Thomas Martin


  • The University of Western Australia (M310), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile

Roles and responsibilities


  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism
  • Metabolic sensing and signalling
  • Molecular genetics
  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Plant histone deacetylase
  • Plant nitrilases
  • Protein Interaction
  • Protein expression and purification

Technical skills:

  • Molecular biology
  • Forward and reversed genetics
  • Arabidopsis mutant analysis
  • Biochemistry of carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism 
  • Small- and large-scale gene expression analysis
  • Protein expression systems
  • Protein Interaction
  • Biomolecular Fluorescence Complementation -BiFC
  • Micro Scale Thermophoresis MST
  • Protein pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation



  • Co-chair Education Committee School of Molecular Sciences
  • Member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee


  • Coordinator: Genetics Major
  • Coordinator: Molecular Life Sciences Double Major
  • Coordinator: Molecular Life Sciences Combined Bachelor Masters)
  • Unit coordinator: SCIE1106, BIOC3001, BIOC4001, GENE3370
  • Lecturing in undergraduate courses level 1, 2 and 3 in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics and level 4 post-graduate Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (details see below)
  • Honours and Master student supervision
  • PhD student supervision

Research (see below)

Funding overview

ARC Linkage Project LP 0883902: Wheat Biomarkers – The effect of nitrogen withdrawal on the proteome and peptidome (2008)

Women & Infants Research Foundation: Isolation and propagation of mammary epithelial stem cells from human breast milk (2008)

UWA Research Grant: Identification of Arabidopsis kinases interacting with and potentially regulating nitrate reductase: an in planta approach (2008)

UWA Research Grant: Expression profiling of 14-3-3 signalling genes in Arabidopsis and of genes affected by 14-3-3 loss of function mutations (2005)

BBSRC Research Grant P15126 "Characterisation of T-DNA tagged 14-3-3 Arabidopsis mutants, (2001), £174,492

BBSRC Studentship Grant 01/A1/P/07100 "Characterisation of 14-3-3 Arabidopsis mutants, (2001)

Previous positions

Lecturer in Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK
Research Fellow, University of Glasgow, UK
Research Fellow, INRA Versailles, France
Research Fellow, IGF Berlin, Germany

Current projects

Plants face many environmental challenges such as nutrient availability, light conditions, abiotic and biotic stresses. These factors greatly influence resource allocation and thus plant productivity. Plants use manifold sensing, signalling and response mechanisms to achieve a fine balancing act in the face of these challenges. The regulatory mechanisms involved have to be co-ordinated with developmental programmes as well as cell and tissue specific requirements. Cross-talk of signalling mechanisms and sharing of signalling components suggests the general principle that signalling pathways operate as complex networks rather than isolated, independent cascades We are trying to identify and to understand these mechanisms in the quest to improve crop productivity in a sustainable fashion. In this context we are studying the role of regulatory proteins such as 14-3-3 proteins and histone deacetylases. We are further identifying plant proteins responding to nitrogen starvation to explore their use in regulating nitrogen use efficiency in plants.

Industrial relevance

  • Protein expression in E. coli, isolation and purification of expressed proteins
  • In vivo and in vitro protein interaction
  • Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation – BiFC
  • Green Fluorescent Protein fusion proteins
  • Microscale Thermophoresis – MST
  • Co-immunoprecipitation and protein pull-downs
  • Proteomics of wheat proteins
  • Plant transformation

Teaching overview


SCIE1106 – Unit Coordination (Molecular Biology of the Cell): Lectures- Biological Molecules; Cell Organelles; Eukaryotic Gene Expression; Methods in Molecular Biology; Eukaryotic Cell Cycle and its Regulation; Transgenic Plants. Practical – DNA isolation and quantification



BIOC2001 (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell): Practical - Polymerase Chain Reaction, Experimental Approach and Trouble Shooting

BIOC2002 (Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function): Lectures - Transcriptional Signal Transduction Pathways - Hormone Classes; Hormone Receptors and Mechanisms; Signal Transduction pathways

GENE2230 (Molecular Genetics I): Lectures -Transposons in Pro- and Eukaryotes; Genetic Analysis of Gene Function. Practicals – Isolation of Genomic DNA from Plant and Animal Tissues; PCR analysis


BIOC3001 – Unit Coordination (Molecular Biology): Lectures - Mechanism of Transcription in Eukaryotes; RNA Processing; Quality Control and Degradation; RNA export from the nucleus; Non-coding RNAs (e.g. ribosomal RNA, tRNA, snoRNAs, sn RNAs, si and miRNAs, CRISPR). Practicals and Workshops – Analysis of Gene Expression using qRT-PCR: Plant Growth, RNA Isolation from Plant Tissues and Quality Control, cDNA Synthesis, Producing a qRT-PCR standard by PCR and Cloning, qRT-PCR and Data Evaluation. Producing Science Videos

BIOC3003- (Omics – Global Approaches to Cell Function): Lectures – Metabolomics – Types of Metabolomics Approaches; Challenges of Metabolomics; Gas Chromatography; Liquid Chromatography; Mass Spectrometry; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Invasive and Non-invasive Metabolomics

GENE3350 (Evolution and Development): Lectures - Evolutionary Origin of Flowers and of Flowering Plants; Genetics of Flower Initiation; Regulation of Floral Organ Development; ABC Model; MADS box Proteins in Plants and other Organisms; Advanced Flower Development

GENE3370 Unit Coordination (Genomics): Lectures - Structural genomics; Genome Content; Genome Function; Epigenomics; Post-transcriptional Control of Gene Expression; Proteome. Practicals and Workshops – Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism



BIOC4001 Unit Coordination (Advanced Studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Lectures and Workshops – Membrane Less Organelles


- Sugar and nitrogen sensing and signalling mechanisms
- Protein Interaction
- Bimolecular Fluorescence Analysis (BiFC)
- Regulation of plant carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism
- Co-ordination of C/N metabolism
- 14-3-3 proteins
- Stem cells and epithelial cells from breast milk


basic French

Research expertise keywords

  • 14-3-3 proteins
  • Plant carbohydrate metabolism
  • Metabolic signalling
  • Mutant plant analysis
  • Plant molecular genetics
  • Plant nitrogen metabolism
  • Plant molecular biology
  • Sugar sensing and signalling
  • Cellular signalling and protein interaction


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