Functional library screening

Lead Chief Investigator: David Craik, The University of Queensland

Collaborating Chief Investigators: Glenn King, David Fairlie, Sonia Henriques, Lara Malins, Gottfried Otting



A key step towards developing new biotechnological applications is to discover and design peptide/proteins to carry out a specific function. One way to attempt to achieve this is to screen libraries of peptides. However, most screening approaches focus on identification of peptides that bind a specific target, which is not always equivalent to having a specific function. The aim of this project is to develop a platform for screening peptide libraries based on a functional output. This will specifically require establishing technologies and integrating technologies for building peptide libraries, assays for functional readout and high throughput technologies for sorting active from inactive peptides.


Relevance to the Centre

This project is directly relevant as it will establish a general-purpose platform for engineering bioactive peptides and proteins for any target. The focus on screening peptides for function instead of simply binding will move the development pipeline closer towards translation. This project aligns with multiple flagships. Outcomes will enable rapid screening of natural peptides for activity (Unlocking Peptide Universe), detection of intracellular uptake (Bioavailability and Localisation), use of enzymes of diversify libraries (Synthetic and Enzymatic Tailoring), optimising biosynthetic pathways for library generation (Integrating Synthetic Pathways).