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Brisbane’s peptide science prowess attracts symposium

Brisbane’s pioneering work in peptide science – an important field for future drug research for reasons of potency, safety and specificity – has seen it secure the International Peptide Symposium in 2021.

Peptides are a key area of research growth in Australia, particularly with advances in research in drug design and agricultural applications, with the University of Queensland leading the way.

More than 600 researchers in the field from around the globe are expected to attend the five-day symposium at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Brisbane scientists Dr Christina Schroeder and Dr Johan Rosengren from the University of Queensland were the main drivers behind the successful bid.  The pair are both on the Executive Committee of the Australian Peptide Association (APA), the host association for the 2021 meeting.

Rosengren said: “The field of peptide science has rapidly matured in Australia with the sector outstripping other types of drug research, with scientists in Brisbane leading the way, focusing on the areas of bio pesticides and drug design. This event is a unique opportunity to showcase local research and provide a global platform for the exchange of science and knowledge and the opportunity for research growth and investment in the sector.”

Rosengren’s research into bioactive peptides involves isolating and characterising novel substances, and through molecular design developing them for biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications.

Schroeder has been working for the last 15 years in the field of bioactive venom peptide research mining the venom of cone snails, spiders and snakes in search of novel therapeutics for the treatment of chronic pain and cancer.

“Our industry delivers high impact medical research in the field of Life Sciences,” she said. “I am inspired by the life-changing benefits which bioactive venom peptide research aims to achieve and excited about the current research in our industry and the development of novel, potent therapies with fewer side effects.”

The pair were two of the seven winners of the inaugural Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant in 2018, which facilitated their attendance at the 2018 International Symposium in Kyoto to highlight Brisbane’s expertise in the field and help secure the event.

Schroeder said: “Brisbane’s excellence in Life Sciences research has helped boost Australia’s reputation as a leading player in the world-wide peptide community. Hosting the International Peptide Symposium here in 2021 will facilitate further networking opportunities creating long-lasting collaborations and partnerships with the city.”

The bid was supported by the team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane Marketing, and Tourism & Events Queensland, through its Business Events Acquisition and Leveraging Fund.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk added: “This important Symposium will deliver an economic boost of over $2 million, showcase Brisbane’s local expertise and facilitate collaboration in the field.”


(via Choose Brisbane)