We face incredible challenges in ensuring sufficient quality food and water resources for our future.

Join us to hear from leaders in the field of developing and researching technologies that will help us address these challenges.

This workshop addresses the study and engineering of a type of protein that is implicated in crop productivity and human health and is used to create water filters for astronauts.

Aquaporin’s are present in every Kingdom of life and they are famous for their water channel activity.

  • In plants aquaporin function is linked to productivity and environmental stress tolerance traits
  • In humans aquaporin function is important in a preventing a range of diseases and influencing cancer cell metastasis
  • In space astronauts rely on the function of aquaporins in filters that turn their waste water into clean drinking water

Researchers around the world are working on understanding aquaporin function and engineering these proteins to deliver biotechnological solutions to great challenges.

Participants will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge on aquaporin function, learn about aquaporin roles in biology and their application in boosting food and water security.

There are types of aquaporins that can function both as water and ion channels and this feature is associated with cancer cell movement in humans. In plants, changes in the regulation of ion-channel aquaporins can influence tolerance to environmental stresses, such as plant adaptability to drought and salinity. Aquaporins are used in technologies to make clean water from waste and generate energy.

With support from the Australia-Japan Foundation we would like to invite participants from all fields with an interest in physiological implications, regulation and characterization of aquaporins and the applications of engineering aquaporins.

The workshop will include plenary talks from the pioneers in the field of studying aquaporins.

Talks will also be selected from submitted abstracts and there will be talk slots dedicated to student and early career researcher talks.

Examples of workshop highlights include:

  • Discover new directions in technology development for water filtration from Aquaporin Asia’s Dr Sun Guofei. These technologies are used to purify astronaut waste water in space and can help us sure up our future water security on Earth.
  • Hear from Professor Steve Tyerman (University of Adelaide) and Professor Christophe Maurel (B&PMP, Montpellier) about the latest developments in controlling water relations, cell signaling and regulation of hydraulics in plants.
  • Learn about the link between aquaporin function and cancer cell metastasis and the discovery of aquaporin ion channel features from Professor Andrea Yool’s research (University of Adelaide).
  • Learn about the roles of aquaporins in influencing crop plant physiology from Professor Francois Chaumont’s research (UCLouvain, Belgium) on maize aquaporins, Professor Maki Katsuhara’s research (Okayama University) on barley aquaporins and A/Professor Tomoaki Horie’s work on rice aquaporins (Shinshu University).
  • Learn about imaging the movement of element isotopes to understand aquaporin function from Professsor Keitaro Tanoi and A/Professor Natsuko Kobayashi (University of Tokyo).
  • Build your knowledge in understanding how aquaporins help living cells tolerate osmotic stress and how we can use this information to create the biotechnologies of the future!


Time: TBC

Location: The Shine Dome

Price: Please see registration page: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/workshop-on-engineering-ion-channel-aquaporins-and-boosting-food-security-tickets-78557334101

Workshop registration includes:

  • Workshop Participation
  • Morning and afternoon tea and buffet lunch at the Shine Dome each day
  • Workshop dinner and drinks at the Shine Dome
  • Tours at the Research School of Biology (RSB) facilities
  • Conference wrap up drinks on Friday at an RSB venue
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Food and Water Security
Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 08:30 to Friday, May 15, 2020 - 17:00

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