Imagine curing obesity by eating fries made from genetically engineered potatoes, treating cancer by drinking a cup of tea or controlling chronic pain by swallowing sunflower seeds. It may sound fantastical, but UQ researchers are working on making it a reality.

This work has the potential to create change on a global scale through the provision of affordable pharmaceuticals that could have fewer side effects than current medications. Growing medicinal drugs in plants could improve the lives of people around the world in both developed and developing nations.

Global Leadership Series subscription packages now available.

Medicine may grow on trees from The University of Queensland on Vimeo.


 Professor David Craik
Professor David Craik
Professor David Craik is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at The University of Queensland and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He pioneered the study of cyclotides, small circular peptides from plants with potential as the basis of the next generation of medicines. Professor Craik’s contributions to medicinal and peptide chemistry have been recognized by numerous awards. Those made in recent years include the 2011 Hirschmann Award from the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, the Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research (2014), the GSK Award for Research Excellence (2014), one of the most prestigious awards available to the Australian medical research community, and the Vincent du Vigneaud Award of the American Peptide Society (2015). The Vincent du Vigneaud Award is rarely awarded outside the U.S. and Professor Craik is the only Australian scientist, indeed the only scientist outside of North America and Europe, to ever receive it. He obtained his PhD in organic chemistry from La Trobe University in Melbourne and undertook postdoctoral studies at Florida State and Syracuse Universities before returning to Australia to a faculty position at the Victorian College of Pharmacy. He moved to UQ in 1995.
 Dr Sonia Henriques
Dr Sónia Henriques
Dr Sónia Henriques is a prolific and highly cited molecular biophysicist at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at The University of Queensland. She has made significant international contributions to her field, including the design of drug candidates with antimicrobial and anticancer properties. She completed her PhD in March 2008 in molecular biophysics at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and has since gone on to establish an impressive research career in Australia and overseas. Since 2005, Dr Henriques has published 29 original research articles, seven major reviews and four book chapters. She has also received five highly competitive fellowships, the most recent of which was a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council.


About Global Leadership Series

The Global Leadership Series (GLS) is a lively program of events for alumni and community members. Join us for lectures and discussions with the best of the best UQ-related speakers on matters that impact your community and shape your ideas of the world.

The series is an opportunity for you to engage with great minds on global matters, participate in thought-provoking discussions and network with UQ alumni and community members. All alumni, parents, community members and friends are welcome to attend the Global Leadership Series events.

Listen to podcasts of previous GLS events click here

$25.00 per person


Customs House, 399 Queen St, Brisbane