Onset of oxidative damage in human tissue proteins


Onset of protein oxidation and its implications for protein damage in human tissue proteins.


Associate Professor Kevin Downard

Research Location

School of Molecular Bioscience

Program Type



The accumulated effect of radical damage in biological systems has long been associated with serious disease and aging. The onset of these processes, however, is poorly understood at the molecular level. Radical Probe Mass Spectrometry (PR-MS), pioneered in this laboratory, is being applied to investigate early onset structural damage imparted by radicals on human tissue proteins alone and in aggregate. Long-lived human tissue proteins such as collagen, elastin, and lens crystallins are among those being studies as they are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage due to their low turnover. The research should lead to an improved understanding of the causative mechanisms associated with diseases prevalent in the aged population as diverse as cataract, atherosclerosis, liver damage, to cancer. It willl also aid in the development of preventative treatments and therapies.

Additional Information

Techniques: ESI mass spectrometry, chromatography, protein oxidation chemistry, radical chemistry Ph.D. topics:

  • Onset of oxidative damage in crystallins in lens of the eye and the implications for cataractogenesis
  • Interactions of crystallins and their role in protecting the lens of the eye from oxidative damage
  • Differences in the crystalline populations in the young versus mature eye and their role in conferring stability to the lens of the eye
Scholarships:ARC funded scholarships or top-up scholarships may be available. Contact supervisor for details.

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Tissue disease, aging, cataractogenesis, Protein oxidation, disease, imass spectrometry, radicals, tissue, crystallin, Cancer & leukaemia, Cardiovascular & respiratory diseases, Hearing & vision problems, Liver & hormonal disorders, Cell biology, Human body

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 35

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