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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).

Research area keywords

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

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Research Output 2015 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)

A subset of HLA-DP molecules serve as ligands for the natural cytotoxicity receptor NKp44

Niehrs, A., Garcia-Beltran, W. F., Norman, P. J., Watson, G. M., Hölzemer, A., Chapel, A., Richert, L., Pommerening-Röser, A., Körner, C., Ozawa, M., Martrus, G., Rossjohn, J., Lee, J-H., Berry, R., Carrington, M. & Altfeld, M., 29 Jul 2019, In : Nature Immunology. 20, 9, p. 1129-1137 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Evaluation of cyclic peptide inhibitors of the Grb7 breast cancer target: Small change in cargo results in large change in cellular activity

Sang, J., Kulkarni, K., Watson, G. M., Ma, X., Craik, D. J., Henriques, S. T., Poth, A., Benfield, A. H. & Wilce, J. A., 17 Oct 2019, In : Molecules. 24, 20, 19 p., 3739.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
7 Citations (Scopus)

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

2 Citations (Scopus)

Structural basis for the recognition of nectin-like protein-5 by the human-activating immune receptor, DNAM-1

Deuss, F. A., Watson, G. M., Goodall, K. J., Leece, I., Chatterjee, S., Fu, Z., Thaysen-Andersen, M., Andrews, D. M., Rossjohn, J. & Berry, R., 16 Aug 2019, In : Journal of Biological Chemistry. 294, 33, p. 12534-12546 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

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 : Peptide Science. 110, 3, 11 p., e24037.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review