Prof. Frances Separovic FAA
Frances Separovic is Professor of Chemistry, Deputy Director of the Bio21 Institute and former Head of School at the University of Melbourne. Frances was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School, Honorary Fellow of Birkbeck College UCL, and a Senior Member of St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Frances has a BA (Hons) in Math & Physics from Macquarie University and a PhD (Physics) from University of NSW. Her tertiary training in biology, mathematics and physics, provides a strong foundation with which to carry out research in biophysical chemistry and NMR spectroscopy.
Her published work includes studies employing a range of biophysical techniques but her primary research interest is the determination of the structure and dynamics of membrane components in situ using solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Frances has made a major contribution to the determination of the molecular structure of the ionophore gramicidin A and the bee toxin melittin within phospholipid membranes. Using novel solid-state NMR methods Frances has been able to determine the structure and dynamics of membrane polypeptides, both as dehydrated powders and when reconstituted into lipid membranes for biomolecular engineering applications.
Frances is very active in the area of membrane biophysics and structural biology and is Secretary of the Biophysical Society, former President of Australian & New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance (ANZMAG), past-President of the Australian Society for Biophysics (ASB), and a former member of IUPAB Council. Frances is on the editorial board of Accounts of Chemical Research and editor of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta and European Biophysics Journal, a member of International Society for Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR), Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), ASB and ANZMAG, former treasurer of the Lorne Protein Conference and chair of the Biophysical Society membrane subgroup. Frances has organized 40 national and international conferences and published over 200 papers in national and international journals and 230 conference proceedings.
Her background is strongly interdisciplinary, and she has worked on collaborative research projects with CSIRO, Australian Universities and international laboratories. Frances’s contributions to biophysics and NMR have been recognized by award of 2009 ASB Robertson Medal and 2011 ANZMAG Medal. In 2012 Frances was elected a Fellow of the Biophysical Society, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and an ISMAR Fellow; and in 2017 named an IUPAC Distinguished Woman of Chemistry/Chemical Engineering.
School of Chemistry Academic Staff
Separovic Career Profile
Distinguished Women in Chemistry IUPAC 2017 Award
ANZMAGazine interview Dec 2016
Celebrating arrival of DNP-NMR
Address at Gender Equity forum
Frances reflects on Head of School interview
Get to know Frances Separovic, new BPS Secretary
New NMR installed: Everyday quantum mechanics & the study of cell membranes
New book, Advances in Biological Solid-State NMR: Proteins & Membrane-Active Peptides
Up Close interview, Pore me another: Understanding how toxins target & overcome membranes Oct 2013
Maths of Planet Earth interview (May 2013) See article
Frances elected 2012 ISMAR Fellow
Bluestocking Interview in ‘The Advocate‘ (Nov 2012)
Celebrating our women in science interview – 2011 ANZMAG Medal
Chemistry in Australia interview: 2009 Robertson Medal
Profiled in Biophysical Society Newsletter (Apr 2009)
Interview in ‘Croatian Herald‘ (29 Jan 2007)