Professor Kirill Alexandrov

Professorial Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Affiliate Professor & Group Leader

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
+61 7 334 62397


Professor Kirill Alexandrov obtained his Masters degree in Invertebrate Zoology at the Leningrad State University, Russia in 1989 and completed his PhD in Cell Biology at EMBL Heidelberg, Germany in 1995. He went on to postgraduate work at the Department of Physical Biochemistry at the Max-Planck Institute in Dortmund, Germany, and remained with the Institute for 12 years, becoming a group leader in 1999. In 2004, Professor Alexandrov was awarded Germany’s highest career development fellowship, the Heisenberg Award.

Professor Alexandrov co-founded the successful biotechnology company Jena Bioscience GMBH in 1998 and UK/Australian company Molecular Warehouse ltd in 2015. He is credited with establishing the Dortmund Protein Production Facility at the Max-Planck Institute in Dortmund, Germany.

He joined the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at The University of Queensland in 2008 as an ARC Future Fellow. He introduced high−throughput molecular cloning technology to the UQ Protein Expression Facility.

Professor Alexandrov has raised more than $22 million in funding since 2008, securing multiple Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants. He holds six active patents all of which are either sold or licenced. Professor Alexandrov has received more than 30 invitations to speak at national and international conferences.

Research Interests

  • Synthetic Biology
    Our research is focused on developing new methods for rapid in vitro synthesis and engineering of proteins and protein-based machines. These methods are vital in biotechnology, as the ability to produce and analyse proteins determines the cost and speed of discovering and creating new diagnostic methods, vaccines and drugs.

Research Impacts


Prof Alexandrov is an international leader in in vitro protein engineering and chemical biology. He pioneered the use of a parasitic Leishmania sp as a biotechnological host and built a successful biotechnological company on this concept. He introduced protein semi-synthesis into structural biology and used it to solve structures of several medically relevant protein complexes (>170 citations for two key papers). He initiated anti-cancer drug development, targeting intracellular vesicular traffic, and followed it through to commercialisation. He designed, sourced funding, and built the most modern protein production and engineering facility in Europe and supervised its operations for two years. He introduced the concept of artificial signalling to synthetic biology and in 2015 created an innovative start-up company Molecular Wharehouse Ltd to commercialise this concept.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Universität Heidelberg


  • Kojic, Marija, Gaik, Monika, Kiska, Bence, Salerno-Kochan, Anna, Hunt, Sarah, Tedoldi, Angelo, Mureev, Sergey, Jones, Alun, Whittle, Belinda, Genovesi, Laura A., Adolphe, Christelle, Brown, Darren L., Stow, Jennifer L., Alexandrov, Kirill, Sah, Pankaj, Glatt, Sebastian and Wainwright, Brandon J. (2018) Elongator mutation in mice induces neurodegeneration and ataxia-like behavior. Nature Communications, 9 1: . doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05765-6

  • Tillu, Vikas A, Lim, Ye-Wheen, Kovtun, Oleksiy, Mureev, Sergey, Ferguson, Charles, Bastiani, Michele, McMahon, Kerrie-Ann, Lo, Harriet P, Hall, Thomas E, Alexandrov, Kirill, Collins, Brett M and Parton, Robert G (2018) A variable undecad repeat domain in cavin1 regulates caveola formation and stability. EMBO Reports, 19 9: e45775. doi:10.15252/embr.201845775

  • Cui, Zhenling, Wu, Yue, Mureev, Sergey and Alexandrov, Kirill (2018) Oligonucleotide-mediated tRNA sequestration enables one-pot sense codon reassignment in vitro. Nucleic Acids Research, 46 12: 6387-6400. doi:10.1093/nar/gky365

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  • Cell-free protein smethods and protocols. Edited by Wayne A. Johnston and Kirill Alexandrov New York, NY, United States: Humana Press, 2014. doi:10.1007/978-1-62703-782-2

Book Chapter

  • Stein, Victor and Alexandrov, Kirill (2017). Engineering and characterizing synthetic protease sensors and switches. In Stein, V (Ed.), Synthetic Protein Switches Methods and Protocols (pp. 197-218) New York, U.S.A: Humana Press . doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-6940-1_13

  • Kirill, Alexandrov and Johnston, Wayne A. (2014). Preface. In Kirill Alexandrov and Wayne A Johnston (Ed.), Cell-Free Protein Synthesis : Methods and Protocols (pp. V-V) New York, NY United States: Humana Press, Inc..

  • Johnston, Wayne A. and Alexandrov, Kirill (2014). Production of eukaryotic cell-free lysate from Leishmania tarentolae. In Kirill Alexandrov, Wayne A. Johnston and John M. Walker (Ed.), Cell-Free Protein Synthesis: Methods and Protocols (pp. 1-15) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-62703-782-2

  • Nguyen, Uyen T. T., Goodall, Andrew, Alexandrov, Kirill and Abankwa, Daniel (2011). Isoprenoid modifications. In Cecilio J. Vidal (Ed.), Post-translational modifications in heath and disease (pp. 1-37) New York , NY, United States: Springer Science + Business Media.

  • Nguyen, Uyen T. T., Goodall, Andrew, Alexandrov, Kirill and Abankwa, Daniel (2011). Isoprenoid modifications. In Cecilio J. Vidal (Ed.), Post-translational modifications in health and disease (pp. 1-37) New York, NY, United States: Springer Science & Business Media, LLC. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-6382-6_1

  • Alexandrov, Kirill, Goody, Roger, Waldmann, Herbert and Wu, Yaowen (2009). The study of Rab GTPase recycling using semi- synthetic prenylated proteins. In Herbert Waldmann and Petra Janning (Ed.), Chemical biology: Learning through case studies (pp. 189-206) Weinheim: Wiley-VCH.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Guo, Zhong, Whitfield, Jason, Edwardraja, Selvakumar and Alexandrov, Kirill (2018). Connecting biochemistry and elelctronics with artifical allosteric protein biosensors. In: Proceedings - International Conference Laser Optics 2018, ICLO 2018. 2018 International Conference Laser Optics, ICLO 2018, St. Petersburg, Russia, (). 4-8 June 2018. doi:10.1109/LO.2018.8435862

  • Luo, L., Bokil, N., Lansdaal, N., Wall, A., Marceline, F., Guo, Z., Alexandrov, K., Ross, I, Hibbs, M., Stow, J. and Sweet, M. (2016). A new Toll-like receptor adaptor protein that provides specificity to inflammatory cytokine production from macrophages. In: International Congress of Immunology (ICI), Melbourne Australia, (86-87). 21-26 August 2016.

  • Brooks, Andrew, Dai, W., O'Mara, M. L., Abankwa, D., Chhabra, Y., Pelekanos, R. A., Gardon, O., Tunny, K. A., Blucher, K. M., Morton, C. J., Parker, M. W., Sierecki, E., Gambin, Y., Gomez, G. A., Alexandrov, K., Wilson, I. A., Doxastakis, M., Mark, A. E. and Waters, M. J. (2016). Going downstream - how does GH binding activate JAK2. In: Annual Scientific Meeting of the Endocrine Society of Australia, Adelaide, Australia, (16-16). 23-26 August, 2015. doi:10.1111/cen.13010

  • Kovtun, O., Tillu, V., Jung, W., Leneva, N., Ariotti, N., Alexandrov, K., Parton, R. and Collins, B. (2014). Structural dissection of architecture of caveolar protein coat. In: Febs Journal. FEBS EMBO 2014 Conference, Paris France, (209-209). Aug 30-Sep 04, 2014.

  • Brooks, Andrew J, Chhabra, Yash, Abankwa, Daniel, O’Mara, Megan, Dai, Wei, Gardon, Olivier, Tunny, Kathryn A., Blucher, Kristopher M., Morton, Craig J., Parker, Michael W., Sierecki, Emma, Gambin, Yann, Guillermo A. Gomez, Alexandrov, Kirill Kirill, Doxastakis, Manolis, Mark, Alan E. and Waters, Michael J. (2014). A new cytokine receptor activation paradigm: Activation of JAK2 by the growth hormone receptor. In: SI: 2014 ICIS Abstract Issue, ICIS Conference. 2nd Annual Meeting of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society (ICIS), Melbourne, VIC Australia, (22-22). 26 - 29 October 2014. doi:10.1016/j.cyto.2014.07.227

  • Giles, Nichole, Sierecki, Emma, Polinkovsky, Mark, Schroder, Kate, Alexandrov, Kirill and Gambin, Yann (2014). A novel approach to investigate the assembly of the NOD-like receptor inflammasomes. In: Across societies - Experimental Biology. Experimental Biology Meeting, San Diego Ca, (). 26-30 April 2014.

  • Polinkovsky, Mark, Sierecki, Emma, Giles, Nichole, Alexandrov, Kirill and Gambin, Yann (2014). Uncovering transcription factor binding pockets in the tail subdomain of the human mediator complex. In: Across Societies: Experimental Biology. Proceedings. EB2014: Experimental Biology 2014, San Diago, CA United States, (). 26-30 April, 2014.

  • Vasireddy, Vidyullatha, Mills, Jason A., Gaddameedi, Rajashekhar, Basner-Tschakarjan, Etiena, Kohnke, Monica, Black, Aaron H., Alexandrov, Kirill, Maguire, Albert M., Chung, Daniel, Mac, Helen, Sullivan, Lisa, Gadue, Paul, Bennicelli, Jeannette L., French, Deborah L. and Bennett, Jean (2013). Induced pluripotent stem cells as a model To test gene augmentation therapy for Choroideremia. In: ASGCT 16th Annual Meeting. 16th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Gene-and-Cell-Therapy (ASGCT), Salt Lake City, UT, United States, (S87-S87). 15-18 May 2013.

  • Larsen, Jannik, Jensen, Martin B., Bhatia, Vikram K., Pedersen, Soren L., Bjornholm, Thomas, Jensen, Knud J., Kohnke, Monika, Abankwa, Daniel, Alexandrov, Kirill, Hatzakis, Nikos S. and Stamou, Dimitrios (2013). Lipid-Anchored Ras is Sorted by Membrane Curvature Both In Vitro and in Living Cells. In: Abstracts of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society. 57th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society, Philadelphia Pa, (96A-96A). 02-06 February 2013. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2012.11.569

  • Stein, V, Kubala, M and Alexandrov, K (2011). Directed evolution of protein prenylation machinery. In: Chemistry and Physics of Lipids. 52nd International Conference on the Bioscience of Lipids - Expanding the Horizons of Lipidomics, Warsaw Poland, (S18-S18). Aug 30-Sep 03, 2011. doi:10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2011.05.063

  • Rucktaschel, R., Thoms, S., Alexandrov, K., Halbach, A, Pechlivanis, M., Kuhlmann, J., Volkmer-Engert, R., Rottensteiner, H. and Erdmann, R. (2008). Farnesylation of Pex19p is essential for peroxisomal membrane protein recognition. In: European Journal of Cell Biology. 31st Annual Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology, Marburg, Germany, (55-55). 12-15 March 2008.

  • Rak, A, Pylypenko, O, Durek, T, Watzke, A, Waldmann, H, Goody, RS and Alexandrov, K (2005). Protein semi-synthesis and its application to studies of structure and function of GTPases. In: Biopolymers. 19th American Peptide Symposium, San Diego, U.S., (490-490). 18-23 June 2005.

  • Rak, A, Fedorov, R, Scheidig, A, Goody, R and Alexandrov, K (2001). Structural studies of vesicular transport components. In: Molecular Biology of the Cell. , , (216A-216A). .

  • Thoma, NH, Iakovenko, A, Goody, RS and Alexandrov, K (2000). Mechanism of substrate binding and product release by geranylgeranyl-transferase type II. In: Molecular Biology of the Cell. , , (110A-110A). .

  • Rubino, M, Rybin, V, Ullrich, O, Alexandrov, K, Seabra, M, Goody, R and Zerial, M (1996). GTPase activity of RAB5 as a timer for endocytic membrane fusion. In: Molecular Biology of the Cell. , , (3582-3582). .

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision