Associate Professor Daniel Scott
PhD, BBiomedSc, BSc (Hons)

Location
Parkville Campus
30 Royal Parade
Parkville Victoria 3052

Research group
Drug Discovery Innovation Group

Daniel Scott

Biography

Associate Professor Daniel Scott completed his PhD at The University of Melbourne in 2007, working on the newly discovered relaxin receptor RXFP1.

In 2008 he was awarded an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship, allowing him to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Professor Andreas Plückthun in Zurich, Switzerland. While in Zurich he invented a novel method called CHESS for the directed evolution of detergent-resistant membrane proteins.

GPCRs stabilised with this method can be produced recombinantly in bacteria, purified in detergents and experimentally probed as if they were highly stable soluble proteins. Such stabilised GPCRs can be applied to X-ray crystallography and NMR for structural studies, but can also be used to probe the molecular determinants of ligand binding, ligand-receptor selectivity and drug discovery.

The CHESS technology was spun out into a Swiss biotechnology company, called G7 Therapeutics, co-founded by Daniel in 2013. In 2016 G7 Therapeutics was acquired by the UK pharmaceutical company, Heptares Therapeutics. In November 2011, Daniel took up a group leader position at The Florey. During 2012-13, he set up his new laboratory to perform GPCR engineering, recruited new students and staff and established new research projects focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying drug action at GPCRs.

Daniel also actively applies his expertise to invent and improve, existing technologies used in other fields. An example of this is the engineering of an ultra-stable fluorescent protein called muGFP, which allowed improved imaging of cleared-whole rodent brains to assist in mapping neuronal networks (Scott et al, Scientific Reports 2018).

Key collaborators:

  • Professor Ross Bathgate, The Florey
  • Associate Professor Paul Gooley, UoM, Biochem and Molecular Biology
  • Professor Arthur Christopoulos, MIPS
  • Professor Andreas Plückthun, University of Zurich
  • Dr Michael Griffin, UoM, Biochem, and Molecular Biology
  • Dr David Thal, MIPS
  • Dr Nicholas Veldhuis, MIPS
  • Dr David Chalmers, MIPS

Career highlights

Current roles

  • Head, Drug Discovery Innovation Group, The Florey

Past roles

  • Co-founder, G7 Therapeutics

Awards and achievements

  • 2018 — NHMRC Project grant (Resolving and targeting the complex molecular mechanisms underlying GPCR signalling)
  • 2018 — NHMRC Project grant (Adenosine A1 receptor modulation: Structure, dynamics & novel pharmacological interventions)
  • 2017 — NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellow (Targeting GPCRs in Alzheimer’s Disease)
  • 2016 — NHMRC Project grant (Unravelling the binding and activation mechanism of complex G Protein-coupled receptor)
  • 2016 — Heptares Therapeutics acquires G7 Therapeutics
  • 2015 — NHMRC Project grant (Understanding mechanisms of allostery and biased agonism at the adenosine A1 receptor)
  • 2015 — NHMRC Project grant (Novel approaches to understanding peptide G-protein-coupled receptor activation)
  • 2015 — NHMRC Project grant (Stabilising G protein-coupled receptors for drug discovery)
  • 2014 — Crystal structures of CHESS-stabilized neurotensin receptor variants solved
  • 2013 — Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology (ASCEPT) Denis Wade Johnson & Johnson New Investigator Award
  • 2013 — British Pharmacological Society (BPS)/ASCEPT Outstanding Young Investigator Prize
  • 2013 — Co-founded G7 Therapeutics AG, Switzerland
  • 2011 — Recruited to The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health as a junior group leader
  • 2010 — Invented the Cellular High Throughput Encapsulation, Solubilization and Screening (CHESS) method
  • 2010 — University of Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship, group of Andreas Plückthun, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2008 — NHMRC C.J. Martin Postdoctoral Fellow, group of Andreas Plückthun, Zurich, Switzerland (Directed evolution of stabilised G protein-coupled receptors)

Research publications

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