Susan Northfield

Dr Susan Northfield is a peptide and medicinal chemist. She received her PhD in medicinal chemistry from Monash University in 2013, then spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Prof David Craik at the University of Queensland. In 2014 she joined the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Melbourne and is currently the joint group leader of the Drug Design Laboratory.

Susan has two main research interests - (1) development of peptides that mimic loops from proteins/receptors, which may be developed as chemical biology tools and/or therapeutic leads, and (2) studying the pharmacokinetics of peptides, including enhancing their ability to cross cellular membranes. She has notably published her work in PNAS, the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and Angewandte Chemie.

Her current work is focused on developing peptide mimetics of loops in neurotrophin proteins, specifically brain-derived neurotrophin factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3. These BDNF peptide mimetics are being applied as chemical biology tools to study neurotrophin signalling related to the growth of myelin in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Most recently the two lead compounds in her lab have been published demonstrating the ability to selectively promote myelination in either the peripheral or central nervous system (CNS), following a demyelinating injury. In the context of the CNS myelination, this may have implications for future treatment of multiple sclerosis.

  • Contact Details
  • Current Research Focus

    Peptide and Medicinal Chemistry

    Field of ResearchDescription
    030406Proteins and Peptides
    110999Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
  • Key Skills
    • Peptide Chemistry
    • Medicinal Chemistry
    • Drug Design
    • Neuroscience
  • Looking to collaborate?

    I'm looking to collaborate with anyone who would like to develop novel peptides for chemical biology and/or therapeutic applications.