Dr Mark Blaskovich

IMB Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
m.blaskovich@imb.uq.edu.au
0414 955 380
0414955380

Overview

Dr Mark Blaskovich is an antibiotic hunter and Director of the Centre for Superbug Solutions in the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at The University of Queensland. A medicinal chemist with 15 years of industrial drug development experience prior to his academic career, Mark has been developing new antibiotics to treat drug resistant pathogens and using modified antibiotics to detect bacterial infections. He is a cofounder of the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery, a global antibiotic discovery initiative, and has led a number of UQ-industry collaborations focused on antibiotic development. An inventor on eleven patent families, Mark has developed drugs in clinical trials, published more than eighty research articles, and received over $10m in grant funding.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), VIC.(BC)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Wat.

Publications

  • Zuegg, Johannes, Hansford, Karl A., Elliott, Alysha G., Cooper, Matthew A. and Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2020). How to stimulate and facilitate early stage antibiotic discovery. ACS Infectious Diseases, 6 (6) 1302-1304. doi:10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00163

  • Frei, Angelo, Zuegg, Johannes, Elliott, Alysha G., Baker, Murray V., Braese, Stefan, Brown, Christopher, Chen, Feng, Dowson, Christopher Gerard, Dujardin, Gilles, Jung, Nicole, King, A. Paden, Mansour, Ahmed Moustafa, Massi, Massimiliano, Moat, John, Mohamed, Heba A., Renfrew, Anna, Rutledge, Peter, Sadler, Peter J., Todd, Matthew Houghton, Willans, Charlotte E., Wilson, Justin Jeff, Cooper, Matthew Allister and Blaskovich, Mark (2020). Metal complexes as a promising source for new antibiotics. Chemical Science, 11 (10) 2627-2639. doi:10.1039/c9sc06460e

  • Stone, M. Rhia L., Masi, Muriel, Phetsang, Wanida, Pagès, Jean-Marie, Cooper, Matthew A. and Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2019). Fluoroquinolone-derived fluorescent probes for studies of bacterial penetration and efflux. MedChemComm, 10 (6) 901-906. doi:10.1039/c9md00124g

  • Blaskovich, Mark A.T. (2019). The diminished antimicrobial pipeline. Microbiology Australia, 40 (2) 92-96. doi:10.1071/MA19025

  • Blaskovich, Mark A. T., Pitt, Miranda E., Elliott, Alysha G. and Cooper, Matthew A. (2018). Can octapeptin antibiotics combat extensively drug-resistant (XDR) bacteria?. Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy, 16 (6) 14787210.2018.1483240, 485-499. doi:10.1080/14787210.2018.1483240

  • Stone, M Rhia L., Butler, Mark S., Phetsang, Wanida, Cooper, Matthew A. and Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2018). Fluorescent Antibiotics: New Research Tools to Fight Antibiotic Resistance. Trends in Biotechnology, 36 (5) 523-536. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2018.01.004

  • Velkov, Tony, Gallardo-Godoy, Alejandra, Swarbrick, James D., Blaskovich, Mark A. T., Elliott, Alysha G., Han, Meiling, Thompson, Philip E., Roberts, Kade D., Huang, Johnny X., Becker, Bernd, Butler, Mark S., Lash, Lawrence H., Henriques, Sónia Troeira, Nation, Roger L., Sivanesan, Sivashangarie, Sani, Marc-Antoine, Separovic, Frances, Mertens, Haydyn, Bulach, Dieter, Seemann, Torsten, Owen, Jeremy, Li, Jian and Cooper, Matthew A. (2018). Structure, Function, and Biosynthetic Origin of Octapeptin Antibiotics Active against Extensively Drug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria. Cell Chemical Biology, 25 (4) 380-391.e5. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2018.01.005

  • Blaskovich, Mark A T, Hansford, Karl A., Gong, Yujing, Butler, Mark S., Muldoon, Craig, Huang, Johnny X., Ramu, Soumya, Silva, Alberto B., Cheng, Mu, Kavanagh, Angela M., Ziora, Zyta, Premraj, Rajaratnam, Lindahl, Fredrik, Bradford, Tanya A., Lee, June C., Karoli, Tomislav, Pelingon, Ruby, Edwards, David J., Amado, Maite, Elliott, Alysha G, Phetsang, Wanida, Daud, Noor Huda, Deecke, Johan E, Sidjabat, Hanna E, Ramaologa, Sefetogi, Zuegg, Johannes, Betley, Jason R, Beevers, Andrew P G, Smith, Richard A G, Roberts, Jason A and Paterson, David L. (2018). Protein-inspired antibiotics active against vancomycin- and daptomycin-resistant bacteria. Nature Communications, 9 (1) 02123, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02123-w

  • Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2016). Unusual amino acids in medicinal chemistry. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 59 (24) 10807-10836. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00319

  • Butler, Mark S., Blaskovich, Mark A. T. and Cooper, Matthew A. (2016). Antibiotics in the clinical pipeline at the end of 2015. The Journal of Antibiotics, 70 (1) 1-22. doi:10.1038/ja.2016.72

  • Phetsang, Wanida, Pelingon, Ruby, Butler, Mark S., KC, Sanjaya, Pitt, Miranda, Kaeslin, Geraldine, Cooper, Matthew A. and Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2016). Fluorescent trimethoprim conjugate probes to assess drug accumulation in wild type and mutant Escherichia coli. ACS Infectious Diseases, 2 (10) 688-701. doi:10.1021/acsinfecdis.6b00080

  • Blaskovich, Mark A (2010). Handbook on syntheses of amino acids : General routes for the syntheses of amino acids. First ed. New York , NY, U.S.A.: Oxford University Press; American Chemical Society.

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • The increasing incidence of infections caused by drug resistant bacteria and fungi poses a significant and increasing threat to global human health, with predicted annual mortality of 10 million people by 2050. It is imperative to advance new technologies capable of rapidly and accurately diagnosing infections to enable timely and appropriate therapy. We must develop new antibiotics with efficacy against multidrug-resistant bacteria and fungi, and new methods to rapidy diagnose infections. To enable this we require fundamental studies that probe the chemical biology of antibiotic action and investigate microbial growth, metabolism and resistance.

    This research program is designed to achieve these goals, based on the chemical functionalisation of antibiotics with a readily derivatised handle. The resulting set of versatile intermediates is then modified to create 1) fluorescent probes that can catalyse basic research and lead to new assays, 2) clinical imaging agents to visualise microbial infections, and 3) novel hybrid therapeutics. The project requires talented synthetic organic chemists with an interest in multidisciplinary research.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

  • Zuegg, Johannes, Hansford, Karl A., Elliott, Alysha G., Cooper, Matthew A. and Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2020). How to stimulate and facilitate early stage antibiotic discovery. ACS Infectious Diseases, 6 (6) 1302-1304. doi:10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00163

  • Frei, Angelo, Zuegg, Johannes, Elliott, Alysha G., Baker, Murray V., Braese, Stefan, Brown, Christopher, Chen, Feng, Dowson, Christopher Gerard, Dujardin, Gilles, Jung, Nicole, King, A. Paden, Mansour, Ahmed Moustafa, Massi, Massimiliano, Moat, John, Mohamed, Heba A., Renfrew, Anna, Rutledge, Peter, Sadler, Peter J., Todd, Matthew Houghton, Willans, Charlotte E., Wilson, Justin Jeff, Cooper, Matthew Allister and Blaskovich, Mark (2020). Metal complexes as a promising source for new antibiotics. Chemical Science, 11 (10) 2627-2639. doi:10.1039/c9sc06460e

  • Stone, M. Rhia L., Masi, Muriel, Phetsang, Wanida, Pagès, Jean-Marie, Cooper, Matthew A. and Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2019). Fluoroquinolone-derived fluorescent probes for studies of bacterial penetration and efflux. MedChemComm, 10 (6) 901-906. doi:10.1039/c9md00124g

  • Blaskovich, Mark A.T. (2019). The diminished antimicrobial pipeline. Microbiology Australia, 40 (2) 92-96. doi:10.1071/MA19025

  • Blaskovich, Mark A. T., Pitt, Miranda E., Elliott, Alysha G. and Cooper, Matthew A. (2018). Can octapeptin antibiotics combat extensively drug-resistant (XDR) bacteria?. Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy, 16 (6) 14787210.2018.1483240, 485-499. doi:10.1080/14787210.2018.1483240

  • Stone, M Rhia L., Butler, Mark S., Phetsang, Wanida, Cooper, Matthew A. and Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2018). Fluorescent Antibiotics: New Research Tools to Fight Antibiotic Resistance. Trends in Biotechnology, 36 (5) 523-536. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2018.01.004

  • Velkov, Tony, Gallardo-Godoy, Alejandra, Swarbrick, James D., Blaskovich, Mark A. T., Elliott, Alysha G., Han, Meiling, Thompson, Philip E., Roberts, Kade D., Huang, Johnny X., Becker, Bernd, Butler, Mark S., Lash, Lawrence H., Henriques, Sónia Troeira, Nation, Roger L., Sivanesan, Sivashangarie, Sani, Marc-Antoine, Separovic, Frances, Mertens, Haydyn, Bulach, Dieter, Seemann, Torsten, Owen, Jeremy, Li, Jian and Cooper, Matthew A. (2018). Structure, Function, and Biosynthetic Origin of Octapeptin Antibiotics Active against Extensively Drug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria. Cell Chemical Biology, 25 (4) 380-391.e5. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2018.01.005

  • Blaskovich, Mark A T, Hansford, Karl A., Gong, Yujing, Butler, Mark S., Muldoon, Craig, Huang, Johnny X., Ramu, Soumya, Silva, Alberto B., Cheng, Mu, Kavanagh, Angela M., Ziora, Zyta, Premraj, Rajaratnam, Lindahl, Fredrik, Bradford, Tanya A., Lee, June C., Karoli, Tomislav, Pelingon, Ruby, Edwards, David J., Amado, Maite, Elliott, Alysha G, Phetsang, Wanida, Daud, Noor Huda, Deecke, Johan E, Sidjabat, Hanna E, Ramaologa, Sefetogi, Zuegg, Johannes, Betley, Jason R, Beevers, Andrew P G, Smith, Richard A G, Roberts, Jason A and Paterson, David L. (2018). Protein-inspired antibiotics active against vancomycin- and daptomycin-resistant bacteria. Nature Communications, 9 (1) 02123, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02123-w

  • Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2016). Unusual amino acids in medicinal chemistry. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 59 (24) 10807-10836. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00319

  • Butler, Mark S., Blaskovich, Mark A. T. and Cooper, Matthew A. (2016). Antibiotics in the clinical pipeline at the end of 2015. The Journal of Antibiotics, 70 (1) 1-22. doi:10.1038/ja.2016.72

  • Phetsang, Wanida, Pelingon, Ruby, Butler, Mark S., KC, Sanjaya, Pitt, Miranda, Kaeslin, Geraldine, Cooper, Matthew A. and Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2016). Fluorescent trimethoprim conjugate probes to assess drug accumulation in wild type and mutant Escherichia coli. ACS Infectious Diseases, 2 (10) 688-701. doi:10.1021/acsinfecdis.6b00080

  • Blaskovich, Mark A (2010). Handbook on syntheses of amino acids : General routes for the syntheses of amino acids. First ed. New York , NY, U.S.A.: Oxford University Press; American Chemical Society.

Book

Book Chapter

  • Hansford, Karl A., Ziora, Zyta M., Cooper, Matthew A. and Blaskovich, Mark A. T. (2020). Solid-phase synthesis of octapeptin lipopeptides. Peptide synthesis: methods and protocols. (pp. 199-213) edited by Waleed M. Hussein, Mariusz Skwarczynski and Istvan Toth.New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-0227-0_13

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • The increasing incidence of infections caused by drug resistant bacteria and fungi poses a significant and increasing threat to global human health, with predicted annual mortality of 10 million people by 2050. It is imperative to advance new technologies capable of rapidly and accurately diagnosing infections to enable timely and appropriate therapy. We must develop new antibiotics with efficacy against multidrug-resistant bacteria and fungi, and new methods to rapidy diagnose infections. To enable this we require fundamental studies that probe the chemical biology of antibiotic action and investigate microbial growth, metabolism and resistance.

    This research program is designed to achieve these goals, based on the chemical functionalisation of antibiotics with a readily derivatised handle. The resulting set of versatile intermediates is then modified to create 1) fluorescent probes that can catalyse basic research and lead to new assays, 2) clinical imaging agents to visualise microbial infections, and 3) novel hybrid therapeutics. The project requires talented synthetic organic chemists with an interest in multidisciplinary research.