Woan Mei Kok

Title: Dr

First name: Woan Mei

Surname: Kok

Web Site:


I obtained my Bachelor of Science with a major in Pharmacology at the University of Melbourne in 2004. I then completed a combined Chemistry/Pharmacology Honours research project with Dr Craig Hutton and Dr Tony Hughes, where I worked on the synthesis and characterization of novel conformational constraints for growth factor peptidomimetics.

In 2010, I was awarded my PhD, where I worked on the synthesis of covalently linked Aβ peptide dimers, specifically dityrosine-linked Aβ dimers in the search for potential neurotoxic species in Alzheimer's disease. The outcome of this research could prove useful in the search for potential blood borne biomarkers in the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, which will aid the monitoring and design of more efficient clinical trials.

Following my successful PhD completion, I moved to Brisbane in 2011 to join Protagonist Therapeutics where I worked as a Research Officer. I was involved in various aspects of the company in particular the design, synthesis and analysis of peptides as drug candidates. This opportunity had given me a unique outlook and experience working in a non-academic/industry research environment. I joined the Fairlie group in 2012 where I am able to further my interests in drug design and discovery

Research Interests

•    Medicinal Chemistry of neurological diseases e.g. Alzheimer’s

•    Design and synthesis of peptidomimetics

•    organic synthesis

•    solid-phase chemistry and technologies


Villemagne V, Perez K, Pike K, Kok WM, Rowe C, White A, Bourgeat P, Salvado O, Bedo J, Hutton CA, Faux N, Masters C, Barnham KJ (2010) “Blood Borne Aβ dimer correlates with clinical markers of Alzheimer’s Disease,”. J Neurosci,. 30(18): 6315–6322.

Kok WM, Scanlon DB, Karas JA, Tew D, Miles LA, Parker MW, Barnham KJ, Hutton CA (2009) “Solid Phase Synthesis of Homodimeric Peptides: Preparation of Covalently Linked Dimers of Amyloid-beta Peptide,”. Chem Commun,  6228–6230.

Former Group Members