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Personal profile



Dr. Jennifer Payne is an EMBL Australia Research Fellow in the Cryle Group at the Victorian Node, based in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash University. 


Jennifer completed her Ph.D. with Prof Marilyn Anderson at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia where her passion for host defense peptides began with discovering the mechanism of action of plant defensins and their interaction with cell surfaces. Her Ph.D. thesis was in the top 4% and recognised with the Nancy Millis Medal in 2016. 


Shifting into the antibiotic field Jennifer now works on glycopeptide antibiotics in the lab of A/Prof Max Cryle at Monash University and EMBL Australia. Her work on creating a new revolution of antibiotics to combat drug-resistant superbugs. These new drugs against superbugs are not your typical antibiotic, in that they don't just directly kill the bacteria, instead, they combine multiple mechanisms of action into one molecule. These novel antibiotics unmask the superbugs and harness and modulate the innate immune system to ensure clearance of drug-resistant infections.  These novel antibiotics resulted in her being awarded both the 2018 Hugh Roger's fellowship from Melbourne-Boston Sister City Association and the VESKI Victorian fellowship. With these fellowships, Jennifer spent 6 months working in collaboration at Harvard University in 2018 learning and developing microfluidic techniques to monitor innate immune cell migration and clearance of bacteria in real-time. 


Research interests

  • Diversifing glycopeptide antibiotics to kill resistant bacterial pathogens
  • Innate immune cell recruitment and clearance of superbugs
  • Host defence peptide interaction with innate immune cells for the clearance of superbugs
  • Novel antibiotic combinations for the improved killing of multi-resistant pathogens

Education/Academic qualification

Biochemistry, PhD, La Trobe University

Research area keywords

  • Antibiotics
  • Biochemistry
  • Antibacterials
  • Peptide
  • Drug Resistance
  • Antimicrobials


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