Solving problems with bacteria

In his second year of study, Alistair Brown decided to downsize from whales to bacteria, changing his major from Marine Science to Cell and Molecular Bioscience.

Five years on, Alistair is working towards a PhD in Biotechnology under the supervision of Dr David Ackerley.

The focus of his PhD research is an enzyme produced by a bacterial species that makes a blue pigment. Initially, he used the enzyme to try to identify new antibiotics from nature. He is now using it to measure glutamine levels in complex biological mixtures such as blood or cell culture medium,for medical or industrial applications.

His research is supported by Victoria University’s commercialisation office, Viclink, something Alistair says has opened doors for him.