Researcher

Associate Professor W. Alexander Donald

My Expertise

Chemical analysis, mass spectrometry, ion chemistry, protein analysis

Keywords

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

W. Alexander Donald is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry at UNSW Sydney who is developing and applying analytical and mass spectrometry methodologies with an emphasis on problems in chemistry and biochemistry.

Graduate of University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D., 2010). Postdoctoral Fellow & Centenary Research Fellow, University of Melbourne (2010-2012). Lecturer, UNSW Sydney (2013). Senior Lecturer, UNSW Sydney (2016)....view more

W. Alexander Donald is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry at UNSW Sydney who is developing and applying analytical and mass spectrometry methodologies with an emphasis on problems in chemistry and biochemistry.

Graduate of University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D., 2010). Postdoctoral Fellow & Centenary Research Fellow, University of Melbourne (2010-2012). Lecturer, UNSW Sydney (2013). Senior Lecturer, UNSW Sydney (2016). Associate Professor, UNSW Sydney (2020). ARC Future Fellowship (2020). Scientia Associate Professor (2021).

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemists Prize for Young Chemists (2011). New South Wales Fresh Science Finalist (2013). ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (2013). Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry Michael Guilhaus Research Award (2015). RACI Physical Chemistry Division Lectureship (2016). RACI Analytical and Environmental Chemistry Division Peter W. Alexander Medal (2016). Emerging Investigator, Analytical Methods (2015), The Analyst (2016), and The Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (2017). Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry Bowie Medal (2019). The Analytical Scientist 2020 Power List (2020). ARC Future Fellowship (2020).

Vice President, Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry (2020-current). Past Chair, RACI NSW Analytical and Environmental Chemistry Group (2020-current). Treasurer, Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry (2016-2020). Chair, RACI NSW Analytical and Environmental Chemistry Group (2017-2020). Member, ANZSMS and RACI.


My Grants

WA Donald, Cracking post-translational modification codes in high molecular definition; ARC Future Fellowship; 2020-2023

AJ Trevitt, WA Donald, C Jouvet; New laser and mass spectrometry methods for detecting protonation isomers; ARC Discovery Projects; 2020-2022

WA Donald, CT Supuran; Ultrasensitive chemical analysis of single cells by mass spectrometry; ARC Discovery Project; 2019-2021

WA Donald, CT Supuran; Rapid, Ultra-sensitive Protein Structure Elucidation by Mass Spectrometry; ARC Discovery Project; 2016-2018

NSW Smart Sensing Network


My Research Activities

Mass spectrometry is a core enabling technology that is used in many emerging and existing scientific fields.  We are developing and applying experimental methods in mass spectrometry with an emphasis on fundamental and applied problems in chemistry and biochemistry.

Our current objectives are to:

  1. Significantly improve the rapid detection of organic molecules, biomarkers, and proteins with ultrahigh sensitivity by use of advanced ionization, ion mobility and tandem mass spectrometry methods
  2. Understand the molecular origins of cellular heterogeneity by developing novel single cell mass spectrometry methodologies
  3. Develop high-performance, portable ion spectrometers that operate at ambient pressure for the detection of many different chemicals nearly simultaneously
  4. Discover and explore the mechanisms of chemical reactions that are mediated by transition metal complexes and catalysts using ion-molecule reactions, ion fragmentation methods, and ion spectroscopy

Our research is highly interdisciplinary and we actively collaborate with other researchers in pharmacology & medicinal chemistry, protein engineering, bioinorganic chemistry, molecular biology, surface & materials chemistry, and electrical engineering. 

Selected Publications

1. Nguyen, G. T. H.; Tran, T. N.; Podgorski, M. N.; Bell, S. G.; Supuran, C. T.; Donald, W. A. Nanoscale ion emitters in native mass spectrometry for measuring ligand-protein binding affinities. ACS Central Science, 2019, 5, 308-318.

2. Winter, D. L.; Wilkins, M. R.; Donald, W. A. Differential ion mobility-mass spectrometry for detailed analysis of the proteome. Trends in Biotechnology, 2019, 37, 198-213.

3. Zenaidee, M. A.; Leeming, M. G.; Zhang, F.; Funston, T. T.; Donald, W. A. Highly charged protein ions: The strongest organic acids to date. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2017, 56, 8522-26 ("Very Important Paper").

4. Kabir, K. M. M.; Donald, W. A. Microscale differential ion mobility spectrometry for field deployable chemical analysis. Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 2017, 97, 399-427.

5. Dumlao, M. C.; Xiao, D.; Zhang, D.; Fletcher, J.; Donald, W. A. Effects of different waveforms on the performance of active capillary dielectric barrier discharge ionization mass spectrometry. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 2017, 28, 575-78 (Cover of Emerging Investigator Issue).

6. Leeming, M. G.; Donald, W. A.; O'Hair, R. A. J. Non-targeted identification of reactive metabolite protein adducts. Analytical Chemistry, 2017, 89, 5748-56.

7. Dumlao, M. C.; Jeffress, L. E.; Gooding, J. J.; Donald, W. A. Solid-phase microextraction low temperature plasma mass spectrometry for the direct and rapid analysis of chemical warfare simulants in complex mixtures. Analyst, 2016, 141, 3714-21 (Emerging Investigator Issue).

8. Leeming, M. G.; Isaac, A. P.; Pope, B. J.; Cranswick, N.; Wright, C. E.; Ziogas, J.; O'Hair, R. A. J.; Donald, W. A. High-Resolution Twin-Ion Metabolite Extraction (HiTIME) Mass Spectrometry: Nontargeted Detection of Unknown Drug Metabolites by Isotope Labeling, Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry, and Automated High-Performance Computing. Analytical Chemistry, 2015, 87, 4104-09.

9. Zenaidee, M. A.; Donald, W. A. Electron capture dissociation of extremely supercharged protein ions formed by electrospray ionisation. Analytical Methods, 2015, 7, 7132 (Emerging Investigator Issue).

10. Teo, C. A.; Donald, W. A. Solution Additives for Supercharging Proteins Beyond the Theoretical Maximum Proton-Transfer Limit in Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 2014, 86, 4455-62.


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Biophysical chemistry, mass spectrometry, bioanalytical chemistry, analytical chemistry


Currently supervising

Current group

Research Fellows and Postdocs:

Dr. K. M. Mohibul Kabir (DECRA Fellow; close collaborator)

Dr. Morphy Dumlao (with National Wine and Grape Industry Centre)

Dr. Giang Nguyen

PhD Students:

Ezaz Ahmed

Susannah Brown

Hyun Eui (Peter) Lee

Diana Zhang 

Phuong (Chi) Pham

Merryn Baker 

Suhyeon (Renee) Kwon

Alireza Mashouf

Mohammad Tajiki

Xiaojing Huang 

Masters-by-Research Student:

Qinwen Liu

Honours Students:

Jack Bennett 

Olivia Rusli

Anthony Tran (with Dr Mohibul Kabir)

 

Group Alumni

Postdoc, PhD and Masters:

Fon Kankaew (MSc graduate, 2020)

Liang Jiang (MSc graduate, 2020)

Giang Nguyen (PhD graduate, 2020)

Huixin Wang (PhD graduate, 2019)

Jordan Mastellone (MPhil graduate, 2019)

Muhammad A. Zenaidee (PhD graduate, 2019)

Panthipa Suwannakot (MSc graduate, 2019)

Peter Lee (MSc graduate, 2017)

Morphy Dumlao (PhD graduate, 2017)

Toby Mills (PhD graduate, 2017)

Dr. Fangtong Zhang (Postdoctoral research fellow, 2013-2015)

Honours:

Sherrie Liu (Honours student, 2019-2020)

Merryn Baker (Honours student, 2018)

Vickie Chan (Honours student, 2018)

Diana Zhang (Undergraduate student, 2016; Honours student, 2017)

Eric Foley (Undergraduate student, 2016; University medal for honours performance, 2017)

Susannah Brown (Undergraduate student, 2015; University medal for honours performance, 2016)

Chung Hong Chan (2016)

Laura Jeffress (2015)

Grace Yong (Undergraduate student, 2015; Honours student, 2015)

Edward Stephens (2015)

Sunny Xiong (2014)

Muhammad A. Zenaidee (2014)

Edward Jiang (2013)

Ann Teo (2013)

Lab Alumni (Undergraduate students)

Manatsu Nose (2020)

Monika Vesse (2020)

Sherrie Liu (2019)

Daniel Loo (2019)

Joe Harding (2018)

Denise de Meijer (2018, visiting praticum exchange student from Saxion University, Deventer, Netherlands)

Surabhi Naik (2016)

Natalie Coulton (2016)

Mohammed Al-Farsi (2015)

Toby Funston (2015)

Precilia Hermanto (2015)

MacKenzie Hagan (2014)

 


My Engagement

Editorial Activities:

Book editor, Advances in ion-mobility mass spectrometry: Fundamentals, instrumentation, and applications (Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 83; Elsevier, 2019)

Associate Editor (Handling Editor), Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry (2019-current)

Editorial Board, International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2018-current)

Editorial Board, Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents (2017-current)

Editorial Board, Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry (2017-current)

 

Professional Roles:

Vice president, Australian & New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry (2020-current)

Past chair, Royal Australian Chemical Institute NSW Analytical and Environmental Chemistry Group (2020-current)

Treasurer, Australian & New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry (2016-2020)

Chair, Royal Australian Chemical Institute NSW Analytical and Environmental Chemistry Group (2017-2020)

Chair-elect, Royal Australian Chemical Institute NSW Analytical and Environmental Chemistry Group (2015-17)

Management committee, NSW Smart Sensing Network (2016-17)

 

 


My Teaching

Course Coordinator and Lecturer, Analytical Chemistry: Essential Methods (Second Year Level, Terms 1 and 3)

Lecturer, Chemistry 1A (First Year Level, Term 3)

 

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Location

School of Chemistry
University of New South Wales
Science & Engineering Building (E8)
Office 601, Level 6
Kensington Campus
Sydney, NSW, 2052
Australia

Contact

+61-2-9065-9401
N/A

Publications

by Associate Professor W. Alexander Donald