Dr Mark Agostino
- Vascular and metabolic disorders
- Immune disorders
- Neurological disorders
Developing therapeutics for age-related diseases is an important part of CHIRI’s work and as a computational structural biologist, Mark brings critical expertise in this area. His “dry laboratory” uses computer-based approaches to investigate the atomic structural basis of interactions between biological molecules and to guide drug design.
Mark collaborates with “wet laboratory” researchers within and outside CHIRI, and is engaged in a diverse range of projects covering the four CHIRI themes, highlighting the broad importance of computational approaches to modern medical research. Many of Mark’s projects take advantage of supercomputing resources provided by Western Australia’s Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.
One of his major research projects involves deciphering the molecular mechanisms behind the Wnt signalling pathways, which are of great interest as targets in the treatment of a wide variety of cancers. Another major interest of Mark’s is developing new techniques for studying carbohydrate-protein interactions, which could accelerate our understanding of the immune system and contribute to the discovery of new anticancer and antiviral therapeutics.
Mark collaborates with CHIRI researchers A/Prof Giuseppe Verdile and A/Prof Julian Heng on projects focused on neurological disorders. He is also collaborating in a study to identify molecules with therapeutic value in pre-diabetic patients to avoid progression to Type 2 diabetes.
Research interests – structural biology, molecular simulation, structure-based drug design, Wnt signalling, carbohydrate-protein interactions.