Stroud Group

Biography

David Stroud is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow and laboratory head within the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Melbourne. He has an interest in the development and application of new technologies to better understand the assembly of multi-protein membrane complexes, with a focus on mitochondria. David was awarded his doctorate from the University of Freiburg, Germany in 2011 under the supervision of Prof. Klaus Pfanner. In 2012 David returned to Australia and was awarded an NHMRC Peter Doherty ECR Fellowship. Since then, his work has been focused on mitochondrial respiratory chain assembly and miss-assembly in disease. Under the mentorship of Prof. Mike Ryan, David established a mitochondrial systems biology research program which moved to The University of Melbourne in 2018. David’s work combines traditional biochemistry and molecular biology techniques with an in-house proteomics pipeline, and he routinely employs technologies such as SILAC labelling, whole cell proteomes and affinity enrichment mass-spectrometry (including proximity tagging approaches such BioID) to answer basic biological questions.

Awards and Recognition

Program stream leader/chair (Omics) for the 2018 Asian Biophysics Association Symposium conference.
Local organizing committee for AussieMit 2018 (to be held at Bio21).
National Health & Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship 1 (2018-2020).
Monash BDI Publication Prize (with Prof. Ryan) & Monash ECR Publication Prize (2017).
Keystone Symposia Future of Science Fund Scholarship (2016).
National Health & Medical Research Council Peter Doherty ECR Fellowship (2014-2017).
AussieMit Post-Doctoral Travel Award (2014) and ECR Award (2012).
Lorne Proteins Conference Young Investigator Award (2012).

Research

Mitochondrial diseases are devastating conditions affecting babies, older children and adults. UK baby Charlie Gard suffered from a form of the condition called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which ultimately cost him his life. Mitochondria are the power plants of cells, breaking down molecules from sugars, fats and proteins to generate energy for the human body, like burning coal to produce electricity. Until recently, diagnosis for mitochondrial diseases has been very slow with only about a quarter of patients receiving a genetic diagnosis. Current treatments are also unsatisfactory – for example, an unproven therapy for mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome was behind a UK court’s decision for preventing Charlie Gard’s family from travelling to the US to access the treatment. 

Recently developed diagnostic methods like next generation sequencing – which can quickly and cheaply sequence a person’s entire genetic blueprint – means up to two-thirds of affected children can now be diagnosed.Mitochondria are the main source of energy in eukaryotic cells, oxidizing sugars and fats to generate ATP through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), which is accomplished by the respiratory chain (Figure 1). Defects in OXPHOS affect the respiratory chain and lead to classical childhood mitochondrial disease, which has an incidence of at least ~1/5000 live births. Organs with the highest energy demand such as brain and heart are normally affected, although the disease can affect any organ system alone or in combination. Mutations in almost 200 genes encoding mitochondrial proteins involved in all aspects of OXPHOS cause mitochondrial disease.

Diagnostic approaches typically focus on targeted sequencing of known mitochondrial disease genes, whereas the genetic complexity of the disease means drugs targeting one OXPHOS system often fail when another is defective.

Visit the group's page on the School of Biomedical Sciences for more information.

Our research aims to functionalise the mitochondrial proteome, and couple this with the development of unbiased quantitative proteomics approaches to assist in diagnosis and inform future treatment strategies.

Figure 1: OXPHOS and the mitochondrial respiratory chain

Techniques

We employ cutting-edge systems biology approaches, incorporating extensive gene-editing and quantitative proteomics tools, as well as classical biochemical, molecular and cell biology techniques.

Follow this link to publications for David Stroud compiled by Google Scholar.

Group Members

Group Head: David Stroud

Postdoctoral Fellow

Joanna Sacharz
​Boris Reljic ​

PhD Student

Daniella Hock