Our research

Our research

The research interests of the Department's academic faculty span the chemical and biomolecular sciences, but are unified by the common theme of working at the interfaces of traditional subjects. These research interests are founded on discipline areas including analytical science, medicinal chemistry, environmental chemistry, chemical biology, synthetic chemistry, microbial genomics, proteomics, glycomics, biochemistry and biotechnology.

Molecular Sciences Research Booklet 2019/2020

is now available to download.

Research and employment opportunities in Molecular Sciences can be found here.

Analytical Molecular Sciences

Molecular Omics

Functional Materials

Structural and Synthetic Biology

National Research Centres

Department of Molecular Sciences is a key player in three national research centres and two university centres.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics

The Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics links Australia’s key nanophotonics groups and builds on Global Collaborations with a focus on doing the science required to advance biology.

Australian Proteome Analysis Facility

Australian Proteome Analysis Facility was the birthplace of the term proteomics in 1995 and was established as the world’s first dedicated high throughput proteomics laboratory. APAF provides access and expertise for advanced mass spectrometry and protein chemistry analyses to academic and industry based life-science researchers.

Biosecurity Futures Research Centre

A landmark research co-investment of over $20 million has been established between Macquarie University and Horticulture Innovation Australia focusing on the management of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) through Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). The focus of Biosecurity Futures Research Centre is on developing an effective SIT program to curb the prevalence of fruit flies in Australia. The Qfly presents the most difficult and costly biosecurity challenge to market access for most Australian fruit producers, and threatens Australian crops valued at $9 billion.

Further research is supported by a $3.7 million Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre (ITTC), “Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation”, that aims to provide Australian horticulture industries new tools for environmentally and medically benign control of fruit fly pests.

University and Faculty Research Centres

Biomolecular Discovery and Design Research Centre(BDDRC)

The Biomolecular Discovery and Design Research Centre brings together national and international researchers in the molecular and cellular analysis of living systems.

Macquarie University Marine Research Centre

A newly established cross-department University, the Macquarie University Marine Research Centre is aimed at investigating important topics in marine research such as changes in marine ecosystems.

Research Facilities

First class research requires first class facilities. Macquarie University facilities are available for internal and external users.

Australian Proteome Analysis Facility

The Department of Molecular Sciences runs a Molecular Analysis Facility in collaboration with the Australian Proteome Analysis Facility. The facility has five years of expertise, which includes providing advanced proteomic infrastructure. APAF offers proteomics services and collaboration in:

  • mass spectrometry
  • analytical protein chemistry
  • protein arrays
  • bioinformatics

Macquarie University Centre for Analytical Biotechnology

Macquarie University Centre for Analytical Biotechnology (MUCAB) provides a unique and active focus for interdisciplinary research between the Departments of Molecular Sciences at Macquarie University. The Centre manages substantial instrumentation resources appropriate for the contemporary study of biomolecules and natural products, and has lead to Macquarie University being recognised nationally as a centre of excellence for biomolecular analysis. MUCAB users include academic staff, honours students, postgraduate students, and Research Fellows.

MUCAB is not a service facility, but does provide training in the use of instrumentation. The centre also provides access to bioanalytical instrumentation for interdisciplinary research in the chemical and biomolecular sciences within the Department.

Chemical Analysis Facility

The Chemical Analysis Facility offers CHN, CHNS, mass spectrometry and NMR. The facility hosts a wide range of high-quality modern equipment, operated and maintained by qualified personnel offering a comprehensive package of analytical and technical services to universities and commercial entities. All work is undertaken with speed, accuracy and a full guarantee of confidentiality.

Flow Cytometry Facility

The Flow Cytometry Facility maintains a range of cytometers and cell sorters that support high-throughput analyses, high speed cell sorting and single cell genomics. Many of the instruments are configured for marine research which means that they are ideal for analyses of ultra-small particles (e.g. viruses), and can detect a broad range of fluorescent signals simultaneously, including Hoechst, GFP, YFP, mCherry, PE and Chlorophyll.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility

The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility comprises two spectrometers: an Avance DPX 400MHz and an Avance II 600MHz with cryoplatform.

Chemical Mass Spectrometry Facility

The Chemical Mass Spectrometry Facility comprises of an Agilent 6130B single quadrupole mass detector coupled to an Agilent 1260 UHPLC and a Shimadzu GCMS-2010.

Higher Degree Research

The Department of Molecular Sciences has a vigorous research program, with all members of staff actively involved. Research interests include:

  • analytical/bioanalytical chemistry,
  • environmental chemistry,
  • atmospheric chemistry,
  • chemical education,
  • physical/biophysical chemistry,
  • organic/bioorganic chemistry,
  • biological/protein chemistry,
  • structural biology,
  • chemical genomics/proteomics,
  • materials chemistry,
  • theoretical chemistry/bioinformactic,
  • molecular biology/genetics,
  • microbiology,
  • molecular cellular biology,
  • and biotechnology.

The Department is well positioned in taking a multidisciplinary approach in addressing contemporary research problems from the molecular perspective, particularly in the areas of environmental and life sciences. It is possible to arrange higher degree programs through collaboration with other departments, ranging from biology to geology to physics to mathematics and medicine. Much of the Department’s research funding comes from external bodies such as the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council. Senior Researchers who are not full-time members of staff contribute to postgraduate training as Associate Supervisors.

To enquire about potential supervisors in the Department of Molecular Sciences, please send an email to fse.molsci-hdrscholarship@mq.edu.au

This 2 year program forms Macquarie University's pathway to PhD study. It comprises a combination of advanced coursework and research training components.

You can find general information concerning the program organisation, scholarship possibilities and admission procedures on the Macquarie University MRes/BPhil website. However, you may prefer one of our 1 year MSc programs.

Find out more from the Molecular Sciences MRes Flyer 2020 program.

MRes Year 1

You will receive academic advice from the CBMS MRes committee members to guide your selection of a personalised portfolio of advanced undergraduate coursework across the breadth of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences. This will include:

  • 6 Units of advanced disciplinary content*
  • 1 Research Communications unit (FOSE7000) [note, previously called MRES700]
  • Our specific Molecular Science Research Frontiers unit (MOLS7910)

* 7000-level Units can be included from outside Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences (e.g. STAT, MEDI or BIOL Units and others), should you have the appropriate academic background.

An outline of suggested 7000-level: Selecting units for 2020 information.

Unit Code Unit Name


Research Frontiers in Chemistry & Biomolecular Sciences


The Research Experience


Selected Topics in Molecular Sciences


Selected Topics in Molecular Sciences


Molecular and Medical Biotechnology


Protein Discovery and Analysis


Functional Proteomics


Analytical Measurement Uncertainty and Method Validation


Laboratory Quality Systems


Research Topic: Laboratory Skills for Molecular Sciences


Research Topic: Advanced Organic Chemistry


Research Topic: Chemical Biology


Research Topic: Advanced Biomolecular Analysis


Research Topic: Synthetic Biology


Advanced Physical and Analytical Chemistry

MRes Year 2

Having joined a research team in the Department, you will embark on a structured program of research training under the guidance of your academic supervisor. You will encounter innovations being made in your discipline, perform literature reviews, receive training in current molecular techniques, engage in project planning and conduct your own research project (see section below). The program will culminate in submission of a written thesis.

For more information on all activities of the Year 2 Molecular Science program, please contact Dr Morten Andersen.

Research Projects

Each year, research projects will be outlined by academic staff. You are encouraged to work with academic staff to design your own project. For an overview of possible research projects, see the 2019/2020 research booklet.


Molecular Sciences Program

A/Prof Louise Brown
MRes Convenor (Molecular Sciences)
Email: louise.brown@mq.edu.au

General program enquiries

Master of Research Team
Phone: (02) 9850 7987
Email: mres@mq.edu.au

Molecular Sciences MRes Committee for 2020

  • A/Prof Louise Brown
  • A/Prof. Bridget Mabbutt
  • Dr Yuling Wang
  • Dr Alfonzo Garcia-Bennett
  • Professor Paul Haynes (HDR/PhD)
  • Dr Morten Andersen

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree code PhD
Admission requirements An Honours Degree of Bachelor with First-class Honors or Second-class Honors Division I or a Degree of Master with a substantial research component.
Length of candidature 3-4 years full-time, 4-8 years part-time. 
External candidature Available in certain circumstances.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

The MPhil is a two-year full-time or four-year part-time degree that commences in March or August each year. There are five entry points into the program:

  1. Bachelor’s degree with demonstrated research experience (coauthorship on a paper or other quantifiable experience able to be assessed by the Committee).
  2. Bachelor’s degree with a satisfactorily completed Macquarie University postgraduate certificate in research preparation.
  3. Bachelor’s degree with a satisfactorily completed honours degree which includes a research project normally worth at least 25% of the honours program load.
  4. Bachelor’s degree with a satisfactorily completed coursework Masters including a research project normally worth at least 25% of the Masters program load.
  5. Bachelor’s degree with a satisfactorily completed postgraduate diploma including a research component worth 25% of the program load and directly related to the acquisition of research skills.
Degree code MPhil
Admission requirements A pass degree in chemistry together with a Credit grade or better in the Macquarie Postgraduate Units CBMS805, CBMS815 that serve as the coursework for our 6 months Postgraduate Certificate in Research Preparation.
Length of candidature 1.5-2 years full-time, 2-4 years part-time.
External candidature Available in certain circumstances.

Further information can be obtained from the PhD and research degree page.

Forms and Applications

Applicants for higher degree research programs must make contact directly with potential supervisors to discuss research projects prior to applying. Application forms for admission and scholarship details for both local and overseas students can be obtained from:

Higher Degree Research Office

Download application forms.

Email: hdrint@vc.mq.edu.au
Telephone: +61 2 9850 9784 or +61 2 9850 7987

If you are an overseas student, you must first contact a staff member in the research area of your interest about scholarship opportunities in the Department and the associated language requirements. Please use the link above to obtain application material. If you have not contacted a staff member and are just interested in the possibility of a research degree in Chemistry, Scholarship information for overseas students can be obtained from:

Higher Degree Research Office

View HDR Scholarship website.

Email: hdrschol@vc.mq.edu.au

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