Professor James Whisstock, is a highly regarded research scientist with an extensive publication record. James is based at Monash University where he is currently a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Principal Research Fellow and Scientific Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging.

Previously, James held an ARC Federation Fellowship, he led the NHMRC Program Grant in Protease Systems Biology (2008-2012) and he was a chief investigator on the ARC Centre of Excellence in Structural and Functional Microbial Genomics (2005-2013). In 2006 he was awarded the Science Ministers Prize for life science, in 2008 the Health Minister's Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research and in 2010 the Australian Academy of Science Gottschalk medal.

James completed his degree at Cambridge University.  During his PhD (also at Cambridge) he trained in bioinformatics and in structural biology. He came to Australia as a research fellow at Monash University in January 1997 where he established his laboratory. 

The Whisstock laboratory includes expertise in structural biology (including X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy), biochemistry, bioinformatics and molecular genetics.  He and his team use these techniques to address questions in the fields of infection and immunity, blood coagulation, developmental biology and cancer. 

Recent work from the Whisstock laboratory includes the structure of the fibrinolytic pro-enzyme plasminogen and a series of discoveries around the mechanism of pore formation by the mammalian immune effector perforin.

  • Structure, function and biology of proteases and protease inhibitors
  • Investigating the conjugation machinery of Gram positive pathogens
  • Membrane attack complex / perforin-like proteins (MACPF) in immunity and developmental biology

Highlight publications