Molecular biology research

The Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at Auckland has a strong research focus in molecular biology. We utilise a number of approaches, including genetics, biochemistry and bioinformatics, to answer important questions in basic, biomedical and applied biological research areas. We have particular strengths in evolution, molecular microbiology, genomics, and computational biology. 


Inhibiting cancer growth

Massey University PhD student Kay Evans is working with molecular biologist Dr Evelyn Sattlegger to investigate potential ways to stem cancer cell growth. 


Areas of expertise

Biomedical sciences

Biomedical sciences

We investigate biological systems including humans, yeast, bacteria and pathogens, to understand how diseases develop and how to prevent and cure them. We are particularly interested in ageing, cancer, dementia, and bacterial pathogens. 

Molecular biosciences

Molecular biosciences

We study how proteins and RNAs execute their functions and communicate with each other to adjust their activity to cellular needs. We predominantly use microorganisms, and computer modelling to explore the structure and movement of biomolecules. 

Microbiology

Microbiology

We are studying microbial communities inhabiting soil, beneficial and pathogenic bacteria for plants and humans, dairy fermenting bacteria , yeast and other important microbes.

Cell biology

Cell biology

We use molecular, fluorescent, and flow cytometry techniques to explore cell biology, including cell shape, protein behaviour, and DNA segregation.

Genetics

Genetics

We apply a range of genetic analyses to understand how cells and organisms function. Our research encompasses both experimental wetlab and computational approaches. We have a strong emphasis on high-throughput systems and technologies.

Yeast biology

Yeast biology

We have a large number of yeast researchers and state-of-the-art research facilities. Our research includes metabolism, ageing, genetics and signal transduction. We exploit the unique advantages of yeast as an experimental evolution system and a model system for human diseases.


Research projects 

Examples of projects in the area of molecular biology.

The health and wellbeing of plants, animals and humans is to a large extent determined by the microbes with which they co-exist. We are using molecular biology to elucidate the mechanisms of bacterial colonization on the surfaces of plants and human tissues.

Bacteriophages (phages for short) are the most numerous entity on the planet. Our scientists are discovering, characterising and sequencing these entities in order to learn more about the role they play in the microbial world and their diversity. 

KEY CONTACT

  • Associate Professor Evelyn Sattlegger

    Associate Professor Evelyn Sattlegger

    Associate Professor - Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

    Email:

Our people working in this area

  • Associate Professor Jane Allison

    Associate Professor Jane Allison

    Senior Lecturer - Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

    Email:

  • Dr Nikki Freed

    Dr Nikki Freed

    Lecturer in Genetics - Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

    Email:

  • Dr Heather Hendrickson

    Dr Heather Hendrickson

    Senior Lecturer - Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

    Email:

  • Prof Thomas Pfeiffer

    Prof Thomas Pfeiffer

    Professor in Computational Biology/Biochemistry - New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study

    Email:

  • Associate Professor Evelyn Sattlegger

    Associate Professor Evelyn Sattlegger

    Associate Professor - Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

    Email:

  • Dr Sebastian Schmeier

    Dr Sebastian Schmeier

    Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics/Genomics - Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

    Email:

  • Dr Olin Silander

    Dr Olin Silander

    Senior Lecturer in Genetics - Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

    Email:

  • Dr Xue-Xian Zhang

    Dr Xue-Xian Zhang

    Senior Lecturer - Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

    Email:

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