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Inside the Lab

Photo of Dr Alistair Brown
Dr Alistair Brown

July 2022: Maurice Wilkins Centre Flexible Funding grant awarded to Dr Alistair Brown 

Congratulations to Ackerley Lab team member Dr Alistair Brown for his award of a Maurice Wilkins Centre Flexible Funding grant of $25,000. This funding will be used to support his research project titled "Using synthetic biology to access next-generation antiviral and antibiotic nucleoside analogue drug candidates".



Photograph of Dr Abby Sharrock
Dr Abby Sharrock

June 2022: Inaugural Research for Life Fellowship awarded to Dr Abby Sharrock

Congratulations to Ackerley Lab team member Dr Abby Sharrock for being awarded the inaugural Wellington Medical Research Foundation (Research for Life) Postdoctoral Fellowship. This fellowship will fund Abby for two years and support her research into using bacterial DNA repair enzymes for protection of cell-based gene therapy vectors.



A photo of Dr Abby Sharrock, Prof David Ackerley and Dr Elsie Williams
Left to right: Dr Abby Sharrock, Prof David Ackerley, Dr Elsie Williams

February 2022: 'Unassuming' enzyme opens way for new medical treatments

Prof David Ackerley and his colleagues Dr Abby Sharrock and Dr Elsie Williams have successfully engineered a genetic 'kill switch' that could have important applications in the treatment of cancer. The recently published paper in Nature Methods is co-authored with scientists from Johns Hopkins University.

Read more here:



November 2021: It's World Antimicrobial Awareness Week!

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is celebrated annually to increase global understanding of antimicrobial resistance. This year, the Royal Society of New Zealand highlighted researchers in Aotearoa working to raise awareness on antimicrobial resistance.

To learn more about Professor David Ackerley and his research focus, read the full interview here:



November 2021: A 'moonlighting' challenge to antibiotics

“Moonlighting” enzymes that can make bacteria stronger are becoming a major concern as an increasing number of people around the world turn to antibiotic treatments. Newsroom reports on research that the Ackerley lab is undertaking to investigate how entirely new forms of antibiotic resistance can develop from such moonlighting enzymes.

Read more here:



September 2020: Research Opens the Way to New Drugs

Research by Ackerley Lab team members at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Biological Sciences dispels the belief that on the assembly line of enzymes there is a “proof-reading” mechanism that ensures molecules are put together in a certain way. This could pave the way to designing improved anti-cancer compounds or drugs that can treat what are currently antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Read more here:



Photograph of Dr Mark Calcott
Dr Mark Calcott

August 2019: Marsden Fast-Start Win for Dr Mark Calcott

Congratulations to Ackerley Lab team member Dr Mark Calcott for being awarded a Marsden Fund Fast-Start grant valued at $300,000 for his project titled 'Development of Large-scale Substitution Approaches to Engineer Non-ribosomal Peptide Synthetase Enzymes'!

Read more about Marsden Fund Fast-Start grants here:




Outside the Lab

Ackerley Lab Group Photo 1
Lab Retreat 2019: Patuna Chasm, Wairarapa


Ackerley lab with Francis Arnold
Enzyme Engineering XXIV Conference with Nobel Laureate Dr Francis Arnold: Toulouse, France
Ackerley Lab Group Photo 2
Lab Retreat 2017: Castlepoint, Wairarapa