Research Network for Metals in Medicine



Dr Lisa Martin

BSc(Hons) PhD (ANU) Grad. Cert. Tech. Mang.

Position: Senior Lecturer, Chemistry

Affiliation: Monash University, School of Chemistry

Postal Address:
School of Chemistry
Monash University
Victoria 3800

Phone: +61 (03) 99054514
Fax: +61 (03) 9905 4597

Research Profile

Although trained as an inorganic chemist I have maintained a research interest in metalloproteins and enzymes throughout my academic career. I have established a multidisciplinary research laboratory in which bioelectrochemistry, surface science (biosensors), biochemical and molecular biology is undertaken. My bioinorganic training has prepared me well to cross formal discipline boundaries and to approach basic scientific problems in biology. The aim of our research is to use bio- and physicochemical techniques to analyse the structure and function of metalloproteins and enzymes, thus developing new redox biosensors and nano-diagnostics. In my laboratory the biomolecules have been characterisated by biochemical, electrochemical and surface methods. The techniques used include enzyme activity assays, electrophoresis methods (1D- and 2D-gels), raising of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies to proteins purified in our laboratories, and Western immunoblots. We use direct electrochemistry to characterise our metalloproteins and to investigate the roles of the metal ions at the active sites of biological electron transfer systems. Recent research interests developing over the past two years is the interaction of metal ions and structural morphology of neuropeptides related to Alzheimer’s Disease.

The achievements over the past two years include cloning the first complete cDNA for the metalloenzyme laccase from Botrytis cinerea that infects wine grapes (strain B33), determining its sequence, establishing protocols for the purification of the laccase from Rhus vernicifera, and obtaining partial purification of laccase from B. cinerea (publication in preparation). We plan to produce mutated recombinant proteins to analyse the roles of a metal ion at the active sites of the metalloenzymes. In addition, we have been able to create part of the active site of another metalloprotein, nitrogenase, in a supramolecular non-protein environment. I also have collaborations that provide linkages to other specialised areas of research. Immobilisation methods that I developed for larger metalloproteins on electrodes have resulted in the first direct electrochemistry for laccase and human adrenodoxin (publications in preparation). Self-assembly of biomolecules and the development of new methods of “tethering” proteins to electrodes continues in our laboratory and underpins the development of new biosensors. Overall my research has both basic and applied directions. The enzymes we have chosen to work on are commercially important. Our research targets the development of knowledge and tools needed to solve problems in industry. In addition, the methods we are developing (and have already developed) have potential to be exploited as biomolecular sensors or act as nanodevices.

Selected Publications

  1. J. Joannou, L.L. Martin and M.R. Taylor, Crystal structure of 2-thiophenealdoxime, C5H5NOS, Z. Kristallogr. NCS, (2000), 215, 1-2.
  2. L. L. Martin and P. Zeegers, The First Step: Resources for Introductory Chemistry, Flinders Press, Adelaide, South Australia, (2000), ISBN: 0-7258-0850-0.
  3. Lisandra L. Martin, PBL in Chemistry – Should we do it?, in Improving University Teaching and Learning (ed. H. Silins and J. Orrell), (2000) 5, 39-47.
  4. Cassandra J. Martin, David C.R. Hockless, Max R. Taylor and Lisandra L. Martin, A New Linear Trinuclear Nickel Complex containing two types of Bridging Acetates, Acta Cryst. (2000), C56, (12), e549.
  5. Lisandra L. Martin and Peter Zeegers, A Learning-to-Learn Program in a First-year Chemistry Class, Higher Education Research and Development, (2001), 20(1) 35-52.
  6. Robert Daly, Max Taylor and Lisandra Martin, Acetonitrile{N-[2-(4,7-dimethyl-1,4,7-triazacyclonon-1-yl)ethyl]-N-methyl-(1-methyl-benzimidazol-2-yl)-methylamine}nickel(II) perchlorate, acetonitrile solvate, Acta Cryst. (2001), E57, m315-m317.
  7. Robert Daly, David, C.R. Hockless, Max Taylor and Lisandra Martin, N-[2-(4,7-dimethyl-1,4,7-triazacyclonon-1-yl)ethyl]-N-methyl-(1-methyl-benzimidazol-2-yl)-methylamine}copper(II) perchlorate, Acta Cryst. (2001), E57(08), m355-m356.
  8. Lisandra L. Martin, Lee West and Bei Wu, An Extrusion Strategy for the FeMo cofactor from nitrogenase – Towards synthetic iron-sulfur clusters proteins, Eur. J. Biochem., (2001), 268, 5676-5686.
  9. D.L. Johnson, C.J. Maxwell, D. Losic, J.G. Shapter and L.L. Martin, The Influence of promotor and of electrode material on the cyclic voltammetry of Pisum sativum plastocyanin, Bioelectrochemistry, (2002) 58(2), 137-147.
  10. R.I. Daly and L.L. Martin, Characterisation of a coordinated imidazolates a structural model for superoxide dismutase, Inorg. Chem. Commun., (2002), 5(10), 777-781.
  11. Daniel Johnson, Shona Norman, Robert C. Tuckey, and Lisandra L. Martin, Electrochemical behaviour of human adrenodoxin on a pyrolytic graphite electrode, Bioelectrochemistry, (2003), 59(1-2), 41-47.
  12. Daniel L. Johnson, Janene Thompson, Sandra M. Brinkmann, Kathryn L. Schuller and Lisandra L. Martin, Electrochemical Characterisation of purified Rhus vernicifera laccase – voltametric evidence for a sequential 4-electron transfer, Biochemistry, 2003, 42, 10229-10237.
  13. G.M.J.A. Klug, D. Losic, S.S. Subasinghe, M-I, Aguilar, L.L. Martin and D.H. Small, Ab oligomers induced by metal ions and acid pH are distinct from those generated by slow spontaneous aging at neutral pH, Eur. J. Biochem. (2003) 270, 1-12.
  14. L.R. Fodero, S.S. Mok, D.Losic, L.L. Martin, M.I. Aguilar, C.J. Barrow, B.G. Livett and D.H. Small, a7-Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediate an Ab1-42-induced increase in the level of acetylcholinesterase in primary cortical neurons, J. Neurochemistry, (2003) in press.
  15. B. Wu, M.R. Taylor and L.L. Martin, Aquabis(4-morpholinyldithiocarbamato)iron(III) trifluoromethanesulphonate, Acta Cryst E, (2003) E59, m1083-m1085.
  16. D.H. Small, D. Losic, L.L. Martin, B.J. Turner, A. Friedhuber, M-I. Aguilar, New Strategies for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, Aust. Biochemist, (2003), 34, 15-18.


  • Bioelectrochemistry facility is currently under construction at Monash Uni
  • protein and biochemical infrastructure.

International Linkages

Active collaborations with UC Davis, USA, Oxford, UK