Siew Siew obtained her Honours degree (Class I) and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Queensland. Her research interests include protein structure and function, enzymology and structure-based drug design. She has worked with and solved the crystal structures of a number of proteins, including acetohydroxyacid synthase (a commercial herbicide target enzyme) and pre-T cell receptor (involved in T cell development). In addition, she has worked in the drug discovery industry (Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, Singapore) for a number of years and has experiences in drug discovery and early clinical trials. Her research work resulted in more than twenty research articles, including a recent first author Nature paper (Pang et al., 2010).
Her current project focuses on the study of the first component (C1) of the complement system using X-ray crystallography and other structural biology techniques. The complement system is central to the human innate immune system. C1 is a multi-subunit protein complex that initiates the first step of the classical complement system by recognizing and binding to antibody-tagged antigens. The project will provide understanding into how C1 functions, as well as reveal new therapeutic approaches to prevent unwanted C1 activation in diseases.