Dr Jessica Chitty

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex I completed a PhD in the fungal pathogenesis laboratory at the University of Queensland. During my PhD project I characterised enzymes of the purine biosynthesis pathway as a potential candidates for drug devel
Research Officer

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex I completed a PhD in the fungal pathogenesis laboratory at the University of Queensland. During my PhD project I characterised enzymes of the purine biosynthesis pathway as a potential candidates for drug development against the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

My PhD project was a collaboration with Prof. Bostjan Kobe and involved a combination of molecular and structural techniques. I joined Thomas Cox’s lab to investigate Lysyl oxidase in order to further our understanding of its biochemical role in the extracellular matrix during cancer progression.

Research Interests

Protein structure and function
X-ray crystallography
Matrix and metastasis

Awards and Honours

2016 – Queensland Medical Research Scholarship
2015 – Yeast Product and Discovery student prize

Education

2017 – PhD, University of Queensland – Australia
2012 – BSc, University of Sussex - UK

Patents

Chitty JL, Butler MS, Edwards DJ, Cooper MA, Fraser JA and Robertson AAB. Structure activity relationships of octapeptin C4 against Cryptococcus species. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2017 Nov 20. pii: AAC.00986-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00986-17

Chitty JL and Fraser JA. Purine Acquisition and Synthesis by Human Fungal Pathogens. Microorganisms 2017 Jun 8;5(2). pii: E33. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms5020033

Chitty JL, Blake KL, Koh YQAE, Blundell RD, Thompson M, Butler MS, Robertson AAB, Cooper MA, Kappler U, Williams SJ, Kobe B and Fraser JA. Cryptococcus neoformans ADS lyase is an enzyme essential for virulence whose crystal structure reveals features exploitable in antifungal drug design. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2017 Jul 14;292(28):11829-11839.

Arras SDM, Chitty JL, Wizrah MSI, Erpf PE, Schulz B, Tanurdzic M and Fraser JA. Sirtuins in the phylum Basidiomycota: A role in virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. Scientific Reports. 2017 Apr 21;7:46567

Chitty JL, Tatzenko TL, Williams SJ, Koh YQAE, Corfield EC, Butler MS, Robertson AAB, Cooper MA, Kappler U, Kobe B and Fraser JA (2017) “GMP synthase is required for virulence factor production and infection by Cryptococcus neoformans” Journal of Biological Chemistry; 292(7): 3049-59

Blundell RD, Williams SJ, Arras SDM, Chitty JL, Blake KL, Ericsson DJ, Tibrewal N, Rohr J, Koh YQAE, Kappler U, Robertson AAB, Butler MS, Cooper MA, Kobe B and Fraser JA. Disruption of de novo ATP biosynthesis abolishes virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. ACS Infectious Diseases. 2016 Sep 9;2(9):651-663

Beattie KD, Ellwood N, Kumar R, Yang X, Healy PC, Choomuenwai V, Quinn RJ, Elliott AG, Huang JX, Chitty JL, Fraser JA, Cooper MA and Davis RA. Antibacterial and antifungal screening of natural products sourced from Australian fungi and characterisation of pestalactams D-F. Phytochemistry. 2016 Apr;124:79-85

Arras SDM, Chitty JL, Blake KL, Schulz B and Fraser JA. A genomic safe haven for mutant complementation in Cryptococcus neoformans. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 9;10(4):e0122916

Person portrait

Dr Jessica Chitty

Research group