Professor Forwood’s completed a BBiomedSc. (Hons I) at James Cook University and a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (Australian National University). He was awarded a University Medal in 1998 and the Frank Fenner Medal in 2002 for his PhD thesis. Since completing his PhD, he has undertaken postdoctoral research in industry (Bresagen Ltd., Adelaide University), and under an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship, conducted research at the Department of Structural Studies (LMB, MRC) in Cambridge (UK) for two years, followed by an additional two years at the University of Queensland. In 2007, he joined the School of Biomedical Sciences at Charles Sturt University to coordinate and lecture in Biochemistry. Since establishing an independent lab in 2007, Dr Forwood has secured >30 grants and various research awards. These include grants from the NIH (x2), NHMRC (x5), an ARC Future Fellowship, Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists Young Scientist Award, Centre for Inland Health Research Fellowship, NHRMC CJ Martin Fellowship, and Vice-Chancellors Award for Research Excellence.
Professor Forwoods research is focused on the structural and functional characterization of protein complexes involved in viral replication and immune evasion by blocking key nuclear transport processes. He has solved >100 protein structures using the Australian synchrotron, including structures of nuclear import receptors bound to HIV Tat, DENV and ZIKV NS5, MERS ORF4b, HeV and NiV W proteins, SOX2, and the RanGEF exchange factor. He has also determined structures of circovirus particles which unmask nuclear signal presentation upon switching between icosahedral and non-icosahedral symmetry. This latter research has provided a platform for vaccine development for the critically endangered Orange-bellied parrot (2018-19; funding from Australian Government Threatened Species Recovery Fund).