Meet the Research Team

Professor Mark Willcox

Professor Fiona Stapleton

Dr Debarun Dutta

Dr Ajay Kumar Vijay

Dr Simin Masoudi

Dr Renxun (Ren) Chen

Dr Ren Chen is a Research Fellow at the School of Chemistry and School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW . He specialises in chemistry of surfaces, with particular interests in development of new antimicrobial surfaces to control biomaterial-related infections.

Selected publications:

  1. Chen R, Cole N, Willcox MDP, Park J, Carter E, Rasul R, Kumar N. 2009. Synthesis, characterization and in vitro activity of a surface-attached antimicrobial cationic peptide. Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research. 25: 517-524
  2. Rasul R, Cole N, Balasubramanian D, Chen R, Kumar N, Willcox MDP. 2010. Interaction of the antimicrobial peptide melimine with bacterial membranes. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 35: 566-72
  3. Ho KKK, Cole N, Chen R, Willcox MDP, Rice SA, Kumar N. 2010. Characterisation and in vitro activities of surface attached dihydropyrrol-2-ones against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Biofouling 26: 913–921
  4. Ho KK, Cole N, Chen R, Willcox MDP, Rice SA, Kumar N. 2012. Immobilisation of antibacterial dihydropyrrol-2-ones onto functional polymer supports to prevent bacterial infections in vivo. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 56: 1138-1141
  5. Cole N, Garthwaite L, Chen R, Willcox MDP. Effect of multipurpose disinfecting solutions on cell morphology and cytokine production by corneal epithelium. Optom Vis Sci. 2012; 89:1460-1467
  6. Chen R, Willcox MDP, Cole N, Ho KKK, Rasul R, Denman JA, Kumar N. 2012. Characterisation of chemo-selective surface attachment of the cationic peptide melimine and its effects on antimicrobial activity. Acta Biomaterialia 8: 4371-4379
  7. Ho KKK, Chen R, Willcox MDP, Rice SA, Cole N, Iskander G, Kumar N. 2014. Quorum sensing inhibitory activities of surface immobilized antibacterial dihydropyrrolones via click chemistry. Biomaterials. 35: 2336-2345
  8. Willcox M, Kumar N, Cole N, Chen R. Antimicrobial compounds and uses thereof. AU2011904886; WO/2013/076666

Dr Kitty Ho

Dr Ho is a chemistry graduate from UNSW and gained her PhD from UNSW in 2012. Kitty’s research centres around investigating the role of surface-tethered bacterial quorum-sensing inhibtors in control of biofilm formation. She has developed novel techniques to synthesise dihydropyrrol-2-ones to polymers and to determine the mechanism of their anti-biofilm action.

Selected publications:

  1. Ho KKK, Cole N, Chen R, Willcox MDP, Rice SA, Kumar N. 2010. Characterisation and in vitro activities of surface attached dihydropyrrol-2-ones against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Biofouling 26: 913–921
  2. Ho KK, Cole N, Chen R, Willcox MDP, Rice SA, Kumar N. 2012. Immobilisation of antibacterial dihydropyrrol-2-ones onto functional polymer supports to prevent bacterial infections in vivo. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 56: 1138-1141.
  3. Chen R, Willcox MDP, Cole N, Ho KKK, Rasul R, Denman JA, Kumar N. 2012. Characterisation of chemo-selective surface attachment of the cationic peptide melimine and its effects on antimicrobial activity. Acta Biomaterialia 8: 4371-4379
  4. Ho KKK, Chen R, Willcox MDP, Rice SA, Cole N, Iskander G, Kumar N. 2014. Quorum sensing inhibitory activities of surface immobilized antibacterial dihydropyrrolones via click chemistry. Biomaterials. 35: 2336-2345
  5. Kumar N, Ho KKK, Willcox MDP. Novel Antimicrobial coatings based on dihydropyrrolones. Australian Provisional Patent. AU 2013901750. May 2013

Current postgraduate students: Ms Sowjanya Siddireddy, Ms Ananya Datta, Mr Praveen Yerramothu.

We have been continuously supported by grants from the NHMRC and ARC for over 20 years. We are also supported by grants from industry (ophthalmic and non-ophthalmic).