Jess Rowley


First name: Jess

Surname: Rowley

Web Site:



I graduated with 1st Class Honours in Chemistry from the University of Queensland in 2005, receiving a University Medal and the CSR Prize in Chemistry for achieving the highest grade in my Honours cohort. My Honours project explored the biosynthetic pathway of the spiroacetal sex pheromone produced by the fruit flies Bactrocera cacuminata and Bactrocera oleae using synthetic organic chemistry.

Since graduating, I have gained over 7 years of research experience in the discovery, design and development of drug candidates within both industrial and academic settings. Throughout my time at Progen Pharmaceuticals I was promoted to research scientist and became a key member of the small R&D team responsible for progressing an oncology drug candidate into phase I human clinical trials. I had overall responsibility for the direction of analytical chemistry within the project and also gained experience in the areas of medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and drug design and development. More recently, I have worked within early stage drug discovery as part of the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery.

I was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award at the beginning of 2014 and am excited to be pursuing my PhD in Medicinal Chemistry in the Fairlie group.

Research Interests

Medicinal Chemistry

Drug Discovery and Development

Analytical Chemistry


Ferro, V.; Liu, L.; Johnstone, K.; Wimmer, N.; Karoli, T.; Handley, P.; Rowley, J.; Dredge, K.; Li, C. P.; Hammond, E.; Davis, K.; Sarimaa, L.; Harenberg, J.; Bytheway, I. Discovery of PG545: A Highly Potent and Simultaneous Inhibitor of Angiogenesis, Tumor Growth, and Metastasis. J. Med. Chem. 2012, 55 (8), 3804-3813.


Dredge, K.; Hammond, E.; Handley, P.; Rowley, J.; Peart, M.; Brandt, R.; Bytheway, I. The heparan sulfate mimetic PG545, as a monotherapy or in combination with standard-of-care agents paclitaxel or carboplatin, significantly inhibits solid tumor progression in two murine models of ovarian cancer. AACR Cancer Conference. Nov 2011.


Dredge, K.; Davis, K.; Handley, P.; Wimmer, N.; Bytheway, I.; Hammond, E.; Li, C. P.; Rowley, J.; Ferro, V.; Gautam, A. Heparan sulfate mimetics – potent angiogenesis inhibitors for cancer therapy. AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference. Oct 2007.

Former Group Members