Thordarson Group - Research

Bio-mimetic Chemistry

The most complex and elegant examples of "nanotechnology" come from Nature. In our group we first look to Nature for inspiration when it comes to solving the problems we are currently dealing with in nanotechnology (e.g., biosensors or tissue engineering). This is the philosophy of bio-mimetic chemistry, which underpins most of the work in our group.


At the core of nearly all of our work is the art of synthetic organic chemistry, however, we also apply techniques from across the whole spectrum of chemistry (physical, inorganic, organic, supramolecular and surface chemistry) as well as biochemistry, biophysics and biology.

Methods (synthesis and/or self-assembly) to direct the assembly of functional molecules are of particular interest to us as are methods to analyse nanostructures, e.g. by the use of scanning probe microscopy (AFM and STM) and other advanced characterisation tools.


Research interest

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



If you are interested in our work, please don't hesitate to contact us (see our home page for contact details or give Palli a call on +61-(0)2-9385-4478).

Ph.D. students: Interested students with Australian or New Zealand permanent residency and a first class BSc. Honours are most welcome to apply for a position in our group. International students are advised that fees for international students are currently above $22,000 and the competition for International Post-graduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) is extremely strong. That said, international students with interest in our work, top academic performance (at least >75% average for BSc), some research experience and good communication skills are encouraged to seek further information about research opportunities in our group. Records that include research publication(s) in internationally recognized journals will be considered most favourably.

Collaboration/consultancy: We also have substantial experience in collaboration with industry and other research groups and we welcome inquiries about consultation or research collaboration.

Research positions / post-doctoral fellowship: Currently we have no vacancies in our group, however, potential post-doctoral fellows or research associate are most welcome to contact us and leave their CV's for future reference. Candidates who can provide their own funding are most welcome to contact us.