BSB Seminar: Metabolomics and proteomics approaches to enhance drug discovery for malaria

Assoc Prof Darren Creek, Monash University


Current treatments for malaria are threatened by drug resistance, and new antimalarials are urgently required to ensure the continued ability to treat malaria infections into the future. Our research applies metabolomics and proteomics approaches to understand the mechanisms of action and resistance for antimalarial drugs, particularly for the artemisinins, which underpin the current first- and last-line treatments for malaria. In addition, we are applying novel proteomics-based approaches to elucidate novel aspects of host-parasite biology and identify mechanisms of drug action, in order to support the discovery of new antimalarial medicines.


Associate Professor Darren Creek leads the Malaria Metabolomics and Proteomics group at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS). He is Director of the Parkville Node of the Monash Proteomics and Metabolomics Facility and leads the Global Health Therapeutic Program Area at MIPS. He completed his PhD at Monash University in 2007, and performed post-doctoral research in Uganda, Scotland and Australia working on antimalarial drug discovery and clinical trials, before focusing on metabolomics studies of tropical parasites. He developed several novel analytical methods and software tools for the metabolomics field, and discovered novel pathways and drug mechanisms in protozoan parasites. Dr Creek’s laboratory currently uses metabolomics and proteomics to understand mechanisms of drug action and resistance for infectious diseases, with a major focus on malaria. Darren has 130 publications, 1 patented drug that entered clinical trials, 12 grants and fellowships from NHMRC, ARC and NIH, and has been recognised with awards from the International Metabolomics Society and the NHMRC.