease and death; and to coordinate and target a significant proportion of protease research effort at problems of national or international significance. Ultimate health and environmental outcomes will have long lasting potential to create exciting and lucrative new opportunities for the Australian economy.

The Australian Protease Network Aims :
  • To value-add to current protease research by promoting more effective, more extensive, and more intensive, national and international collaborations to improve our understanding of biology.
  • To unite, for the first time, the efforts of those Australians currently researching the biology and chemistry of proteases (including structures, functions and control), while also increasing awareness of the importance of proteases among other Australian scientists who could be potential recruits into the Network.
  • To increase the capacity, and expand the horizons, of Australian protease research through developing more intensive links with current international collaborators, while sourcing potential new collaborations via more effective international networking.
  • To facilitate global networking by building, maintaining, and communicating through, national and international website registers of protease researchers; using them to catalyse more extensive collaborations, communications, and information/researcher exchange through specialist meetings, workshops, and electronic contact.
  • To create new networking, management and leadership opportunities for established and younger scientists, fostering student and postdoctoral exchange of Australian and overseas researchers.
  • To provide financial, vocational, mentoring and grant writing support to current or prospective protease researchers, especially younger investigators.
  • To promote interdisciplinary research approaches and education programmes by also connecting Australian and global researchers through the rapidly growing disciplines of genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, bioinformatics, as well as more traditional disciplines of genetics, structural/molecular/cell/developmental biology, enzymology, physiology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, chemistry & drug discovery.
  • To create opportunities for sharing lab resources, equipment, techniques, technologies, infrastructure and knowledge through lab visits and web-based information.
  • To connect research groups, individual students and researchers with potential end users including each other, and to engage the community through Network activities.
  • To generate new opportunities for, and facilitate commercial exploitation of, proteases/inhibitors/receptors through future recruitment of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and industrial affiliates.

This collection of initiatives have been designed to promote research collaborations, encourage lateral thinking, train and educate participants in new activities and diversify their interests, all towards improving our capacity to understand biology.

Network Structure

The Australian Protease Network was formed in 2004 by over 80 research groups from 28 universities, institutions, hospitals, or companies in 6 states of Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia). The participants have individual links to collaborators in 19 countries (Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA) and plans to unite their efforts as well.

The Australian Protease Network has an interim management committee comprising 10 people:

Network Administrator:

National Convenors:
Professor David Fairlie
University of Queensland, Brisbane
Tel: +61 7 3346 2989

Deputy: Dr. John Hooper
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane

Deputy: Dr. Joel Tyndall
University of Queensland, Brisbane

ACT Node Coordinator:
Dr. Rohan Baker
Australian national University, Canberra
Tel: +61 2 6125 3824

NSW Node Coordinator:
Professor Phil Hogg
University of New South Wales, Sydney
Tel: +61 2 9385 1004

Vic Node Coordinator:
Associate Professor Rob Pike
Monash University, Melbourne
Tel: +61 3 9905 3923

Qld Node Coordinator:
Professor Paul Alewood
University of Queensland, Brisbane
Tel: +61 7 3346 2982

SA Node Coordinator:
Professor Sharad Kumar
Institute for Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide
Tel: +61 8 8222 3738

WA Node Coordinator:
Professor Geoff Stewart
University of Western Australia, Perth
Tel: +61 8 9346 3915

Professor Fairlie will coordinate the overall program, supported by two Early Career Researchers as deputies Dr. Hooper and Dr. Tyndall and a full time Network Administrator. Associate Professor Pike (Victoria), Professor Alewood (Queensland), Professor Hogg (New South Wales), Dr. Baker (ACT), Professor Kumar (South Australia), and Professor Stewart (Western Australia) will be the local coordinators at each of the State nodes.

An International Protease Network website register (www.protease.net) has also been created to facilitate global communications and collaborations between protease researchers and end users. A core of group of eminent international protease researchers have been enlisted by the Australian Protease Network as scientific advisers and conduits to the international community. Expatriate Professor Chris Overall chairs this advisory group :

Professor Chris Overall
North American Degradomics Group
University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Professor Guy Salvesen
North American Degradomics Group
The Burnham Institute, San Diego

Professor Ben Dunn
President of the International Proteolysis Society
University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville

Professor John Mayer
Council Member UK Biochemical Society
University of Nottingham Medical School, Nottingham

Professor Wolfram Bode
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Biochemie, Martinsried

Professor Yoshiaki Kiso
Director Center for Frontier Research in Medicinal Science
Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto

The network will endeavour to recruit International protease researchers, as opportunities arise, for relocation to Australia. Network recruits who relocated to Australia between Oct 2003 - May 2004 are Professor John Dalton (Dublin City University to University of Technology, Sydney), Dr. John Deadman (Thrombosis Research Institute, London to AMRAD, Melbourne), Dr David Dougan (Heidelberg University) and Dr. Kaye Truscott (Freiberg University) to La Trobe University, Melbourne. Among international participants who are expatriate Australians are Prof. Chris Overall (UBC, Canada), Prof. Terry Spithill (McGill, Canada), Prof. Toni Antalis (George Washington, USA), Prof. Paul Brindley (Tullane, USA), Drs Donmienne Leung and Michael Kelso (SCRIPPS, USA), Dr. Matt Glenn (Yale, USA), Dr. Bruce Caterson (UK), Assoc. Professor Andrew Abell (Canterbury, NZ).

Questions/suggestions? Please contact the Network Administrator.
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