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Fellows Directory

David Craik

David Craik

Professor David Craik AO FRS


Elected: 2021






David Craik is a chemist who studies the structures and biological activities of natural peptides from plants and animals and uses the knowledge generated to design novel molecules with applications in medicine and agriculture. He is best known for his discovery of cyclotides, which are ultra-stable cyclic peptides produced by plants as natural insecticides. By unravelling their biosynthetic pathways and developing ways of chemically synthesizing them Professor Craik has facilitated their use as stable molecular scaffolds in drug design applications.

Professor Craik is currently the Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide and Protein Science, which is headquartered at the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia. He is the recipient of numerous national and international prizes for his work, including the Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry form the American Chemical Society. Professor Craik is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, is author of more than 750 papers and has trained 70 PhD students.

Professional positions

Director, Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Facility for Producing Pharmaceuticals in Plants, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University Of Queensland
Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide and Protein Science

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, biological, Chemistry, organic
  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology, Biophysics and structural biology, Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)
  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Pharmacology (non-clinical)
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Plant sciences / botany
  • Health and human sciences
    • Molecular medicine


Cyclic peptides, cyclotides, drug design, structural biology

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