Researcher biography

Dr Ben Ross is a chemist with interests in medicinal chemistry, computer-aided drug design, virtual screening, synthetic chemistry, enzyme inhibitors, ion channel modulators, antivirals, amyloid diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.

Follow Dr Ben Ross and his team on Twitter: @RossChemLab ||| Google Scholar: Benjamin P. Ross ||| ResearcherID: A-9573-2012 ||| ORCID: 0000-0002-1899-8484 ||| Scopus Author ID:7401608823 ||| Group Web Page:

Research Interests

The main focus of Dr Ben Ross's research is the application of computer-aided drug design and synthetic chemistry to create new drug candidates for cancer, viral infections, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. His team's novel molecules are evaluated using a variety of biochemical, biophysical, and cell-based screening assays, as well as animal models of disease, both within their lab and in partnership with local and international collaborators. Consideration of drug-likeness is an integral part of the design process, since good ADMET properties are crucial for their molecules to reach the clinic.


Ben Ross graduated with a First-Class Honours Degree in Chemistry (1999) and then moved to the UQ School of Pharmacy where he gained a Doctorate in the field of Medicinal Chemistry (2004). He worked in the School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Dr Ross McGeary for two years (2004-2006) during which he completed the synthesis of a variety of biologically useful molecules. In June 2006 Ben was appointed to a Lectureship within the UQ School of Pharmacy. In the first half of 2012 he was a Guest Researcher in the Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Lund University, Sweden. In 2013 Ben was promoted to Senior Lecturer at UQ. A general theme of his research is medicinal chemistry, specifically the application of synthetic chemistry and molecular modeling to discover novel molecules with application as drugs or tools for research. Ben's team has published extensively in journals having a moderate-to-high impact factor in their specialised area of research (e.g. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Nanoscale, Food Chemistry).

Selected Primary Research Articles

Bifunctional Succinylated ε-Polylysine Coated Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for pH-Responsive and Intracellular Drug Delivery Targeting the Colon. C.T.H. Nguyen, R.I. Webb, L.K. Lambert, E. Strounina, E.C. Lee, M.-O. Parat, M.A. McGuckin, A. Popat, P.J. Cabot, B.P. Ross*. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017, 9, 9470-9483. doi:10.1021/acsami.7b00411 (2016 JIF 7.5, Quartile 1)

Discovery and Structure-Activity Relationships of a Highly Selective Butyrylcholinesterase Inhibitor by Structure-Based Virtual Screening. S.N. Dighe, G.S. Deora, E. De la Mora, F. Nachon, S. Chan, M.-O. Parat, X. Brazzolotto*, B.P. Ross*. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2016, 59, 7683-7689. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00356 (Featured on the front cover of the journal: (2016 JIF 6.3, Quartile 1)

GAG mimetic functionalised solid and mesoporous silica nanoparticles as viral entry inhibitors of herpes simplex type 1 and type 2 viruses. E.C. Lee, N. Davis-Poynter*, C.T.H. Nguyen, A.A. Peters, G.R. Monteith, E. Strouina, A. Popat*, B.P. Ross*. Nanoscale 2016, 8, 16192-16196. doi:10.1039/C6NR03878F (2016 JIF 7.4, Quartile 1)

Metal chelation, radical scavenging and inhibition of Aβ42 fibrillation by food constituents in relation to Alzheimer's disease. S. Chan, S. Kantham, V.M. Rao, M.K. Palanivelu, H.L. Pham, P.N. Shaw, R.P. McGeary, B.P. Ross*. Food Chemistry 2016, 199, 185-194. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.11.118 (2016 JIF 4.5, Quartile 1)

"Click" Assembly of Glycoclusters and Discovery of a Trehalose Analogue that Retards Aβ40 Aggregation and Inhibits Aβ40-induced Neurotoxicity. H. Rajaram, M.K. Palanivelu, T.V. Arumugam, V.M. Rao, P.N. Shaw, R.P. McGeary, B.P. Ross*. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2014, 24, 4523-4528. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2014.07.077 (2014 JIF 2.4, Quartile 3)

Enzyme-Responsive Controlled Release of Covalently Bound Prodrug from Functional Mesoporous Silica Nanospheres. A. Popat, B.P. Ross, J.Liu, S. Jambhrunkar, F. Kleitz*, S.Z. Qiao*. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2012, 51, 12486-12489. doi:10.1002/anie.201206416 (2010 JIF 13.7, Quartile 1)

PhD vacancies - PhD opportunities

Australian and international students with backgrounds in chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmacy are encouraged to contact Dr Ben Ross to discuss possible Honours or PhD projects and scholarships.

Sources of funding include: UQ Scholarships; NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships; Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships; Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Scholarships; Ministry of Education Saudi Arabia; and the China Scholarship Council (CSC), as well as many other funding schemes. Contact Dr Ben Ross via email to discuss the best strategy to obtain a scholarship.

Teaching and Service Activities

Dr Ben Ross is the Research Higher Degrees Coordinator for the School of Pharmacy, and an Academic Advisor for Year 2 of the BPharm(Hons) program. He also coordinates and teaches within the following undergraduate BPharm(Hons) courses:

PHRM2021 Dosage Form Design A1;

PHRM2022 Dosage Form Design A2;

PHRM2040 Drug Discovery A1;

PHRM2041 Drug Discovery A2 - Course Coordinator;

PHRM3021 Dosage Form Design B1.