Prof. Frances Separovic

frances-3Frances Separovic is Professor Emeritus 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 for research in biophysical chemistry and NMR spectroscopy.

Her primary research interest is determination of the structure & dynamics of membrane components in situ using solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Frances played a key role in determining the molecular structure of the antibiotic gramicidin A and the bee toxin melittin within phospholipid membranes. Using novel solid-state NMR methods Frances was able to determine the structure & dynamics of membrane polypeptides for biomolecular engineering applications.

She is very active in the area of membrane biophysics and structural biology and is President-elect of the Biophysical Society and member of IUPAB Council, former President of Australian & New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance (ANZMAG), past-President of the Australian Society for Biophysics (ASB); a committee member of International Society for Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR); former treasurer of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and the Lorne Protein Conference; and on the editorial board of Chemical Reviews.

Frances has organized over 45 major national & international conferences and published over 230 peer reviewed papers. Her contributions to biophysics and NMR have been recognized by award of the 2009 ASB Robertson Medal and 2011 ANZMAG Medal. In 2012 she was elected a Fellow of the Biophysical Society, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and an ISMAR Fellow; in 2017 Frances was named an IUPAC Distinguished Woman of Chemistry/Chemical Engineering and in 2018 inducted in the Victorian Honour Roll of Women; and appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2019.

School of Chemistry Academic Staff list. Contact fs @ unimelb.edu.au

Separovic Career Profile

Media links

Frances, President-elect of Biophysical Society, BPS election results

Interview on STEM Women database, SBS News link and video

Deputy-director reflects on IUPAC & IYPT Bio21 Digest 2 Aug 2019

‘When an artist looks at a chemical element, what do they see?’, The Conversation Jul 2019

‘Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)’, Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019

‘Alumnae off to Antarctica with women leadership program’, UNSW Newsroom article

‘Peptide antibiotics from frog skin’, ABC Illawarra Drivetime chat, Mar 2019

‘Don’t ask women leaders to act like men’ International Women’s Day 2019, interview

The Year That Made Me: Frances Separovic 1996, ABC Radio National interview, October 2018

The Advocate NTEU interview, July 2018

Barrier Daily Truth Broken Hill interview, May 2018

Eavesdrop on Experts podcast: ‘Smashing through science’s glass ceiling’

Women in STEMM Australia STEMM Profile

Induction as a Trailblazer for Women in Science into Victorian Honour Roll of Women; see stories of 2018 Awardees and group photo. Read the ‘Pursuit‘ article

International Women’s Day 2018 Award

Deputy-director on Women of Bio21 Bio21 2017 Annual Report

Frances featured as scientist at University of Melbourne broadcast on Croatian TV (HTV1)

Women leaders, President of Croatia visits Bio21 Aug 2017

2017 UNSW Alumni Science & Technology Award UNSW celebrates its star graduates

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

Frances elected Secretary of Biophysical Society

Voice interview, The chemistry of curiosity May 2014

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)

Frances elected to Australian Academy of Science  UniNews ARC news

Frogs thwart superbugs in the news: SMH, ABC, UniMelb, The Age

Frances Fellow of Biophysical Society See press release

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)

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