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Personal profile


Dr. Gabby Watson is a Research Fellow based at the Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute. Dr. Watson’s broad research theme is centered on using structural biology and protein biochemistry to understand disease related proteins.

Dr. Watson completed a BSc (Hons) at Otago University, New Zealand, and in 2013 was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award to undertake a PhD at Monash University with A/Prof. Jackie Wilce and Prof. Matthew Wilce. Dr. Watson’s PhD research utilised structural biology to design and characterise cyclic peptides targeted to an intracellular breast cancer protein, Grb7. Her research resulted in six primary research articles, as well as a SCANZ Rising Star award and four poster awards in recognition of Dr. Watson’s research quality. 

In 2017 Gabby joined the laboratory of Prof. Jamie Rossjohn, where she is continuing to investigate disease related proteins, now in the context of infection and immunity. 

Her current research focuses on:

  1. Investigating ligand recognition by natural killer cell receptors
  2. Understanding the molecular basis for the way viruses evade our immune system 

Dr. Watson uses a broad range of techniques in her research including molecular biology, protein expression and purification methods, as well as biophysical characterisation (surface plasmon resonance, analytical ultracentrifugation) and structural determination techniques (X-ray crystallography).


  • structural biology
  • protein biochemistry
  • innate immunity
  • viral infection
  • natural kill cell receptors
  • cyclic peptides

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Research Output 2015 2019

Structural Basis for CD96 Immune Receptor Recognition of Nectin-like Protein-5, CD155

Deuss, F. A., Watson, G. M., Fu, Z., Rossjohn, J. & Berry, R., 5 Feb 2019, In : Structure. 27, 2, p. 219-228 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Preparation and cellular uptake of bicyclic‐peptide cargo clicked to cell penetrating peptides

Kulkarni, K., Watson, G. M., Sang, J. & Wilce, J. A., May 2018, In : Journal of Peptide Science. 110, 3, 11 p., e24037.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Discovery, Development, and Cellular Delivery of Potent and Selective Bicyclic Peptide Inhibitors of Grb7 Cancer Target

Watson, G. M., Kulkarni, K., Sang, J., Ma, X., Gunzburg, M. J., Perlmutter, P., Wilce, M. C. J. & Wilce, J. A., 22 Nov 2017, In : Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 60, 22, p. 9349-9359 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Insight into the selectivity of the G7-18NATE inhibitor peptide for the Grb7-SH2 domain target

Watson, G. M., Lucas, W. A. H., Gunzburg, M. J. & Wilce, J. A., 26 Sep 2017, In : Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. 4, 8 p., 64.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Shortened penetratin cell-penetrating peptide is insufficient for cytosolic delivery of a Grb7 targeting peptide

Watson, G. M., Kulkarni, K., Brandt, R., Del Borgo, M. P., Aguilar, M-I. & Wilce, J. A., 23 Feb 2017, In : ACS Omega. 2, 2, p. 670-677 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access