FHS Seminar Series - The search for new bioactive agents from Australian terrestrial and marine biota

by Dr. Rohan Davis, Associate Professor, Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University

December 06, 2018

Event Type

Seminar Series


December 06, 2018 at 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Blusson Hall, Room 9920


Australia is one of 17 countries described as megadiverse. The concept of megadiversity is based on the total number of species in a country and the degree of endemism at this taxonomic level. While these 17 megadiverse nations cover <10% of the global surface, they collectively support >70% of the Earth’s biodiversity. Biodiversity typically equates to chemical diversity, an important element for those undertaking biodiscovery, thus the use of Australian sourced biota for natural products drug discovery and chemical biology has a strategic advantage, since this unique resource has only been superficially explored for new pharmaceutical agents and chemical probes. This presentation will: (i) describe the identification and biology associated with several natural products that have been recently discovered by the Davis group and their potential impact to the field of biodiscovery; and (ii) detail the design and synthesis of drug-like screening libraries using isolated natural products as scaffolds for semi-synthesis, with several examples given.


A/Prof. Rohan Davis received a BSc (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from Griffith University. Rohan subsequently worked for 2 years at the University of Utah (post-doc) before being recruited back to Griffith in 2003. His research involves: (i) the design and synthesis of drug discovery and chemical probe libraries based on natural product (NP) scaffolds; (ii) the isolation and structure elucidation of new bioactive NPs from Australian biota. Rohan has authored >135 publications, and holds two patents. He has led both industry and academic research projects that have resulted in the identification of >1000 NPs from plant, marine and microbial sources. A/Prof. Davis is the Academic Lead for NatureBank, which is a unique Australian biodiscovery resource that is housed at GRIDD.

For more details on A/Prof. Davis’ research please visit:





  • This Seminar Series is open to the SFU and the Broader Research Community.  
  • This seminar will be webcast and recorded.
  • A light lunch will be available at this seminar.  
  • The FHS Research Seminar Series is an Accredited Small Group Learning by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.