Schiesser Group

“Work in the Centre for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology is currently directed toward improving our understanding of free radical processes and to building on this knowledge in the design and preparation of novel molecules.” – Professor Carl Schiesser.

Research

The Schiesser group is part of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology, located at the Bio21 Institute. Their research expertise is on Free Radical and Antioxidant Chemistry.

Free radicals are ubiquitous, reactive chemical entities. It is well established that cell damage associated with cardiovascular disease, ischemia/trauma and inflammation is often mediated by free radicals and related reactive oxygen species. In addition, atmospheric pollutants together with UV radiation can serve as sources of biological stress that involve free radicals as the principal mediators. Many commercially valuable products also deteriorate through processes that involve free radicals. For example, oxidative stress can result in polymer degradation and food spoilage.

Work in the Centre for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology is currently directed toward improving our understanding of free radical processes and to building on this knowledge in the design and preparation of novel molecules. Work is currently being directed in four areas:  Free radical chemistry involving selenium, stereoselective free radical chemistry, the development of degradation-resistant surface coatings and computer modelling studies.

The major focus of the Schiesser group is the development and application of novel free radical chemistry with specific emphasis on the chemistry of selenium and in novel re-agents. The group has developed world-leading expertise in homolytic substitution chemistry involving higher hetero-atoms and routinely applies this chemistry to the preparation of novel molecules of therapeutic value. Specific current targets are in the areas of hypertension, inflammation and heart disease.

The group has also developed considerable expertise in the application of quantum-based molecular modelling techniques to augment laboratory studies and has made major contributions to the general understanding of the factors that affect and control free radical reactions. Of recent interest has been the important discovery that the unpaired electron is not necessarily the most reactive component in a free radical, and that radicals can often masquerade as electrophiles.

During 2007, new collaborations with researchers interested in cultural materials conservation, polymeric surface coatings and environmental biotechnology were established.

Group Members

Group Head

Carl Schiesser

Administration

Sue Hickey

Postdoctoral Fellows

Renee Beale

Amber Hancock

Stefanie-Ann Alexander

Graduate Students

Tom Garrard
Claire Baillie
Yulia Velichenko
Narges Shamsaei Zafargandi
Ben Tadgell
Nur Syafinas Mohd Nasir
Elton Borges
Fernanda Severo Sabedra Sousa
Mina Barzegar Amiri Olia
Melina Glasson

Biography

Carl Schiesser is Professor of Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne and Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology.He received his PhD in 1987 from the Australian National University and a DSc in 2000 from the University of Adelaide for his contribution to knowledge. Professor Schiesser is a major international player in the field of free radical chemistry with expertise that ranges from synthesis through to molecular modelling. In 2007 he was awarded the A J Birch Medal of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.

Professor Schiesser leads a team of researchers that are currently working on the development of new pharmaceutical products that combat the damaging effects of free radicals, the development of new reagents for the detection of free radicals, and the understanding of the role that free radicals play in the deterioration of cultural materials.

Professor Schiesser is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the Royal Society of Chemistry.