1993 …2020

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Ashley Buckle has more than three decades of expertise in structural biology and protein engineering, with a focus on combining state-of-the-art protein biochemistry, biophysical, structural and computational approaches in protein engineering programs. Ashley trained at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering in Cambridge, under the supervision of Sir Alan Fersht, a founder and pioneer of protein engineering. He has published influential research in diverse areas of protein science, and has made major contributions to protein structure/folding/function, protein design and engineering, bioinformatics, molecular dynamics, immunology, and protease biology. He has consistently published in the best journals, which include SciencePNAS (10), Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. (2), Nature Chem. Biol., Nature Communications and Nature Immunology (2). He has published 145 papers in total, with an h-index of 46 and more than 7000 citations. He has secured in excess of AUD$13 million in research funding and is the named co-inventor on 8 patents. Career highlights include the co-invention of minichaperone protein refolding technology (PNAS x2 1997), leading to MRC spin out Avidis; discovery of mechanisms of autoinactivation and antibody recognition of GAD65, an autoantigen in type 1 diabetes and regulator of neurotransmitter homeostasis (Nature S&MB 2007, PNAS 2014); design of hyperstable non-antibody scaffolds for therapeutic and diagnostic use (PEDS 2015, 2016 ); creation of new biologics for augmentation therapy for antitrypsin deficiency-related emphysema; and design of novel multi-specific immunoglobulin-like molecules. Several projects are currently involved in commercialisation activities. 

In 2020 Ashley founded PTNG Consulting, specialising in providing solutions in structural biology, protein engineering and design, and computational biology. Current clients include US biotechnology startups and academic groups worldwide. In collaboration with partners from industry and academia, PTNG is also using protein engineering approaches to create a toolbox of novel synthetic protein therapeutics, notably antibodies, antibody-like proteins and serine protease inhibitors.

Bioinformatics databases we have developed:

D2Odb

REFOLD

PolyQ

KinetochoreDB

MyTardis

Store.Synchrotron

Mustang-MR

 

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Biography

I completed my PhD in 1994 in the laboratory of Prof Sir Alan Fersht at the University of Cambridge, on the structure determination of protein-DNA and protein-protein complexes. As a postdoc then staff scientist at the MRC Centre Cambridge, I made contributions to the understanding of protein stability, molecular recognition and the action of molecular chaperones. I relocated to Monash University, Australia in 2003 where I headed the Protein Engineering and Design Lab until 2020. I have published more than 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers (H-index = 45, >7000 citations) in diverse areas of protein science, including structure/folding/function, design/engineering, bioinformatics, molecular dynamics, immunology, and protease biology.

In 2020 I founded PTNG Biologicsfocussing on the engineering of proteins, notably antibodies, antibody-like proteins and serine protease inhibitors, for use as therapeutics. I also founded PTNG Consulting, a consultancy in protein engineering.

 

External positions

CEO & Founder, PTNG Consulting

1 Jan 2020 → …

Research area keywords

  • Protein design
  • Protein Biophysics
  • Protein folding
  • Protein engineering
  • Molecular Dynamics
  • Directed evolution

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