Associate Professor Peter Moyle

Associate Professor

School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 334 61869


Dr Moyle’s laboratory ( uses cutting edge technologies for the synthesis of peptides, protein expression, and protein semi-synthesis to gain insights into the functional roles played by various biochemical pathways, to engineer better protein and peptide therapeutics, and to improve the delivery characteristics of various therapeutic molecules. Specific current areas of interest are detailed below:

  1. Subunit Vaccine Development: methods to develop improved vaccines through the combination of recombinant and synthetic approaches to improve immunopotency and tailor immune responses (links to reseach articles on semisynthetic vaccines and peptide vaccines; reviews on vaccine development).
  2. Oligonucleotide Delivery Systems: multi-component synthetic approaches to improve the cellular uptake, and targeted delivery of various oligonucleotide molecules (e.g. siRNA and pDNA) as an exciting approach to treat or prevent various diseases (links to research articles and reviews).
  3. Deciphering the Roles of Post-Translational Modifications: The combination of peptide synthesis and protein semisynthesis to enable the production of large amounts of site-specifically modified species, that can be used to deconvolute the roles played by various post-translational modifications (links to research articles).
  4. Peptide/Protein Drugs and Delivery: The study of methods to improve the delivery characteristics of peptide/protein drugs (e.g. poor oral absorption, instability to chemical/enzymatic degradation, and the inability to reach their site/s of action) through chemical engineering approaches.
  5. New Approaches for Superbugs: the development of antivirulence approaches, and formulations, which reduce the ability for microbes to cause disease, and make them more readily treated with antimicrobials, by providing access to synergistic combinations, and reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance.

Information for Potential Students:

The Moyle lab considers applications from potential students and postdoctoral fellows with an interest in: i) infection control (including subunit vaccine and antimicrobial development); ii) delivery systems for peptide therapeutics; iii) targeted delivery systems; iv) studying the function of posttranslational modifications; and v) delivery systems for oligonucleotide therapeutics (e.g. siRNA, shRNA, miRNA). If you are interested in working in any of these areas please feel free to contact Dr Moyle ( Please ensure that you supply an up to date CV; describe why you would like to work in the Moyle lab; provide a listing of publications (preferably with impact factors and citation counts); and indicate what skills you would bring to the lab. Detailed information on our laboratory is available at Preference will be given to students and postdoctoral fellows who have their own funding.

Dr Moyle Biosketch:

Dr Moyle (H-index 27, 2022 citations; 92 publications; 19/12/2022; Google Scholar, ORCID, ResearcherID, and Publons profiles) received a PhD (Dec 2006) and a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons I) (Dec 2001) from The University of Queensland (UQ); graduated from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia pre-registration pharmacist-training course (Nov 2002); and is registered with the Pharmacy Board of Australia. He currently works as an Associate Professor in the UQ School of Pharmacy, where he has been based since 2014.

Dr Moyle works in the fields of medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, and drug formulation, investigating subunit vaccine development, outcomes associated with histone post-translational modifications, and methods to improve the delivery characteristics of oligonucleotide (e.g. siRNA and pDNA), peptide, and protein therapeutics. During his PhD, Dr Moyle developed methods that enabled the synthesis of pure, lipid adjuvanted peptide vaccines, using advanced chemical ligation techniques. In addition, the conjugation of mannose to combined prophylactic/therapeutic human papillomavirus type-16 vaccines, to target dendritic cells, was demonstrated to significantly improve vaccine anti-tumour activity. This work, conducted with leading researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (Prof Michael Good & Dr Colleen Olive), established Dr Moyle’s national and international profile in the field of vaccine development, resulting in 11 peer reviewed papers, including top journals in the field (J Med Chem; J Org Chem), as well as 6 review articles and 2 invited book chapters.

Dr Moyle undertook his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of one of the world’s premier chemical biologists, Professor Tom Muir (the Rockefeller University, NY, USA; now at Princeton University, NJ, USA). During this time he developed an extensive knowledge of techniques for protein expression, bioconjugation, bioassays, and proteomics, which represent an essential skill set required for this proposal. As part of this work, Dr Moyle developed novel synthetic routes to generate site-specific ADP-ribose conjugated peptides and proteins. This research was hailed as a major breakthrough in the field, leading to several collaborations, and an exemplary publication in the prestigious chemistry journal JACS. This vast body of work identified the enzyme (PARP10) responsible for mono-ADP-ribosylation of histone H2B, and demonstrated interactions between this modification and several proteins, including BAL, which is associated with B cell lymphomas. In addition, a number of robust chemical methods were developed to enable the synthesis of a complete library of methyl-arginine containing histones, which were incorporated into synthetic chemically-defined chromatin to investigate the site-specific effects of arginine methylation on histone acetylation. This work led to a collaboration with colleagues at Rockefeller to investigate the effects of histone arginine methylation on transcription.


Dr Moyle teaches into the following subjects in the UQ School of Pharmacy.

  • PHRM3011 (Quality Use of Medicines) - course coordinator
  • PHRM4021 (Integrated Pharmaceutical Development)
  • PHRM3021 (Dosage Form Design)
  • PHRM2040 (Drug Discovery)


2016 - Health and Behavioural Sciences (HABS) faculty commendation for Early Career Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (ECCOSL)

2015 - ChemMedChem top 10 cited article of 2013 (link)

2014 - Highest ranked NHMRC development grant (2013; APP1074899)

2013 - Institute for Molecular Biology (IMB) Division of Chemistry and Structural Biology Prize

Research Interests

  • Peptide delivery systems
    The use of peptides as drugs may suffer from issues including poor oral absorption, instability to chemical/enzymatic degradation, and an inability to reach their site of action. Using chemical techniques we can improve the stability, targeting, circulation time, potency, etc of peptide-based therapeutics. We are currently interested in improving the delivery and stability characteristics of peptide-based therapeutics for diabetes (e.g. GLP-1 and GIP).
  • siRNA, shRNA, microRNA, pDNA delivery systems
    Using peptide-based approaches to develop targeted, non-toxic systems to enhance the delivery of oligonucleotide therapeutics to their tissue, cellular and intracellular sites of action.
  • Vaccine development
    We focus on the development on methods to develop improved subunit vaccine formulations against neglected diseases, and diseases for which current vaccine formulations are not ideal. Our recent focus has been on Group A Streptococcus, which is responsible for diseases ranging from a sore throat through to heart and kidney damage, and the flesh eating disease necrotising fasciitis. We also focus on technologies that enable the site specific incorporation of potent vaccine adjuvants into protein, peptide, and carbohydrate-based antigens.
  • Protein semisynthesis/engineering
    We are interested in modern techniques for the engineering of proteins are therapeutic or diagnostic molecules, including their roles as tools to probe the functions of biochemical pathways. We use modern techniques for gene assembly (e.g. SLIC, Gibson assembly), combined with codon optimisation, optimised expression systems, and purification technologies.
  • Deciphering the functional roles of post-translational modifications
    Using protein semisynthesis to produce highly pure, site-specifically post-translationally modified (e.g. ADP-ribose, methyl, phosphoryl, acetyl) proteins, which can be applied to biochemical assays to accurately determine their function, and the identity of any interacting species.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor, The University of Queensland


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  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

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Available Projects

  • Dr Moyle is interested in taking on students with an interest in i) subunit vaccine development, ii) delivery systems for peptide therapeutics, iii) studying the function of post-translational modifications, iv) protein engineering, v) delivery systems for siRNA/shRNA/microRNA. If you are interested in working on any of these areas please contact Dr Moyle.

View all Available Projects


Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Moyle, Peter Michael (2015). Progress in vaccine development. Current Protocols in Microbiology. (pp. 18.1.1-18.1.26) edited by Richard Coico. Hoboken, NJ, United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9780471729259.mc1801s36

  • Jackson, David C., Chua, Brendon Y., Brown, Lorena E., Moyle, Peter and Toth, Istvan (2010). Lipopeptide-based vaccines. New generation vaccines. (pp. 315-326) edited by Myron M. Levine. New York, U.S.A.; London, U.K.: Informa Healthcare. doi: 10.3109/9781420060744-32

  • Simerska, Pavla, Moyle, Peter M., Olive, Colleen and Toth, Istvan (2009). Strategies in oral immunization. Oral Delivery of Macromolecular Drugs: Barriers, Strategies and Future Trends. (pp. 195-222) edited by Bernkop-Schnurch, Andreas. New York, United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-0200-9_11

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Dr Moyle is interested in taking on students with an interest in i) subunit vaccine development, ii) delivery systems for peptide therapeutics, iii) studying the function of post-translational modifications, iv) protein engineering, v) delivery systems for siRNA/shRNA/microRNA. If you are interested in working on any of these areas please contact Dr Moyle.