Dr Jeffrey Mak

Research Officer

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
j.mak@imb.uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 62988

Overview

Jeffrey Mak (PhD) is an organic chemist in Prof. David Fairlie's group at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. In his research, he seeks to apply a mechanistic approach to scientific problem solving. His publications cover a range of disciplines such as total synthesis, biological and medicinal chemistry, and physical organic chemistry, and include publications in Nature, Nature Communications, Nature Immunology and Angewandte Chemie.

Jeffrey Mak was awarded the Harriett Marks Bursary and a UQ University Medal in 2007. He undertook doctorate studies in natural product total synthesis with Prof. Craig Williams. This culminated in the first total synthesis of two caged diterpenes, (−)-neovibsanin G and (−)-14-epi-neovibsanin G. Next, he joined Prof. David Fairlie's group at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. He is currently active in the fields of drug development and chemical biology. In recent years, his research has particularly focused on mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, which are a newly characterised subset of immune cells important in antibacterial defence. In 2014, he was part of an Australian team that discovered the identity of the antigens that activate MAIT cells, as published in Nature, playing a key role in the chemical synthesis and characterisation of the unstable and structurally unprecedented antigens (Nature Communications, 2017). In 2017, Dr Mak was selected to participate in the SciFinder Future Leaders program.

Research Interests

  • Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cell ligands
    MAIT cells play an important role in antibacterial immune defence. Unlike other T cells, MAIT cells are activated by small heterocyclic molecules. I am interested in using small molecule synthetic chemistry to discover new compounds that modulate MAIT cell function.
  • Drug design and development against GPCR and enzyme targets
    I am interested in developing potent and selective ligands against GPCR and enzyme targets. These are highly collaborative and multidisciplinary projects involving computer aided design, chemical synthesis, in vitro bioassay, and experimental pharmacology. In the Fairlie group, we aim to use our collective expertise to develop drugs as potential treatments for inflammatory disease.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Queensland

Publications

  • Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Xu, Weijun, Reid, Robert C., Corbett, Alexandra J., Meehan, Bronwyn S., Wang, Huimeng, Chen, Zhenjun, Rossjohn, Jamie, McCluskey, James, Liu, Ligong and Fairlie, David P. (2017) Stabilizing short-lived Schiff base derivatives of 5-aminouracils that activate mucosal-associated invariant T cells. Nature Communications, 8 . doi:10.1038/ncomms14599

  • Keller, Andrew N., Eckle, Sidonia B. G., Xu, Weijun, Liu, Ligong, Hughes, Victoria A., Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Meehan, Bronwyn S., Pediongco, Troi, Birkinshaw, Richard W., Chen, Zhenjun, Wang, Huimeng, D'Souza, Criselle, Kjer-Nielsen, Lars, Gherardin, Nicholas A., Godfrey, Dale I., Kostenko, Lyudmila, Corbett, Alexandra J., Purcell, Anthony W., Fairlie, David P., McCluskey, James and Rossjohn, Jamie (2017) Drugs and drug-like molecules can modulate the function of mucosal-associated invariant T cells. Nature Immunology, 18 4: 402-411. doi:10.1038/ni.3679

  • Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Pouwer, Rebecca H. and Williams, Craig M. (2014) Natural Products with Anti-Bredt and Bridgehead Double Bonds. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53 50: 13664-13688. doi:10.1002/anie.201400932

  • Corbett, Alexandra J., Eckle, Sidonia B. G., Birkinshaw, Richard W., Liu, Ligong, Patel, Onisha, Mahony, Jennifer, Chen, Zhenjun, Reantragoon, Rangsima, Meehan, Bronwyn, Cao, Hanwei, Williamson, Nicholas A., Strugnell, Richard A., Van Sinderen, Douwe, Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Fairlie, David P., Kjer-Nielsen, Lars, Rossjohn, Jamie and McClusky, James (2014) T-cell activation by transitory neo-antigens derived from distinct microbial pathways. Nature, 509 7500: 361-365. doi:10.1038/nature13160

  • Mak, Jeffrey Y.W. and Williams, Craig M. (2012) Enantioselective total synthesis of (-)-neovibsanin G and (-)-14-epi-neovibsanin G. Chemical Communications, 48 2: 287-289. doi:10.1039/c1cc15995j

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Grants

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Featured Publications

  • Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Xu, Weijun, Reid, Robert C., Corbett, Alexandra J., Meehan, Bronwyn S., Wang, Huimeng, Chen, Zhenjun, Rossjohn, Jamie, McCluskey, James, Liu, Ligong and Fairlie, David P. (2017) Stabilizing short-lived Schiff base derivatives of 5-aminouracils that activate mucosal-associated invariant T cells. Nature Communications, 8 . doi:10.1038/ncomms14599

  • Keller, Andrew N., Eckle, Sidonia B. G., Xu, Weijun, Liu, Ligong, Hughes, Victoria A., Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Meehan, Bronwyn S., Pediongco, Troi, Birkinshaw, Richard W., Chen, Zhenjun, Wang, Huimeng, D'Souza, Criselle, Kjer-Nielsen, Lars, Gherardin, Nicholas A., Godfrey, Dale I., Kostenko, Lyudmila, Corbett, Alexandra J., Purcell, Anthony W., Fairlie, David P., McCluskey, James and Rossjohn, Jamie (2017) Drugs and drug-like molecules can modulate the function of mucosal-associated invariant T cells. Nature Immunology, 18 4: 402-411. doi:10.1038/ni.3679

  • Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Pouwer, Rebecca H. and Williams, Craig M. (2014) Natural Products with Anti-Bredt and Bridgehead Double Bonds. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53 50: 13664-13688. doi:10.1002/anie.201400932

  • Corbett, Alexandra J., Eckle, Sidonia B. G., Birkinshaw, Richard W., Liu, Ligong, Patel, Onisha, Mahony, Jennifer, Chen, Zhenjun, Reantragoon, Rangsima, Meehan, Bronwyn, Cao, Hanwei, Williamson, Nicholas A., Strugnell, Richard A., Van Sinderen, Douwe, Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Fairlie, David P., Kjer-Nielsen, Lars, Rossjohn, Jamie and McClusky, James (2014) T-cell activation by transitory neo-antigens derived from distinct microbial pathways. Nature, 509 7500: 361-365. doi:10.1038/nature13160

  • Mak, Jeffrey Y.W. and Williams, Craig M. (2012) Enantioselective total synthesis of (-)-neovibsanin G and (-)-14-epi-neovibsanin G. Chemical Communications, 48 2: 287-289. doi:10.1039/c1cc15995j

Book Chapter

  • Mak, Jeffrey Y. W., Xu, Weijun and Fairlie, David P. (2015). Thiazoles in peptides and peptidomimetics. In Topics in Heterocyclic Chemistry (pp. 1-32) Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi:10.1007/7081_2015_176

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Keller, A. N., Eckle, S. B. G., Xu, W., Liu, L., Hughes, V. A., Mak, J., Meehan, B., Pediongco, T., Birkinshaw, R. W., Chen, Z., Wang, H., Souza, C., Kostenko, L., Corbett, A. J., Purcell, A. W., Fairlie, D. P., McCluskey, J. and Rossjohn, J. (2016). Common drugs modulate mucosal-associated invariant T cell function. In: International Congress of Immunology (ICI), Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (257-257). 21-26 August 2016. doi:10.1002/eji.201670200

  • Eckle, S. B. G., Keller, A. N., Xu, W., Meehan, B., Pediongco, T., Liu, L., Hughes, V. A., Mak, J. Y. W., Birkinshaw, R. W., Chen, Z., Wang, H., D'Souza, C., Kostenko, L., Corbett, A. J., Purcell, A. W., Fairlie, D. P., Rossjohn, J. and McCluskey, J. (2016). Drugs/drug analogues modulate MAIT cell function in an MR1-dependent manner. In: International Congress of Immunology (ICI), Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (587-587). 21-26 August 2016. doi:10.1002/eji.201670200

  • McCluskey, J., Corbett, A. J., Eckle, S. B. G., Chen, Z., Wang, H., Sun, S., D'Souza, C., Kostenko, L., Reantragoon, R., Meehan, B., Birkinshaw, R. W., Liu, L., Patel, O., Mahony, J., Cao, H., Jackson, D., Williamson, N. A., Strugnell, R. A., Mak, J. Y. W., Van Sinderen, D., Fairlie, D. P., Kjer-Nielsen, L., Godfrey, D., I and Rossjohn, J. (2016). MAIT cells: Friend or Foe in recognising microbial vitamin metabolites presented by the MHC-I-related molecule MR1. In: International Congress of Immunology (ICI), Melbourne, Australia, (796-797). Aug 21-26, 2016. doi:10.1002/eji.201670200

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision