Dr Murray Whitelaw, School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide.
Associate Prof Murray Whitelaw undertook BSc(Hons) in organic chemistry at the University of Melbourne, followed by a stint as a synthetic chemist at ICI Australia. He obtained a PhD from Purdue University, USA, in nutrition and biochemistry in 1989 and then spent 5 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, studying signal regulated transcription factors. He took up an academic position in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Adelaide in 1996. His current research centres around understanding functions of mammalian bHLH/PAS transcription factors during development and homeostasis, with emphasis on the mechanisms by which they sense physiological perturbations and environmental stress. His research highlights include defining the ligand binding domain of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) and revealing its functional dependence on the chaperone hsp90, discovering an asparaginyl hydroxylase that functions as an oxygen sensor to control activity of the Hypoxia Inducible Factors (HIFs), and most recently, establishing Single Minded 1 (SIM1) as monogenic obesity factor.