Hutton Group

"We are developing methods for the chemical synthesis of complex peptides to ultimately improve our understanding of biological processes, including the cause(s) of Alzheimer’s disease, the progression of cancer, and finding treatments for infectious diseases." - Dr Craig Hutton.


The Hutton group's research focus is in the areas of amino acid, peptide and protein chemistry.

Cross-linked tyrosines in peptides and proteins

Cross-linked tyrosine residues occur in a plethora of naturally occurring peptides and proteins, and their formation is associated with oxidative stress-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. We are exploring methods for the preparation of dityrosine cross-links and incorporation of cross-linked amino acids into covalently-linked peptide dimers, including studies of amyloid beta-peptide dimers.

New methods for amino acid and peptide synthesis

We are exploring novel methods for peptide synthesis through development of new amide ligation reactions involving thioamide and thioacid substrates. We are also exploring methods for the stereoselective construction of functionalised amino acids using C­H functionalization and multi-component reactions, and the incorporation of such functionalised amino acids in the synthesis of peptide natural products such as mycocyclosin and ustiloxin.

Radiolabelled peptides for cancer imaging (collaboration with Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre)

We are developing modified ‘RGD’-peptides incorporating an 18F- radionuclide for imaging of cancer by PET (positron emission tomography). Functionalised tyrosine residues have been shown to impart excellent biodistribution properties to the radiotracers, with improved tumour to background ratios.

Group Members

Group Head

Craig Hutton

Postdoctoral Fellows

Jade Cottam

Joel Hooper

Graduate Students

PhD Students

Aaron Brown

Sunnia Rajput

Aysa Pourvali

Biana Island

Katherine Shang

Ashleigh Farnsworth

Masters Students

Adrian Di Rago

Myint Toe

Luke Kurosz


Craig Hutton obtained his undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of Adelaide before completing postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley and The University of Melbourne (Australian Postdoctoral Research Fellow). He was then appointed to the School of Chemistry at The University of Sydney, before returning to The University of Melbourne in 2003.