The School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences is a diverse and powerful research grouping with unique expertise in the chemical and molecular life sciences.   Research income is more than $13 million per year and the School is recognised internationally for its research quality and output and for commecialisation of discoveries.

Biomolecular research in SCMB spans the range from small synthetic molecules through proteins, nucleic acids, viruses and microorganisms.   Materials research encompasses the design and synthesis of molecular devices, functional polymers and nanomaterials as key strengths.

Exciting Research

Our coherent integration of molecular, biological and chemical science in the one School is unique in Australia and has been valuable in enabling us to take a leading role in a number of interdisciplinary areas.

In the 2015 (latest) Excellence in Research Australia assessment of disciplines in which SCMB is active, UQ achieved the top rating of 5 (well above world standard) in Chemical Sciences, Microbiology, Genetics and Biotechnology, and a rating of 4 (above world standard) in Biochemistry & Cell Biology.

The School's current research themes are listed here

World Renowned Staff

School staff regularly contribute to international conferences and journals, provide expert consulting services and work extensively with government and industry on a wide variety of projects.  Amongst the around 140 equivalent full-time staff engaged in research are the holders of prestigous fellowships:

At mid-2017, the average h-index score (measure of productivity and citation impact of publications, aggregated from the Web of Science for authors with a salaried appointment with the School) was a very creditable 56.

Enabling Facilities

Significant investment has been made in recent years in the refurbishment of many of our research laboratories and in the acquisition of specialised scientific equipment.    Read more here

Collaboration and Industry Relevance

A number of SCMB staff hold joint appointments with QIMR Bergofer, the Institute for Molecular Biosciences, the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, the UQ Diamantina Institute and the Queensland Brain Institute.  UQ research institutes and centres with which SCMB has links can be viewed here.
SCMB research has led to the filing of dozens of patents (11 in the last five years) and the creation of a number of spin-off companies including:
  • Alchemia - using expertise in chemistry to discover and develop human thearpeutic products.
  • Impedimed - pioneering the use of next generation bioimpedance spectroscopy technology.
  • Microba - unlocking the power of metagenomics to explore, compare and monitor the organisms that make up your unique microbiome.
  • Q-sera - developing technology for producing high quality serum in a clinical setting, based on the blood clotting properties of specific snake venom.
  • TetraQ - offering preclinical services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
SCMB is involved in the Australian Nanotechnology Alliance, an industry-led, research supported membership-based alliance representing the full spectrum of the nanotechnology eco-system.
Organisations with which SCMB currently partners on Australian Research Council Linkage Grant research include:
Opportunities for industry partners are explained here.

SCMB researchers are actively involved in a number of professional societies and provide services to Government and public sector organisations.

Research Student and Staff Opportunities

The School is committed to attracting the best staff and students to participate in its growing research endeavours.  Early Career Research staff are assisted with computing and travel resources and grant applications and have their own committee of representatives.

Prospective research higher degree (RHD) students can learn more about opportunities available to them here.  Tuition fee waivers are available to outstanding international RHD students for selected, funded research projects.  Professional development opportunities are available to RHD students, including student symposia and travel to attend conferences.  There is an active social group which organises events.


Research section

Higher Degree by Research


Professional Societies

SCMB researchers have links to the following professional societies:

Research Centres and Institutes

Researchers in SCMB contribute to a range of research centres and institutes based at or closely associated with UQ:

Research Themes

The School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences is a diverse and powerful research grouping with unique expertise in the chemical and molecular life sciences. Research income exceeds $12 million per year and the School is recognised internationa...

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