• 23 Innovation Walk, Monash BDI


Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile


Dr Sarah Atkinson is a structural biologist and biophysicist focusing on how protein-protein interactions impact the catalytic activity, conformation/shape and oligomerisation of enzymes essential for a variety of biological processes. In particular, she has a keen interest in the use of structural biology to understand the innate immune response and characterise novel viral targets.


Following the completion of her PhD at The University of Melbourne in 2013, Dr Atkinson began working with Dr Natalie Borg in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Monash University as a NHMRC Early Career Fellow (2014-2017) and a FMNHS Senior Research Fellow (2018). She currently holds an ARC DECRA Fellowship.

Supervision interests

Application for supervision in the Borg Lab for honours, masters and PhD students are welcome. For more information click here.

Research interests

Innate Immunity, Host-virus interactions, Ubiquitination, protein-protein interactions, Structural biology, X-ray crystallography, Small Angle X-ray Scattering, Analytical Ultracentrifugation.

Community service

Biomedicine Discovery Institute Early Career Researchers Committee (2018 - present)

  • Chair, career development workshop sub-committee (2019)

Education/Academic qualification

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, PhD, University of Melbourne

External positions

Monash University representative, Melbourne Protein Group (MPG)

2017 → …

Research area keywords

  • Structural Biology
  • Immunity
  • Biophysics
  • Enzymes
  • Protein-Protein Interactions
  • Crystallography
  • Small Angle X-Ray Scattering
  • Analytical Ultracentrifugation

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2021

Research Output 2008 2019

  • 18 Article
  • 2 Abstract
  • 1 Encyclopaedia / Dictionary Entry

Exportin-1-Dependent Nuclear Export of DEAD-box Helicase DDX3X is Central to its Role in Antiviral Immunity

Heaton, S. M., Atkinson, S. C., Sweeney, M. N., Yang, S. N. Y., Jans, D. A. & Borg, N. A., 30 Sep 2019, In : Cells. 8, 10, 22 p., 1181.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Novel Flavivirus Antiviral That Targets the Host Nuclear Transport Importin α/β1 Heterodimer

Yang, S. N. Y., Atkinson, S. C., Fraser, J. E., Wang, C., Maher, B., Roman, N., Forwood, J. K., Wagstaff, K. M., Borg, N. A. & Jans, D. A., 24 Mar 2019, In : Cells. 8, 3, 15 p., 281.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
3 Citations (Scopus)

Recognition by host nuclear transport proteins drives disorder-to-order transition in Hendra virus v

Atkinson, S. C., Audsley, M. D., Lieu, K. G., Marsh, G. A., Thomas, D. R., Heaton, S. M., Paxman, J. J., Wagstaff, K. M., Buckle, A. M., Moseley, G. W., Jans, D. A. & Borg, N. A., 10 Jan 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, 17 p., 358.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Subcellular trafficking of host RNA helicase DDX3X modulates innate antiviral signaling and parainfluenza virus immunity

Heaton, S. M., Atkinson, S., Jans, D. A., Sweeney, M. & Borg, N., 5 Sep 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractOtherpeer-review

Substrate Locking Promotes Dimer-Dimer Docking of an Enzyme Antibiotic Target

Atkinson, S. C., Dogovski, C., Wood, K., Griffin, M. D. W., Gorman, M. A., Hor, L., Reboul, C. F., Buckle, A. M., Wuttke, J., Parker, M. W., Dobson, R. C. J. & Perugini, M. A., 3 Jul 2018, In : Structure. 26, 7, p. 948-959 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


ARC DECRA Fellowship

Sarah Atkinson (Recipient), 2019

Prize: Competitive Fellowships

Beckman Coulter Postdoctoral Travel Award

Sarah Atkinson (Recipient), 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Biomedicine Discovery Institute Travel Award

Sarah Atkinson (Recipient), 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Monash University Faculty of Medicine Fellows Publication Prize

Sarah Atkinson (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)