Stephen Fairweather is the recipient of the 2016 ASBMB Fellowship. He will use the money to attend the Gordon Conference on Membrane Transporters.
Stephen Fairweather completed a Bachelor of Philosophy (Science) degree with First Class Honours at The Australian National University in 2010. It was during his undergraduate degree that Stephen first became interested in protein structure–function relationships, particularly in membrane proteins. This led him to undertake first Honours, and then his doctorate in the laboratory of Dr Stefan Bröer at the Australian National University. Stephen’s research has focused on the molecular interactions between human epithelial secondary active amino acid transporters and their heteromeric protein partners and what this tells us about transporter function in healthy and diseased states. In addition, the last year of his doctorate has seen him branch out and begin the investigation of novel amino acid transporters from apicomplexan parasites. His research has led to numerous first and contributing author publications during his PhD, in journals such as Biochemical Journal, Journal of Biological Chemistry and Hypertension. In particular, Stephen is interested in investigating how basic biophysical processes at the molecular transport level can explain organism- or systems-level processes and disease states. His long-term goal is to study the biophysical processes underlying secondary transporter function and combine them with emerging techniques for in situ genome editing to bridge the gap between fundamental molecular understanding and human diseases. Stephen is currently finalising his thesis and some other doctoral research for publications. He will use the 2016 ASBMB Award to attend and present at the Gordon Research Conference and ‘Membrane Transport Proteins’ Gordon Research Seminar in Barga, Italy, in June 2016.