Dr Christina Spry

ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Infectious Agents 060502
  • Basic Pharmacology 111501
  • Enzymes 060107
  • Cell Metabolism 060104
  • Medical Parasitology 110803

Research interests

Christina has a keen interest in antimicrobial drug discovery.  To this end her research is focused on understanding how microbes utilise essential nutrients and in identifying novel inhibitors of these processes that thereby possess antimicrobial activity.  To date her research has primarily focused on understanding and exploiting for drug discovery the pathway by which pantothenate (vitamin B5) is metabolised to the fundamental enzyme cofactor coenzyme A.  Her research has both a malaria and tuberculosis focus and involves cell culture, heterologous protein expression and chemical and biophysical techniques as core methodologies.  Building upon her experiences working with Prof Chris Abell at the University of Cambridge, Christina is using fragment-based approaches to drug discovery as an alternative to high-throughput screening in her research.


Christina Spry completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours degree at the Australian National University.  She continued at the Australian National University for her graduate studies and in 2009 was awarded a PhD for her work with A/Prof Kevin Saliba investigating and targeting the metabolism of vitamin B5 by the human malaria parasite.

After her PhD, Christina worked as a Post-doctoral Fellow with A/Prof Saliba and Prof Kiaran Kirk, before being awarded an NHMRC Overseas-based Early Career Fellowship, which, in 2011, took her to the University of Cambridge, UK, to work with Prof Chris Abell.  In Cambridge Christina applied fragment-based approaches to the discovery of inhibitors of vitamin B5 metabolism in bacteria including Mycobacterium tuberculosis – the causative agent of tuberculosis.

At the end of 2015 Christina returned to the Research School of Biology at the Australian National University where she is based in the Saliba lab and continuing her NHMRC Early Career Fellowship.


Available student projects

Investigating the pantothenate biosynthesis pathway of Mycobacterium tuberculosis 



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Updated:  23 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers