The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: New antibiotics from old bacteria

Stinear Group

Development of new antibiotics is key to addressing the crisis in human health caused by the rise of multi-drug resistant superbugs. Traditionally, soil-derived Actinobacteria, particularly the genus Streptomyces, are the most prolific antibiotic producers, however, high re-discovery rates of known compounds demand the testing of new reservoirs of biodiversity and bioactive molecules. Human-associated bacteria, including pathogenic bacteria, are a previously untapped source of antimicrobial diversity. This project will investigate the antibacterial activity of a diverse collection of 700 human pathogenic Actinobacteria held by our state microbiology reference laboratory, with the ultimate aim to identify new antimicrobials that can inhibit hospital superbugs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. A combination of techniques will be used in this project, including genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and mass spectrometry, to identify new antibiotics produced by this collection of bacteria. Students will develop a broad range of skills in each of these areas and will use these to increase the antimicrobial drug discovery pipeline. 

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Tim Stinear

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Sacha Pidot

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Stinear Group

[email protected]

2 vacancies

Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections
Host Pathogens Interactions
Cross Cutting Disciplines

The Stinear group is full of fun-loving microbiologists who make mutants, uncover molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, discover new antibiotics, make vaccines, create new diagnostic tests, track disease outbreaks, sequence bacterial genomes and expose dodgy science. Our research aims to understand bacterial pathogens in greater detail so that we can develop tools to detect, inhibit or control them. We collaborate with major hospitals and public health labs so that our research can be rapidly implemented and used to benefit society. 

Stinear Group Current Projects