Pall Thordarson

Pall Thordarson

Pall Thordarson

B.Sc. (Iceland) 1996, Ph.D. (Sydney) 2001, CChem, MRACI


Contact details

Phone: +61 2 9385 4478


Room 133, Dalton Building
UNSW, Kensington, 2052

Research Group Website


Biographical Details

B.Sc. Chemistry from the University of Iceland (1996), Researcher, Science Institute, the University of Iceland (1996-1997). Ph.D, The University of Sydney (1997-2001). Postdoctoral Fellow, the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands (2001), Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands (2001-2003). The University of Sydney SESQUI Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2003-2005). Australian Research Council, Australian Research Fellow, The University of Sydney (2006-2007) and UNSW (2007-2010). Appointed Senior Lecturer, UNSW (2007); Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2012), Associate Professor (2013). Professor (2017).

Marie Curie Fellowship (2001), Sesqui Fellowship (2003), NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Prize (2008), The International Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocaynines / Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines) Young Investigator Award (2010), Le Fèvre Memorial Prize by the Australian Academy of Science (2012).

Research Interests

Our research is the area of bio-mimetic chemistry with focus on nanomedicine, supramolecular and biophysical chemistry. To this end we apply a combination of synthetic organic and inorganic chemistry, bioconjugate chemistry (chemical modification of biological molecules), cellular biology (for activity assays) and supramolecular chemistry to make our target systems and we use various spectroscopic techniques such as UV, fluorescence and NMR as well as microscopy techniques such as AFM, STM and TEM, to analyse these systems.

Projects currently running in our group include (see our research group website for details):

Nanomedicine (includes links to the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology)
  • Self-assembled gels for drug release
  • Cancer cell targeting peptides
  • Gels as 3D cell culture mimicking
  • AFM as a tool in drug discovery
Biophysical and Protein Chemistry
  • Light-activiated bioconjugates
  • Proteins and polymer self-assembly
  • Controlling protein self-assembly
Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Supramolecular chemistry of peptides and proteins in water
  • Non-linear interactons in supramolecular chemistry
  • The formation of self-assembled gels
  • Bio-mimetic light-harvesting and donor-acceptor arrays
  • Binding constants and statistical treatment of supramolecular binding data

International collaborators

  • Dr. Justin Hodgkiss, Victoria University of Wellington (Perylenes and photophysics)
  • Prof. Jan van Hest, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands (polymersomes)
  • Prof. Jörg Wiedenmann, Southampton University, UK (GFP proteins)
  • Dr. Michael Pittelkow, The University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Cucurbituril Chemistry)

Selected Publications

  1. Ethan N. W. Howe, Mohan Bhadbhade and Pall thordarson, Cooperativity and Complexity in the Binding of Anions and Cations to a Tetratopic Ion-Pair Host, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 7505-7516.
  2. David Hvasanov, Joshua R. Peterson, Pall Thordarson, Self-assembled light-driven photosynthetic-respiratory electron transport chain hybrid proton pump, Chem. Sci., 2013, 4, 3833-3838.
  3. Pall Thordarson, Determining Association Constants from Titration Experiments in Supramolecular Chemistry, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2011, 40, 1305.
  4. Warren Ty Truong, Yingying Su, Joris T. Meijer, Pall Thordarson and Filip Braet, Self-Assembled Gels for Biomedical Applications, Chem. Asian J., 2011, 6, 30-42.
  5. Mohammad Choucair, Pall Thordarson and John A. Stride, Gram-scale production of graphene based on solvothermal synthesis and sonication, Nature Nanotechnology, 2009, 4, 30-33.
  6. James E. A. Webb, Maxwell J. Crossley, Peter Turner, and Pall Thordarson, Pyromellitamide Aggregates and Their Response to Anion Stimuli, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 129, 7155-7162.
  7. Joshua R. Peterson, Trevor A. Smith and Pall Thordarson*, Photoinduced reduction of catalytically and biologically active Ru(II)bisterpyridine-cytochrome c bioconjugates, Chem. Commun., 2007, 1899-1901.
  8. Pall Thordarson, Edward J. A. Bijsterveld, Alan E. Rowan and Roeland J. M. Nolte, Epoxidation of Polybutadiene by a Topologically Linked Catalyst, Nature, 2003, 424, 915-918.