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Curtin University
Staff Profile

Dr Evelyne Deplazes

Dr Evelyne Deplazes Dr Evelyne Deplazes
Position Research Fellow
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences
School School of Biomedical Sciences
Campus Bentley Campus
Location 305.007
Phone +61 8 9266 5685
Email Evelyne.Deplazes@curtin.edu.au
Linked In linkedin.com/www.linkedin.com/in/evelyne-deplazes-58340393
ORCID orcid.org/0000-0003-2052-5536
ResearcherID www.researcherid.com/rid/F-4618-2012
Google Scholar scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=xBJ8mg0AAAAJ&hl=en

Brief Summary

I am a computational chemist and I am fascinated by the molecular world and spider venoms.

My research combines computer simulations and biophysical experiments to understand how peptides that naturally occur in spider venom interact with cell membranes. More specifically, I use molecular dynamics simulations and surface plasmon resonance experiments to study the membrane-binding mechanism of venom peptides. I use this knowledge to facilitate the rational design of peptides with specific membrane-binding properties.  In addition, I am interested in using computational and theoretical approaches to aid in the analysis of data from spectroscopy and fluorescence experiments. See also the article in Curtin's R&D magazin http://news.curtin.edu.au/rdnow/stories/doesnt-kill-makes-stronger/

Through my research I aim to facilitate the development of venom-based pharmaceuticals to treat cancer, infectious disease and neurological disorders. 

For a recent article in the West Australian see https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/spider-venom-could-kill-cancer-ng-b88429912z and http://health.thewest.com.au/news/3587/using-spiders-to-poison-cancer  

Apart from my research I am also actively involved the career development of early and mid-career researchers and I am passionate about supporting diversity and equity in science. 

Overview

Biosketch

I completed a double degree in Chemistry and Computer Science Curtin University. In 2012 I was awarded my PhD in Computational Biophysics from the University of Western Australia, for my work on the structure and aggregation behaviour of mechanosensitive ion channels.

After my PhD I was awarded a Postdoctoral fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation, followed by a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (2014) to work in the research groups of Prof. Alan Mark (School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences) and Prof. Glenn King (Institute for Molecular Bioscience) at the University of Queensland. This research project focused on the use of computational methods to study the molecular interactions between venom-based peptides and their ion channel targets. In addition, I worked on the development of computational approaches that in combination with data from optical and spectroscopy techniques can be used to study the membrane-binding properties of peptides. In 2016 I returned to WA and joined Curtin University as  Research Fellow. My goal is to establish a WA-based research group of leading scientists to develop methods and knowledge that facilitate the development of new pharmaceutical approaches to treat cancer and neurological disorders.

 

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Memberships, Awards and Training

2016   Young Biophysicist Award, Australian Society for Biophysics 

2016   Early-Investigator Award, Combined Biological Sciences meeting

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Employment History

Current            Research Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin Institute for Health Innovation, Curtin University

2012 – 2016    Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) & School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB), University of Queensland

2008 – 2012    PhD (Computational Chemistry), University of Western Australia, Perth 

2003 – 2007    BSc Honours (Computational Chemistry), BSc (Computer Science), Curtin University, Perth 

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Research Interests

In my research I aim to combine computational approaches with experimental validation to develop methods that allow us to accurately describe the molecular interactions between peptides and biological membranes. Only through rigorously validated methods can we take advantage of the predictive power of computational methods. When applied properly, computational methods are a powerful tool to gain insight into biological processes at the atomistic level and contribute to our understanding of normal physical functions, the molecular origins of diseases and aid rational drug design.

My research allows me to integrate my knowledge and skills in chemistry, structural biology and computer science. I am experienced in a range of molecular modelling techniques and theoretical approaches including quantum mechanical calculations, Monte Carlo simulations, molecular dynamics simulations, homology modelling and docking.  I am also knowledgeable in many spectroscopy methods such as infrared (IR), Raman, and fluorescence spectroscopy.  

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Publications

2017

Journal Articles (Research)

2016

Journal Articles (Research)

2015

Journal Articles (Research)

2014

Book Chapters (Research)

2012

Journal Articles (Research)

2011

Conference Articles (Research)

2008

Journal Articles (Research)

Additional publication categories

2014

Journal Articles (Scholarly/Professional)

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