Head of Laboratory

Prof Rod Minchin


Skerman Building (#65), 5th floor


  • Dr Neville Butcher
  • Dr Gyzell Mortimer
  • Dr Neelima Pottekkat Sidharthan
  • Dr Nicolin Tirtaatmadja
  • Rachel Burow


  • Katey Witham
  • Jing Zhang


The Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology investigates the effects that drugs and other chemicals exert in human health and disease. Our research aims to identify biochemical pathways and cellular processes that may be targets for novel drug development and use. The Laboratory focuses on several cellular proteins (arylamine N-acetyltransferases and cytosolic sulfotransferases) that have a central role in cancer initiation and progression as well as neurological diseases such as Parkinsons. We also investigate the interaction of nanoparticles and nanomaterials with proteins and cells in order to better understand their potential future pharmacological applications.

Recent Publications

  1. Deng, Z. J., Liang, M., Toth, I., Monteiro, M. and Minchin, R. F. The Molecular Interaction of Poly(acrylic acid)-Gold Nanoparticles with Human Fibrinogen. ACS Nano 6, 8962-8969, 2012.
  2. Butcher, N. J., Mitchell, D. J., Burow, R. and Minchin, R. F. Regulation of mouse brain-selective sulfotransferase SULT4A1 by cAMP response element-binding protein and activating transcription factor-2. Molecular Pharmacology. 78: 503-510, 2010.
  3. Deng, Z. J., Liang, M., Monteiro, M., Toth, I. and Minchin, R. F. Nanoparticle-induced unfolding of fibrinogen promotes Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18) receptor activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine release. Nature Nanotechnology. 6: 39-44, 2011.
  4. Minchin, R. F. and Butcher, N. J Arylamine N-acetyltransferase 1: a novel drug target in cancer development. Pharmacological Reviews. 64: 147-165, 2012.
  5. Yang, S., Coles, D. J., Esposito, A., Mitchell, D., Toth, I. and Minchin, R. F. Cellular uptake of self-assembled cationic peptide-DNA complexes: multifunctional role of the enhancer chloroquine. Journal of Controlled Release. 135: 159-165, 2009.
  6. Minchin, R. F. Nanomedicine: sizing up targets with nanoparticles Nature Nanotechnology. 3: 12-13, 2008.

Student projects


  1. Induction of sulfotransferases in human neuronal cells role in dopamine toxicity.
  2. Acetylation of cellular sirtulin deacetylases as a drug target in cancer.
  3. Role of sulfotransferases in dopamine metabolism in the cellular regulation and induction.
  4. Binding of lung surfactant proteins to nanoparticles and their role in recognition but macrophages.


  1. Unravelling risks in Parkinsons disease - Pharmacogenetics of brain sulfotransferases involved in dopamine metabolism.
  2. Transcriptional regulation of sulfotransferases implicated in neurodegenerative disease.
  3. Arylamine N-acetyltransferases are central to cancer cell survival via protein acetylation/deacetylation homeostasis.
  4. Metabolic profiling of cancer cells following arylamine N-acetyltransferase inhibition pathways to cell growth and survival.
  5. Transcytosis of nanoparticles across cell barriers role of receptor binding and internalisation.
  6. Mapping the binding of intracellular proteins to engineered nanoparticles.

Research support

NHMRC Role of the drug metabolising enzyme arylamine N-acetyltransferase 1 in breast cancer (2012-2014) $580,000

NHMRC The putative drug metabolising enzyme SULT4A1 is a sulfotransferase inhibitor (2011-2013) $456,000

NHMRC The Toxicology of Nanomaterials (2009-2013) $1,800,000