Skropeta 160 200A/Prof Danielle Skropeta

PhD, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT (2000)
BSc(Hons), Monash University, Clayton, Vic (1994)

Phone:       +61 2  42 21 4360
Office:          B18.127

  • Associate Professor

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Research Interests

Our research is aimed at the discovery and development of new classes of drugs inspired by Nature. Our main research themes are in the following areas:

Isolation / Structural Elucidation

        • Marine natural products
        • Novel anticancer and antiviral agents
        • Isatin-based anticancer agents
        • Bioactive cyclic peptides
        • Biomimetic natural product synthesis
Chemical Ecology
        • Chemical deterrence
        • UV Tolerance in Antarctic moss

Isolation & Structural Elucidation

Our research aims to harness the pharmaceutical potential of natural products from shallow- and deep-water marine fauna as prospective new anticancer and antiviral agents. Australia’s deep-sea fauna (>100m depth) are unexplored in terms of their natural products chemistry due to the difficulty in accessing samples. Our lab is a member of SERPENT (Scientific & Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing Industrial Technology), an exciting collaboration with the oil and gas industry providing scientists with access to cutting-edge ROV (remotely operated vehicle) technology for deep-sea research. Through a Linkage funded project on drilling effects on deep-sea ecosystems, we have access to a range of deep-sea fauna including sponges, anemones, echinoderms and molluscs. These organisms, along with a variety of shallow-water fauna are currently undergoing assessment for their cytotoxic and antiviral activity. We are also interested in carbohydrate-containing marine natural products and method development for their improved isolation and characterisation.


We currently have a range of synthetic projects in our lab including the development of novel isatin-based anticancer agents, along with new and improved radiolabeled cyclic RGD peptides as PET tracers for cancer imaging. We are also particularly interested in the biomimetic synthesis of promising compounds emerging from our structural elucidation program.

All of our projects are multidisciplinary in nature and are performed in collaboration with biologists and marine ecologists from within our University, as well as with other research and industry partners both here in Australia and overseas. 

Cover Features

Deep-sea natural products 2008Deep-sea natural products 2014

Current Group Members  
  • Dr Janice McCauley (Research Fellow with Pia Winberg, VSS)
  • Dr Nirali Pandya (Research Fellow)
  • Dr Remi Szabo (PhD with Marie Ranson, IHMRI)
  • Andrew Montgomery (PhD with Haibo Yu)
  • Chris Dobie (PhD with Haibo Yu)
  • Kela Xiao (PhD with Haibo Yu)
  • Tom Hook (Hons with Haibo Yu)  

Representative Publications
  • R. Szabo & D. Skropeta Advancement of Sialyltransferase Inhibitors: Therapeutic Challenges and Opportunities. Medicinal Research Reviews 2016, Early View DOI.
  • D. Skropeta, L. Wei, Recent advances in Deep-sea Natural Products, Natural Product Reports 2014, 31 (8), 975-1076. Cover feature (August issue). DOI  One of the top-ten most accessed articles for NPR between April-June 2014
  • J.I. McCauley, B.J. Meyer, P.C. Winberg, M. Ranson, D. Skropeta, Selecting Australian marine macroalgae based on the fatty acid composition and anti-inflammatory activity. Journal of Applied Phycology 2014, online 26 November. DOI
  • L. Matesic,  J.M. Locke, K.L. Vine, M. Ranson, J.B. Bremner, D. Skropeta, Synthesis and anti-leukaemic activity of pyrrolo[3,2,1-hi]indole-1,2- diones, pyrrolo[3,2,1-ij]quinoline-1,2-diones and other polycyclic isatin derivatives. Tetrahedron 2012, 68 (34), 6810-6819. DOI
  • D. Skropeta, The effect of individual N-glycans on enzyme activity. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry 2009, 17, 2645-2653. DOI
  • D. Skropeta, Deep-sea natural products. Natural Product Reports, 2008, 25, 1131-1166. Cover feature of December issue. DOI
  • L. Matesic, J. L. Locke, J. B. Bremner, S. G. Pyne, D. Skropeta, M. Ranson, K. L. Vine, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry 2008, 16, 3118-3124. N-Phenethyl and N-naphthylmethyl isatins and analogues as in vitro cytotoxic agents. DOI 
  • D. Skropeta, and R.W. Rickards, Domino Pericyclic Reactions of Acyclic Conjugated (E,Z,E,E)-Tetraenes, Tetrahedron Letters 2007, 48, 3281-3284. DOI 
  • D. Skropeta, K.A. Jolliffe, P. Turner, Pseudoprolines as Removable Turn Inducers: Tools for the Cyclization of Small Peptides, Journal of Organic Chemistry 2004, 69, 8804-8809. DOI  
  • D. Skropeta, R. Schwörer, T. Haag, R.R. Schmidt, Asymmetric Synthesis and Affinity of Potent Sialyltransferase Inhibitors Based on Transition-State Analogues, Glycoconjugate Journal 2004, 21, 205-19. DOI
  • D. Skropeta, R. R. Schmidt, Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 2003, 14, 265-273. Chiral, non-racemic -hydroxyphosphonates and phosphonic acids via stereoselective hydroxylations of diallyl benzylphosphonates. DOI 
  • G. Guella, D. Skropeta, I. Mancini, F. Pietra, Calenzanane Sesquiterpenes from the Red Seaweed Laurencia microcladia from the Bay of Calenzana, Elba Island: Acid-Catalyzed, Stereospecific Conversion of Calenzanol into Indene- and Guaiazulene-type Sesquiterpenes, Chemistry A European Journal 2003, 9, 5770-5777. DOI 

Abbreviated CV
  • 2014: Visiting Researcher with Prof. Dr. M. Bastmeyer, Cell and Neurobiology, Zoological Institute, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2014: Visiting Researcher with Prof. K. Brindle, Molecular Imaging, Cambridge Research UK & Biochemistry Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
  • 2014: Visiting Researcher with Prof. M. L. Lopez Rodriguez, Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Organic Chemistry I, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain 
  • 2009- : Senior Lecturer, School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong
  • 2006-8: Lecturer, School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong
  • 2004-5: Senior Research Fellow with Prof. K-A. Rye, Heart Research Institute, Camperdown, NSW
  • 2003-4: Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. K. Jolliffe, University of Sydney, NSW
  • 2001-2: Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. R.R. Schmidt, Konstanz University, Konstanz, Germany
  • 2000: Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. P. Francesco, University of Trento, Trento, Italy
  • 1999: PhD (Supervisor: Prof. R. Rickards), Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
  • 1994: BSc(Hons), Monash University, Clayton, Vic 

  • 2009 RACI Athel Beckwith Lectureship, Royal Australian Chemical Institute, for “outstanding recently appointed organic chemists to travel around Australia and present the results of their research work… to achieve broader recognition and exposure at an early stage in their careers.” 


Last reviewed: 13 January, 2017