Gene Hart-Smith


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Personal profile


Dr Gene Hart-Smith is a recent ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award holder working within the Australian Proteome Analysis Facility. In 2010 he completed a PhD at the UNSW School of Chemistry, in which he utilised mass spectrometry as a primary tool to study synthetic polymers. He has since been applying this expertise in mass spectrometry to the study of biological systems.

Gene has a particular interest in the nascent principles of molecular systems biology and network theory. These principles provide a foundation from which to make sense of the large-scale molecular ‘parts lists’ (e.g. lists of genes and proteins) that are being generated for many species in contemporary biological research. They suggest that if the connections between these parts are studied and contextualised within biomolecular interaction networks, unique and important insights can be gained into the operation and organisation of living things.

Much of Gene's research involves studying biomolecular interaction networks involving proteins. He has a particular interest in how small modifications to proteins, post-translational modifications, regulate how these networks change over different conditions or time points. He has developed and applied mass spectrometric methods towards organism-wide studies of these phenomena in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast). He is now using these methods to gain a better understanding of the root architecture of rice (Oryza sativa), the biggest user of water in agriculture worldwide, with the goal of improving the efficiency of rice water use.

Education/Academic qualification

Chemistry, PhD, The University of New South Wales


Industrial Chemistry, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours Class 1), The University of New South Wales


External positions

UNSW Research Fellow, The University of New South Wales


ARC DECRA Fellow, The University of New South Wales


UNSW Research Fellow, The University of New South Wales


ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of New South Wales


Postdoctoral Researcher, Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Facility



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