2021 Selby Research Awards

  • The Selby Research Awards are granted annually by both the The University of Melbourne and The University of Sydney. The award is to assist an outstanding academic establish his or her research career. The Foundation congratulates:

    img Graeme Selby, Chairman of the Selby Scientific Foundation
  • Dr Daniel Priebbenow

    School of Chemistry
    University of Melbourne
    Awarded on 01/11/2021

    After completing his PhD at Deakin University, Dr Daniel Priebbenow was awarded an internationally prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship to work at RWTH Aachen University in Germany with renowned organic chemist, Prof Carsten Bolm. During this time, Dr Priebbenow demonstrated innovation and leadership in the discovery of new chemical reactions and managed a research group that published sixteen papers in less than two years. In addition to the high-quality of these publications, the overall quantity of publications reflects Daniel’s innovation and in-depth understanding of the field.

    In addition to Daniel’s contribution to the field of synthetic chemistry, Daniel has also demonstrated the ability to invent novel strategies for synthesis that enable the discovery of new potential medicines, advancing the fields of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. During his time at the Australian Translational Medicinal Chemistry Facility, Daniel worked on several commercially oriented drug discovery projects which led to the identification of highly potent therapeutic candidates for the treatment of tuberculosis and cancer. Daniel has recently been awarded a highly competitive Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Fellowship from the Australian Research Council to join the Department of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne.

    Dr Priebbenow has established a track record of excellence and achievement in advanced chemical synthesis and medicinal chemistry. This is evidenced by his history of publication of well-cited articles in journals ranked well within the top 10% of their field including Chemical Society Reviews (two articles), Angewandte Chemie International Edition (two articles), and Organic Letters (four articles). In total, Daniel has published 27 journal articles and a patent, with 911 citations and a h-index of 16 (Scopus), with an average impact factor of 8.3 and 34 citations per article. Daniel’s current M-quotient (h-index/years since PhD) is 2.0 (Scopus) where “A value of m = 2 characterises outstanding scientists, likely to be found at the top universities or major research laboratories” (Hirsch 2005, PNAS, 102: 16569- 16572). Daniel’s Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) is 1.75 (75% more citations than is average for the chemistry discipline).

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    img Dr Daniel Priebbenow
  • Dr Ivanhoe Leung

    School of Chemistry
    University of Melbourne
    Awarded on 01/11/2021

    Dr Ivanhoe Leung is a Senior Lecturer in Biological Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. The Leung Research Group conducts multidisciplinary research to study proteins and enzymes with a focus on protein structure and function as well as their modulation. Dr Leung attained his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in Chemistry at the University of Oxford, as a member of St Peter’s College. His DPhil was completed in the laboratories of Professors Christopher J. Schofield FRS and Timothy D. W. Claridge. After his DPhil, he spent a further two years in the same groups as a postdoctoral research assistant.

    He was appointed to the University of Auckland in New Zealand as a Lecturer in Chemical Biology in September 2014. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017, and to Senior Lecturer (over the bar) in 2019. In 2018, he was appointed as a co- Deputy Director of the Centre for Green Chemical Science at the University of Auckland. He was awarded the University of Auckland Early Career Research Excellence Award in 2019.

    Outside the University, he played an active role in the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, where he was elected Chair of the Auckland branch in 2018. He joined the Editorial Board of the journal Scientific Reports in 2018.

    In February 2021, Dr Leung relocated his laboratory to the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. His research laboratory is based at the Bio21 Institute.

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    img Dr Ivanhoe Leung
  • Dr John Bartholomew

    Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems
    University of Sydney
    Awarded on 01/03/2022

    “While still in its infancy, quantum technology is already eclipsing what is possible compared to the most powerful computers currently available. While the rate of quantum computing development is accelerating, new discoveries are now needed to deliver the all-important future networks connecting them. This project aims to create new photonic technologies that will advance the performance of the quantum internet and create opportunities for advanced sensing capabilities. These include:

    – a novel high-performance optical filter designed to keep fragile quantum information separate from stray signals in an optical fibre; and

    – a technique for quantum-enhanced optical astronomy, which will hopefully enable the imaging of details in the universe that were previously hidden. This will mean a better understanding of the formation of stars, planets, and our solar system.”

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    img Dr John Bartholomew
  • Dr Mark White

    School of Chemistry
    University of Sydney
    Awarded on 01/03/2022

    “Oxygen (O2) regulation is critical for mammalian life and can be impaired by many diseases due to inadequate blood flow. As a result, O2 deprivation (hypoxia) contributes to some of the leading causes of death in developed countries, including stroke, ischemic heart disease, and cancer. 

    Essential molecular mechanisms have evolved to maintain O2 and coordinate appropriate changes to alleviate hypoxic strain, including the influential Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) system. However, additional response networks have been identified with the potential to revolutionise our understanding of oxygen deprivation responses in ischemic diseases. One of the most prominent is the oxygen dependent branch of the N-degron pathway, which, through the 2-aminoethanethiol dioxygenase (ADO) gene, complements the output of HIF faster by directly influencing protein levels in response to hypoxia.


    This project aims to:

    – use a number of biochemical techniques to understand how ADO functions as an oxygen sensor;

    – identify new substrates of the oxygen-dependent branch of the N-degron so that its role in hypoxic adaptation can be fully appreciated; and

    – establish chemical modulators of ADO, which may be useful in the treatment of low oxygen disorders.” 

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    img Dr Mark White