Dr Brendan Wilkinson

Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry - School of Science and Technology

Brendan Wilkinson

Phone: +61 2 6773 5653

Email: brendan.wilkinson@une.edu.au


  • BSc (Hons) Griffith University 2003.
  • PhD Griffith University 2007.
  • EPSRC Post-doctoral research associate, University of Oxford 2007-09.
  • Post-doctoral research associate, The University of Sydney, 2009-12
  • Discovery Early Career Research Fellow, Monash University, 2013-2016.
  • Lecturer in organic chemistry, The University of New England, 2016-present.

Teaching Areas

Organic chemistry, bioorganic and medicinal chemistry

Research Interests

1. Carbohydrate biomaterials

  • Synthesis and biomedical applications of photo-switchable carbohydrate-based surfactants and hydrogels.
  • Glycopeptide dendrimers and PDIs as therapeutic and antifreeze agents.

2. Organic synthesis and functional supramolecular materials

  • Dynamic combinatorial chemistry as a tool for the discovery of new chiral catalysts.
  • Template-directed synthesis of cyclodextrin mimics for drug delivery.

3. Bioorganic and medicinal chemistry

  • Rational development of carbohydrate-based cryoprotectants.
  • Dynamic combinatorial chemistry as a tool for screening peptide based therapeutics.
  • Carbohydrate and glycopeptide-based vaccines for neglected tropical diseases.

Our group is interested in the design and synthesis of responsive carbohydrate biomaterials and their biomedical applications. Current areas of research include redox- and photo-responsive sugar surfactants and hydrogels as intelligent drug delivery vectors, self-assembled nanomaterials including glycodendrimers and biofunctionalised perylene diimide dyes as potential therapeutic agents, vaccines and antifreeze agents. We are also interested in developing adaptable carbohydrate and glycopeptide macrocycles as potential drug carriers. Our group collaborates with a number of prominent researchers, including Prof. Robert Ben (Ottawa), Prof. Charl Faul (Bristol), Assoc. Prof. Helen Blanchard (Griffith) and Prof. Vipul Bansal (RMIT).

Recent grants

ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA, DE130101673) “Synthesis of biomimetic carbohydrate receptors using dynamic combinatorial chemistry”

Research Supervision Experience

Currently supervising three PhD students.


Selected Recent Publications:

  1. Moore, J. E.; McCoy, T. M.; de Campo, L.; Sokolova, A.; Garvey, C. J.; Pearson, G.; Wilkinson, B. L.; Tabor, R. F. Wormlike micelle formation of novel alkyl-tri(ethylene glycol)-glucoside carbohydrate surfactants: Structure-function relationships and rheology. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 2018, 529 (1), 464-475.
  2. Tabor, R. F.; McCoy, T.; Hu, Y.; Wilkinson, B. L. Physicochemical and Biological Characterisation of Azobenzene-containing Photoswitchable Surfactants, Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn., 2018, 91 (6), 932-939.
  3. Kelleppan, V. T.; Moore, J. E.; McCoy, T. M.; Sokolova, A. V.; de Campo, L.; Wilkinson, B. L.; Tabor, R. F. Self-Assembly of Long-Chain Betaine Surfactants: Effect of Tailgroup Structure on Wormlike Micelle Formation, Langmuir, 2018, 34 (3), 970–977.
  4. Adam, M. K.; Jarrett-Wilkins, C.; Bears, M.; Staykov, E.; MacFarlane, L. R.; Bell, T. D. M.; Matthews, J. M.; Manners, I.; Faul, C. F.; Moens, P. D. J.; Ben, R. N.; Wilkinson, B. L. 1D Self‐assembly and Ice Recrystallization Inhibition Activity of Antifreeze Glycopeptide‐functionalized Perylene bisimides, Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24 (31), 7834-7839.
  5. Hu Y.; Beshr G.; Garvey  C. J.; Tabor  R.F.; Titz, A.; Wilkinson B. L. Photoswitchable Janus glycodendrimer micelles as multivalent inhibitors of LecA and LecB from Pseudomonas aeruginosa Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2017, v.159, pgs.605-612 -- issn:0927-7765 -- doi:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2017.08.016.
  6. Adam, M. K.; Hu, Y.; Poisson, G. S.; Pottage, M. J.; Ben, R. N.; Wilkinson, B. L. Carbohydr. Res. 2017, 439, 1-8.
  7. Hu, Y.; Zou, W.; Julita, V.; Ramanathan, R.; Tabor, R. F.; Nixon-Luke, R.; Bryant, G.; Bansal, V.; Wilkinson, B. L. Chem. Sci. 2016, 7, 6628-6634.
  8. Adam, M. K.; Poisson, J.; Hu, Y.; Prasannakumar, G.; Pottage, M. J.; Ben, R. N.; Wilkinson, B. L. RSC Adv. 2016, 6, 39240-39244.
  9. Hu, Y.; Marlow, J. B.; Ramanathan, R.; Zou, W.; Tiew, H. G.; Pottage, M. J.; Bansal, V.; Tabor, R. F.; Wilkinson, B. L. Synthesis and Properties of Photoswitchable Carbohydrate Fluorosurfactants, Aust. J. Chem. 2015, 68, 1880-1884.
  10. Suthagar, K.; Watson, J. A.; Wilkinson, B. L.; Fairbanks, A. J. Synthesis of arabinose glycosyl sulfamides as potential inhibitors of mycobacterial cell wall biosynthesis, Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2015, 102, 153-166.
  11. Reeks, T.; Jones, A., Brust, A., Sridharan, S., Corcilius, L., Wilkinson, B. L., Thaysen-Andersen, M., Payne, P. J., Kini, R. M., Daly, N. L., Alewood, P. F. A bifunctional O-glycosylated natriuretic peptide, TcNP-a, from the venom of Tropidechis carinatus has a defined alpha helix, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 4828-4831.
  12. Hu, Y., Tabor, R. F., Wilkinson, B. L. Sweetness and Light – design and application of photoswitchable glycoconjugates, Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 2216-2225.
  13. Ludeman, J. P., Nazari-Robati, M., Wilkinson, B. L., Huang, C., Payne, R. J., Stone, M. J., Phosphate Modulates Receptor Sulfotyrosine Recognition by the Chemokine Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2), Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 2162-2169.
  14. Tabor, R. F., Pottage, M. J., Garvey, C. J., Wilkinson, B. L. Light-induced structural evolution of carbohydrate-based surfactant micelles, Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 5509-5512.
  15. Tabor, R. F., Tan, D. D., Han, S. S., Young, S. A., Seeger, Z. L. E., Pottage, M. J., Garvey, C. J., Wilkinson, B. L. Reversible pH- and photo-controllable carbohydrate-based surfactants, Chem. Eur. J. 2014, 20, 13881-13884.
  16. Further Publications

Patents and book chapters:

  1. Wilkinson, B. L.; Day, S.; Apostolopoulos, V.; Payne, R. J. “Glycopeptide cancer vaccine candidates”, 2011, Australian Patent no. 2010905492.
  2. Wilkinson, B. L.; Bornaghi, L. F.; Poulsen S. –A.; Click Chemistry in Carbohydrate Based Drug Development and Glycobiology. Glycobiology Research Trends, 2009, Kaplan, S. P. (Ed.) Nova Science publishers, New York, 127-172.
  3. Wilkinson, B. L.; Bornaghi, L. F.; Poulsen S. –A.; Chapter IV - Click Chemistry in Carbohydrate Based Drug Development and Glycobiology, in Drug Design Research Perspectives, 2007, Kaplan, S. P. (Ed.) Nova Science publishers, New York, 57-102.


Royal Australian Chemical Society (MRACI, CCHEM)

Consultancy Interests

I am strongly committed to industry engagement. We have active collaborations within Axieo Australia toward the development of renewable surfactants for food and mining. Supervision of a industry sponsored PhD student is evidence of this commitment.