Mark von Itzstein
Prof Mark von Itzstein has international standing in glycoscience, medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, particularly in the area of anti-infective drug discovery. He has established an internationally-recognised research program that is investigating the discovery of novel anti-microbial drugs, including novel anti-influenza drugs, anti-parainfluenza and anti-cancer drugs based on carbohydrate-related pathways and the outcomes of these programs are apparent from his publication record (over 235 scientific papers & review articles).
He established and heads the Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University. The Institute is the only multidisciplinary glycoscience research centre in Australia. Prof von Itzstein has now attracted over $50 million in the establishment of the Institute.
Prof von Itzstein’s research led to the discovery of the anti-influenza drug, Relenza®. This drug was designed, synthesised and biologically evaluated (in vitro) in Prof von Itzstein’s laboratory. This discovery is considered to be the most significant outcome and flagship in glycotherapeutic drug development in the last century and has consolidated the world platform of using carbohydrates and carbohydrate-recognising proteins as drug discovery targets. Relenza® is the first ‘designer’ anti-viral drug in the world.
Prof von Itzstein’s contributions to the carbohydrate sciences and medicinal chemistry have been internationally recognised by continued conference invitations and requests to write significant chapters on carbohydrate science and drug discovery and act as a book editor/co-editor.