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Frances Separovic

Professor of Chemistry, The University of Melbourne

Frances Separovic is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Deputy Director of the Bio21 Institute and former Head of School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne.

Frances has a BA (Hons) in Math & Physics from Macquarie University and a PhD (Physics) from University of NSW. Her tertiary training in biology, mathematics and physics, provides a strong foundation for research in biophysical chemistry and (nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Her primary research interest is the determination of the structure and dynamics of membrane components in situ using solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Frances played a key role in the determination of the molecular structure of the antibiotic gramicidin A and the bee toxin melittin within phospholipid membranes. She is very active in the area of membrane biophysics and structural biology.

Frances is President-elect of the Biophysical Society, member of IUPAB Council, Division 1 member of IUPAC, a committee member of International Society for Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR); former President of Australian & New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance (ANZMAG), past-President of the Australian Society for Biophysics (ASB); and former treasurer of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and the Lorne Protein Conference.

Frances has organised over 45 major national and international conferences and published over 250 peer reviewed papers. Her contributions to biophysical chemistry and NMR have been recognized by awards including 2009 ASB Robertson Medal, 2011 ANZMAG Medal and 2019 RACI Margaret Sheil Leadership Award.

In 2012 she was elected a Fellow of the Biophysical Society, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and an ISMAR Fellow. Frances was named an IUPAC Distinguished Woman of Chemistry/Chemical Engineering in 2017, inducted in the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2018 and awarded an AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) in 2019.


  • 2017–present
    Deputy Director, Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne
  • 2019–present
    Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Melbourne
  • 2005–2019
    Professor of Chemistry, University of Melbourne


  • 1993 
    University of New South Wales, PhD


Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)