Dr Naomi Haworth

Research and Teaching Fellow

F11 - Chemistry Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 8627 7052
Fax +61 2 9351 3329

Biographical details

Naomi hails from Melbourne where she completed a Bachelor of Science with honours at the University of Melbourne in 1998.She then moved to the University of Sydney to complete a PhD in theoretical and computational chemistry with Dr George Bacskay and A/Prof John Mackie. The main focus of her PhD research was making accurate predictions of the thermochemistry and kinetics of combustion reactions. After graduating in 2003, Naomi undertook a short-term postdoctoral position with Professor Leo Radom at the University of Sydney before joining the group of Dr Merridee Wouters at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI) and subsequently at Deakin University. This allowed her to expand her interest in computational modelling of biological systems and develop skills in bioinformatics. In 2005-6, she took leave of absence from the VCCRI to take up an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship, conducting research on electron transport through molecular wires in the group of Professor Tim Clark at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. More recently, Naomi was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the group of Professor Michelle Coote at the Australian National University. During this time she played a leading role in research that proved that electric fields can catalyse and control non-redox reactions. She is currently a Research Fellow in the research group of Professor Leo Radom, exploring the chemistry of sulfur radicals in biological systems. Naomi has additionally built several independent research collaborations, including with Professor Andrea Robinson at Monash University, using computational methods to design and exploring the biological activity of new insulin analogues; and with A/Prof Lisa Martin, also at Monash, studying the spectroscopy of molecular ions. Naomi also has a strong interest in chemical education, having held adjunct teaching positions at The University of Sydney and Monash University. She is currently also a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the University of Sydney.

Research interests

Understanding and controlling biological activity at the molecular level.

Protein disulfide bonds: Disulfide bonds are often thought of as simply being present in proteins to enhance structural stability. However, many disulfides are redox active under physiological conditions, and perform important biological roles such as maintaining cell redox homeostasis, catalysis and the allosteric control of protein function. The aim of this project is to identify the factors that give rise to disulfide-based redox activity and control the redox potentials at which switching is activated. This research will not only lead to the identification of biologically active disulfides in existing proteins, and hence reveal the functions and mechanisms of the enzymes in which they reside, it will also allow the engineering of tuned disulfide switches into proteins and other molecular systems for the development of redox sensing, nanomedicine and nanotechnology applications.

Electric field effects in enzymes: In a recent significant breakthrough, we have shown that electric fields, either arising from external applied fields, nearby charged functional groups or helix dipoles, can catalyse non-redox reactions and influence the nature of the products generated. This work is now being extended to explore how enzymes harness electric field effects to catalyse chemical reactions. In particular, the effect of electric field strength and orientation on disulfide redox activity is being explored to allow better tuning of engineered disulfide-based redox switches.

Insulin structure and receptor binding: This project involves a collaboration of synthetic and computational chemists, crystallographers, biochemists and biologists. Together, we are seeking to understand the dynamic behaviour of insulin and its receptor binding activity. In my work, molecular dynamics simulations are being applied to reveal the conformational flexibility of insulin and insulin analogues in solution and their relative binding modes to the insulin receptor. This work is providing valuable insights for the intelligent design of new insulin analogues for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Teaching and supervision

Lecturing:

CHEM 1111, Semester 1, Week 1-6

CHEM 1012, Semester 2, Week 7-13

Tutoring:

CHEM 2401, Semester 1, Week 9-13

Selected grants

2019

  • Computational Biomolecule Design; Haworth N; DVC Research/Laffan Fellowships.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Haworth, N., Martin, L. (2018). Biomolecules come alive: A computer-based laboratory experiment for chemistry students. Journal of Chemical Education, 95(12), 2256-2262. [More Information]
  • Vo, N., Haworth, N., Bond, A., Martin, L. (2018). Investigation of the redox and acid-base properties of TCNQF and TCNQF2: Electrochemistry, vibrational spectroscopy, and substituent effects. ChemElectroChem, 5(8), 1173-1185. [More Information]
  • Ong, S., Belgi, A., van Lierop, B., Delaine, C., Andrikopoulos, S., MacRaild, C., Norton, R., Haworth, N., Robinson, A., Forbes, B. (2018). Probing the correlation between insulin activity and structural stability through introduction of the rigid A6-A11 bond. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293(30), 11928-11943. [More Information]
  • van Lierop, B., Ong, S., Belgi, A., Delaine, C., Andrikopoulos, S., Haworth, N., Menting, J., Lawrence, M., Robinson, A., Forbes, B. (2017). Insulin in motion: The A6-A11 disulfide bond allosterically modulates structural transitions required for insulin activity. Scientific Reports, 7(17239), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Li, Y., Haworth, N., Xiang, L., Ciampi, S., Coote, M., Tao, N. (2017). Mechanical stretching-induced electron-transfer reactions and conductance switching in single molecules. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139(41), 14699-14706. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Wang, Q., Coote, M. (2017). Modeling flexible molecules in solution: A pKa case study. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 121(27), 5217-5225. [More Information]
  • Pahnke, K., Haworth, N., Brandt, J., Paulmann, U., Richter, C., Schmidt, F., Lederer, A., Coote, M., Barner-Kowollik, C. (2016). A mild, efficient and catalyst-free thermoreversible ligation system based on dithiooxalates. Polymer Chemistry, 7(19), 3244-3250. [More Information]
  • Maximiano, P., Mendonca, P., Costa, J., Haworth, N., Serra, A., Guliashvili, T., Coote, M., Coelho, J. (2016). Ambient temperature transition-metal-free dissociative electron transfer reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (DET-RAFT) of methacrylates, acrylates, and styrene. Macromolecules, 49(5), 1597-1604. [More Information]
  • Aragones, A., Haworth, N., Darwish, N., Ciampi, S., Bloomfield, N., Wallace, G., Diez-Perez, I., Coote, M. (2016). Electrostatic catalysis of a Diels-Alder reaction. Nature, 531(7592), 88-91. [More Information]
  • Brandt, J., Haworth, N., Schmidt, F., Voit, B., Coote, M., Barner-Kowollik, C., Lederer, A. (2016). Quantitative analysis of step-growth polymers by size exclusion chromatography. ACS Macro Letters, 5(9), 1023-1028. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Wouters, M. (2015). Cross-strand disulfides in the non-hydrogen bonding site of antiparallel beta-sheet (aCSDns): poised for biological switching. RSC Advances, 5(105), 86303-86321. [More Information]
  • Ciampi, S., Eggers, P., Haworth, N., Darwish, N., Wagner, P., Coote, M., Wallace, G., Raston, C. (2015). Decoloration rates of a photomerocyanine dye as a visual probe into hydrogen bonding interactions. Chemical Communications, 51(23), 4815-4818. [More Information]
  • Lederhose, P., Haworth, N., Thomas, K., Bottle, S., Coote, M., Barner-Kowollik, C., Blinco, J. (2015). Design of redox/radical sensing molecules via nitrile imine-mediated tetrazole-ene cycloaddition (NITEC). The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 80(16), 8009-8017. [More Information]
  • Mohanasundaram, K., Haworth, N., Grover, M., Crowley, T., Goscinski, A., Wouters, M. (2015). Potential role of glutathione in evolution of thiol-based redox signaling sites in proteins. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 6, 1-15. [More Information]
  • Hancock, A., Lobachevsky, S., Haworth, N., Coote, M., Schiesser, C. (2015). The effect of leaving radical on the formation of tetrahydroselenophene by SHi ring closure: an experimental and computational study. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 13(8), 2310-2316. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Lu, J., Vo, N., Le, T., Thompson, C., Bond, A., Martin, L. (2014). Diagnosis of the redox levels of TCNQF4 compounds using vibrational spectroscopy. ChemPlusChem, 79(7), 962-972. [More Information]
  • Nafady, A., Le, T., Vo, N., Haworth, N., Bond, A., Martin, L. (2014). Role of water in the dynamic disproportionation of Zn-based TCNQ(F4) coordination polymers (TCNQ = tetracyanoquinodimethane). Inorganic Chemistry, 53(4), 2268-2275. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Wouters, M. (2013). Between-strand disulfides: forbidden disulfides linking adjacent beta-strands. RSC Advances, 3(46), 24680-24705. [More Information]
  • Wouters, M., Iismaa, S., Fan, S., Haworth, N. (2011). Thiol-based redox signalling: Rust never sleeps. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 43(8), 1079-1085. [More Information]
  • Wouters, M., Fan, S., Haworth, N. (2010). Disulfides as redox switches: From molecular mechanisms to functional significance. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 12(1), 53-91. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Liu, J., Fan, S., Gready, J., Wouters, M. (2010). Estimating relative disulfide energies: An accurate Ab Initio potential energy surface. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 63(3), 379-387. [More Information]
  • Hulugalle, D., Ballouz, S., Haworth, N., Liu, J., Fan, S., Wouters, M. (2010). The association between Zn Fingers and forbidden disulfide motifs. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 49((Supplement)), S130-S131. [More Information]
  • Fan, S., George, R., Haworth, N., Feng, L., Liu, J., Wouters, M. (2009). Conformational changes in redox pairs of protein structures. Protein Science, 18(8), 1745-1765. [More Information]
  • Wouters, M., George, R., Haworth, N. (2007). "Forbidden" disulfides: Their role as redox switches. Current Protein and Peptide Science, 8(5), 484-495.
  • Haworth, N., Gready, J., George, R., Wouters, M. (2007). Evaluating the stability of disulfide bridges in proteins: a torsional potential energy surface for diethyl disulfide. Molecular Simulation, 33(6-8), 475-485. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Feng, L., Wouters, M. (2006). High torsional energy disulfides: Relationship between cross-strand disulfides and right-handed staples. Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, 4(1), 155-168.
  • Atienza, C., Martin, N., Wielopolski, M., Haworth, N., Clark, T., Guldi, D. (2006). Tuning electron transfer through p-phenyleneethynylene molecular wires. Chemical Communications, (30), 3202-3204. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Sullivan, M., Radom, L., Wilson, A., Martin, J. (2005). Structures and thermochemistry of calcium-containing molecules. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 109(40), 9156-9168. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Mackie, J., Bacskay, G. (2003). An ab initio quantum chemical and kinetic study of the NNH + O reaction potential energy surface: how important is this route to NO in combustion? The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 107(35), 6792-6803. [More Information]
  • Owens, N., Nauta, B., Kable, S., Haworth, N., Bacskay, G. (2003). An experimental and theoretical investigation of the triple fragmentation of CFClBr2 by photolysis near 250 nm. Chemical Physics Letters, 370(3-4), 469-477. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Bacskay, G. (2002). Heats of formation of phosphorus compounds determined by current methods of computational quantum chemistry. Journal of Chemical Physics, , 11175-11187. [More Information]
  • Mackie, J., Bacskay, G., Haworth, N. (2002). Reactions of Phosphorus-Containing Species of Importance in the Catalytic Recombination of H +OH: Quantum Chemical and Kinetic Studies. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 106(45), 10825-10830. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Bacskay, G., Mackie, J. (2002). The Role of Phosphorus Dioxide in the H + OH Recombination Reaction: Ab Initio Quantum Chemical Computation of Thermochemical and Rate Parameters. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 106(8), 1533-1541. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Bacskay, G. (2002). The structure of N-delta-(N'sulfodiaminophosphinyl)-L-ornithine and its binding to ornithine transcarbamoylase: a quantum chemical study. Molecular Simulation, , 773-790. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Bacskay, G., Mackie, J. (2000). Heats of formation of hydrofluorocarbons obtained by Gaussian-3 and related quantum chemical computations. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 104(32), 7600-7611. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Haworth, N. (2008). Prediction of redox-regulted cys in yeast. 9th International Congress on Cell Biology ICCB 2008, Italy: Medimond International Proceedings.
  • Radom, L., Sullivan, M., Haworth, N., Wilson, A., Curtiss, L., Martin, J. (2004). Thermochemistry of calcium-containing molecules: An examination of the performance of high-level theoretical procedures. The 228th ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.
  • Mackie, J., Haworth, N., Bacskay, G. (2003). How important is the NNH + O route to NO in combustion. 2003 Australian Symposium on Combustion & the 8th Australian Flames Days, Australia: Combustion Institute and the Australian Flame Research Committee.

2018

  • Haworth, N., Martin, L. (2018). Biomolecules come alive: A computer-based laboratory experiment for chemistry students. Journal of Chemical Education, 95(12), 2256-2262. [More Information]
  • Vo, N., Haworth, N., Bond, A., Martin, L. (2018). Investigation of the redox and acid-base properties of TCNQF and TCNQF2: Electrochemistry, vibrational spectroscopy, and substituent effects. ChemElectroChem, 5(8), 1173-1185. [More Information]
  • Ong, S., Belgi, A., van Lierop, B., Delaine, C., Andrikopoulos, S., MacRaild, C., Norton, R., Haworth, N., Robinson, A., Forbes, B. (2018). Probing the correlation between insulin activity and structural stability through introduction of the rigid A6-A11 bond. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293(30), 11928-11943. [More Information]

2017

  • van Lierop, B., Ong, S., Belgi, A., Delaine, C., Andrikopoulos, S., Haworth, N., Menting, J., Lawrence, M., Robinson, A., Forbes, B. (2017). Insulin in motion: The A6-A11 disulfide bond allosterically modulates structural transitions required for insulin activity. Scientific Reports, 7(17239), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Li, Y., Haworth, N., Xiang, L., Ciampi, S., Coote, M., Tao, N. (2017). Mechanical stretching-induced electron-transfer reactions and conductance switching in single molecules. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139(41), 14699-14706. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Wang, Q., Coote, M. (2017). Modeling flexible molecules in solution: A pKa case study. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 121(27), 5217-5225. [More Information]

2016

  • Pahnke, K., Haworth, N., Brandt, J., Paulmann, U., Richter, C., Schmidt, F., Lederer, A., Coote, M., Barner-Kowollik, C. (2016). A mild, efficient and catalyst-free thermoreversible ligation system based on dithiooxalates. Polymer Chemistry, 7(19), 3244-3250. [More Information]
  • Maximiano, P., Mendonca, P., Costa, J., Haworth, N., Serra, A., Guliashvili, T., Coote, M., Coelho, J. (2016). Ambient temperature transition-metal-free dissociative electron transfer reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (DET-RAFT) of methacrylates, acrylates, and styrene. Macromolecules, 49(5), 1597-1604. [More Information]
  • Aragones, A., Haworth, N., Darwish, N., Ciampi, S., Bloomfield, N., Wallace, G., Diez-Perez, I., Coote, M. (2016). Electrostatic catalysis of a Diels-Alder reaction. Nature, 531(7592), 88-91. [More Information]
  • Brandt, J., Haworth, N., Schmidt, F., Voit, B., Coote, M., Barner-Kowollik, C., Lederer, A. (2016). Quantitative analysis of step-growth polymers by size exclusion chromatography. ACS Macro Letters, 5(9), 1023-1028. [More Information]

2015

  • Haworth, N., Wouters, M. (2015). Cross-strand disulfides in the non-hydrogen bonding site of antiparallel beta-sheet (aCSDns): poised for biological switching. RSC Advances, 5(105), 86303-86321. [More Information]
  • Ciampi, S., Eggers, P., Haworth, N., Darwish, N., Wagner, P., Coote, M., Wallace, G., Raston, C. (2015). Decoloration rates of a photomerocyanine dye as a visual probe into hydrogen bonding interactions. Chemical Communications, 51(23), 4815-4818. [More Information]
  • Lederhose, P., Haworth, N., Thomas, K., Bottle, S., Coote, M., Barner-Kowollik, C., Blinco, J. (2015). Design of redox/radical sensing molecules via nitrile imine-mediated tetrazole-ene cycloaddition (NITEC). The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 80(16), 8009-8017. [More Information]
  • Mohanasundaram, K., Haworth, N., Grover, M., Crowley, T., Goscinski, A., Wouters, M. (2015). Potential role of glutathione in evolution of thiol-based redox signaling sites in proteins. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 6, 1-15. [More Information]
  • Hancock, A., Lobachevsky, S., Haworth, N., Coote, M., Schiesser, C. (2015). The effect of leaving radical on the formation of tetrahydroselenophene by SHi ring closure: an experimental and computational study. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 13(8), 2310-2316. [More Information]

2014

  • Haworth, N., Lu, J., Vo, N., Le, T., Thompson, C., Bond, A., Martin, L. (2014). Diagnosis of the redox levels of TCNQF4 compounds using vibrational spectroscopy. ChemPlusChem, 79(7), 962-972. [More Information]
  • Nafady, A., Le, T., Vo, N., Haworth, N., Bond, A., Martin, L. (2014). Role of water in the dynamic disproportionation of Zn-based TCNQ(F4) coordination polymers (TCNQ = tetracyanoquinodimethane). Inorganic Chemistry, 53(4), 2268-2275. [More Information]

2013

  • Haworth, N., Wouters, M. (2013). Between-strand disulfides: forbidden disulfides linking adjacent beta-strands. RSC Advances, 3(46), 24680-24705. [More Information]

2011

  • Wouters, M., Iismaa, S., Fan, S., Haworth, N. (2011). Thiol-based redox signalling: Rust never sleeps. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 43(8), 1079-1085. [More Information]

2010

  • Wouters, M., Fan, S., Haworth, N. (2010). Disulfides as redox switches: From molecular mechanisms to functional significance. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 12(1), 53-91. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Liu, J., Fan, S., Gready, J., Wouters, M. (2010). Estimating relative disulfide energies: An accurate Ab Initio potential energy surface. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 63(3), 379-387. [More Information]
  • Hulugalle, D., Ballouz, S., Haworth, N., Liu, J., Fan, S., Wouters, M. (2010). The association between Zn Fingers and forbidden disulfide motifs. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 49((Supplement)), S130-S131. [More Information]

2009

  • Fan, S., George, R., Haworth, N., Feng, L., Liu, J., Wouters, M. (2009). Conformational changes in redox pairs of protein structures. Protein Science, 18(8), 1745-1765. [More Information]

2008

  • Haworth, N. (2008). Prediction of redox-regulted cys in yeast. 9th International Congress on Cell Biology ICCB 2008, Italy: Medimond International Proceedings.

2007

  • Wouters, M., George, R., Haworth, N. (2007). "Forbidden" disulfides: Their role as redox switches. Current Protein and Peptide Science, 8(5), 484-495.
  • Haworth, N., Gready, J., George, R., Wouters, M. (2007). Evaluating the stability of disulfide bridges in proteins: a torsional potential energy surface for diethyl disulfide. Molecular Simulation, 33(6-8), 475-485. [More Information]

2006

  • Haworth, N., Feng, L., Wouters, M. (2006). High torsional energy disulfides: Relationship between cross-strand disulfides and right-handed staples. Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, 4(1), 155-168.
  • Atienza, C., Martin, N., Wielopolski, M., Haworth, N., Clark, T., Guldi, D. (2006). Tuning electron transfer through p-phenyleneethynylene molecular wires. Chemical Communications, (30), 3202-3204. [More Information]

2005

  • Haworth, N., Sullivan, M., Radom, L., Wilson, A., Martin, J. (2005). Structures and thermochemistry of calcium-containing molecules. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 109(40), 9156-9168. [More Information]

2004

  • Radom, L., Sullivan, M., Haworth, N., Wilson, A., Curtiss, L., Martin, J. (2004). Thermochemistry of calcium-containing molecules: An examination of the performance of high-level theoretical procedures. The 228th ACS National Meeting, Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.

2003

  • Haworth, N., Mackie, J., Bacskay, G. (2003). An ab initio quantum chemical and kinetic study of the NNH + O reaction potential energy surface: how important is this route to NO in combustion? The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 107(35), 6792-6803. [More Information]
  • Owens, N., Nauta, B., Kable, S., Haworth, N., Bacskay, G. (2003). An experimental and theoretical investigation of the triple fragmentation of CFClBr2 by photolysis near 250 nm. Chemical Physics Letters, 370(3-4), 469-477. [More Information]
  • Mackie, J., Haworth, N., Bacskay, G. (2003). How important is the NNH + O route to NO in combustion. 2003 Australian Symposium on Combustion & the 8th Australian Flames Days, Australia: Combustion Institute and the Australian Flame Research Committee.

2002

  • Haworth, N., Bacskay, G. (2002). Heats of formation of phosphorus compounds determined by current methods of computational quantum chemistry. Journal of Chemical Physics, , 11175-11187. [More Information]
  • Mackie, J., Bacskay, G., Haworth, N. (2002). Reactions of Phosphorus-Containing Species of Importance in the Catalytic Recombination of H +OH: Quantum Chemical and Kinetic Studies. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 106(45), 10825-10830. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Bacskay, G., Mackie, J. (2002). The Role of Phosphorus Dioxide in the H + OH Recombination Reaction: Ab Initio Quantum Chemical Computation of Thermochemical and Rate Parameters. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 106(8), 1533-1541. [More Information]
  • Haworth, N., Bacskay, G. (2002). The structure of N-delta-(N'sulfodiaminophosphinyl)-L-ornithine and its binding to ornithine transcarbamoylase: a quantum chemical study. Molecular Simulation, , 773-790. [More Information]

2000

  • Haworth, N., Bacskay, G., Mackie, J. (2000). Heats of formation of hydrofluorocarbons obtained by Gaussian-3 and related quantum chemical computations. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 104(32), 7600-7611. [More Information]

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