Principal organizer:
Professor Davor Juretić
Physics Department, Faculty of Science,
University of Split, Nikole Tesle 12, 21000 Split, Croatia
Phone: +385 21 385 133
Fax: +385 21 385 431

Australian co-organizer:
Professor Frances Separovic
School of Chemistry, Bio21 Institute
University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 7137
Fax: +61 3 9347 5180


PostHeaderIcon Joint Australia-Croatia Workshop on Antimicrobial Peptides


First announcement February 9th, 2010

The workshop will be held at the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences (MedILS) in Split, Croatia, 8-13 Aug 2010, and is organized by the University of Split, Faculty of Science, in participation with MedILS. Together with other local institutions, they have recently established an international PhD programme in biophysics at the University of Split. The workshop is an official summer school for students in the programme, with additional wider participation. Several groups in Split are working on antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), and the program features lecturers primarily from Australia and Croatia. Croatia has strength in theoretical approaches to modelling structure, activity and selectivity of AMPs, while Australian expertise is focused on structure/activity measurements and molecular simulations of AMPs. The workshop will bring together experimentalists and theoreticians interested in understanding the mechanism of action of AMPs and their development as peptide antibiotics.

The workshop is not limited to Australian and Croatian researchers, but is open to researchers and post-graduate students from other countries, and has a broad scope with respect to research areas. This can be seen from the list of invited speakers and the titles of their contributions as detailed below. The participants include 7 senior scientists from each side, 4 Australian and 8 Croatian PhD students in biophysics or 26 confirmed participants with an additional 14 registrants to be accommodated, i.e., a total of 40 participants.

The participation of postdoctoral fellows and PhD students is ensured and tutorials on experimental and theoretical techniques will be an obligatory part of the workshop. The invited lecturers would each give one or two 45 min lectures and tutorials. There will be two student poster sessions in the first half of the workshop and short presentations by early career researchers and students during the latter half. The workshop has 5 days of formal program with one free afternoon ond optional excursion.

This focused one week workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers, primarily from two countries, which would not only strengthen their biophysics programs but also is likely to lead to close and long term collaboration. The program will be evaluated through course questionnaires for both the students and the lecturers. Assessment of students will be on the basis of a short (5-10 min) oral presentation on their poster for which student prizes will be awarded.

The following invited speakers have agreed to participate; the subject of their presentations is also included:

Prof Mibel Aguilar, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Monash University: Membrane active peptides and peptidomimetics for drug development
Prof Vlasta Bonačić-Koutecky, Department of Chemistry, Humboldt University: Noble metal cluster chromophores: Absorption, enhancement and conformational control of peptides
Prof David Craik, Institute for Biomolecular Sciences, University of Queensland: NMR and protein structure in drug design
Prof Renato Gennaro, Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste: Structure/activity relationship and mode of action of Bac7, a Pro-rich antibacterial peptide
Prof Ante Graovac, Faculty of Science, University of Split and R. Bošković Institute, Applications of novel carbon nanostructures in biology and medicine
Prof Davor Juretić, Physics, University of Split: Design of novel peptide antibiotics
Prof Alan Mark, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland: Antimicrobial peptide insertion and assembly - insights from atomisticsimulations
Dr Lisa Martin, Chemistry, Monash University: Interfacial chemistry of antimicrobial peptides and model membranes
Prof Frances Separovic, Chemistry, University of Melbourne: Membrane activity of antimicrobial peptides
Dr David Smith, Centre for Computational Solutions in the Life Sciences, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Molecular dynamics studies on natural and non-natural opioid peptides
Assoc Prof Damir Vukičević, Mathematics, University of Split: Algorithm for the design of novel highly-selective peptide antibiotics
Prof John Wade, Peptide Laboratory, Howard Florey Institute: Design and development of novel antibacterial peptides
Prof Irene Yarovsky, Applied Sciences, RMIT University: Molecular dynamics of peptide-surface interactions
Dr Bojan Žagrović, MedILS: Computational biophysics of macromolecules

Sponsors: The support of the Biophysical Society of USA, European Biophysics Societies’ Association, Australian Peptide Association, Australian Society for Biophysics, European Peptide Society and International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics is gratefully acknowledged. A Croatian National Foundation for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development (NFS) grant for this workshop is also gratefully acknowledged.


Travel Information

Medils and PMF

Please apply directly to EBSA Bursaries for support




An earlier version of conference announcement (September 17th, 2009) can be found at the official MedILS web page: