Dr Andrew Walker

UQ Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
a.walker@imb.uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 62326

Overview

My research interests are centred around molecular evolution within the arthropods, and the development of arthropod-derived biomolecules for technology and medicine. Currently I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the King laboratory in the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, where I am part of a team working on venom peptide inhibitors of voltage-gated sodium channels, particularly NaV1.7 (see Research Interests for more information on this topic). My contribution to the team involves the discovery of novel NaV1.7 inhibitors from insect venoms, and the development of bivalent NaV1.7 inhibitors by peptide conjugation.

Apart from venoms my chief interest is in silk proteins. My doctoral studies (administered jointly by the Australian National University and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) focussed on the discovery of novel insect silk proteins, silk protein structure and function, and the application of silk proteins for producing advanced biomimetic materials.

Research Impacts

The voltage-gated sodium channels NaV1.7 is an important targets for the treatment of chronic pain, a huge medical problem that affects one in five adults. There are few drugs available for treating chronic pain, and many of these have limited efficacy and dose-limiting side effects. The research we conduct is aimed at alleviating this human suffering and its social and economic costs to society. I have also contributed to the field of advanced protein materials through my studies of recombinant silk proteins and their use in manufacturing biomimetic materials. This family of materials has a range of applications including tissue engineering, biosensing and optics.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), Australian National University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University

Publications

View all Publications

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Kameda, Tsunenori, Walker, Andrew A. and Sutherland, Tara D. (2014). Evolution and application of coiled coil silks from insects. In Tetsuo Asakura and Thomas Miller (Ed.), Biotechnology of silk (pp. 87-106) Dordrecht The Netherlands: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-7119-2_5

Journal Article

Grants (Administered at UQ)