Australian National University
Dr Colin Jackson’s research is at the cutting edge of protein engineering and evolution.
While evolution has been well defined at a macroscopic level, its molecular basis is not so well understood. Colin’s research is focused on discovering the rules and processes that define how evolution occurs. By simulating molecular evolution in the laboratory and recreating the evolutionary trajectories of proteins, Colin’s work is mapping out an important “molecular fossil record”.
By characterising mutant proteins this research can reveal why and how evolution occurs, allowing for the pre-emption of evolutionary events. The work could see practical benefits in medical, environmental and industrial applications. Already in Colin’s lab this knowledge is being used to develop biosensors to understand learning, to detoxify chemical warfare agents and to produce biofuel more efficiently.
From talking to ministers at Science Meets Parliament to contributing to popular blogs and websites, Colin has demonstrated a passion for communicating his research beyond the boundaries of his lab. He is also a participant in programs such as Scientists in Schools and ANU’s science outreach program.