Home > Research > Laboratories > Directed Evolution
Centenary Institute - Medical Research
Centenary Institute - Medical Research

Directed Evolution

In the Directed Evolution laboratory, we harness the power of Darwinian selection to evolve proteins with new therapeutic activities. Starting with unique proteins from all domains of life on earth we aim to produce first-in-class or vastly improved drugs for intractable diseases.

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic we are applying our expertise to the production of novel virus neutralising therapies.

Key Project and COVID-19

We are applying our expertise in protein evolution (the engineering of new proteins with new traits) to look at developing a novel SARS COVID-2 neutralising therapy. This consists of the production of new proteins that are able to disrupt the process of how the SARS COVID-2 virus is able to attach itself to, and then enter human cells. Disrupting this process would prevent viral replication and resulting disease progression.

We use genome editing, viral mutagenesis, and next-generation sequencing to perform genetic selections in cultured cells.

Dr Daniel Hesselson, Head of Laboratory

Email: d.hesselson@centenary.org.au

Dr Daniel Hesselson trained in Molecular Genetics in Alberta, Canada before completing his PhD in Wisconsin, US.

He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California before moving to the Garvan Institute in 2012. There his work pursued the experimental advantages of the zebrafish model system to develop new approaches for tackling the growing diabetes epidemic as laboratory Head. He also held the position of Conjoint Lecturer, St Vincent’s Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney.

Dr Alex Cole, Research Officer.