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Frances Separovic AO FAA

Professor of Chemistry, The University of Melbourne

Frances Separovic is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and former Head of School of Chemistry and Deputy Director of the Bio21 Institute, 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 expertise is in biophysical chemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, with particular application in the areas of membrane biophysics and structural biology.

Her primary research interest is the determination of the structure and dynamics of membrane components in situ using solid-state NMR spectroscopy, with a focus on the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides.

Frances is past President of the Biophysical Society, Science Board member of International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), a committee member of International Society for Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR); and was a member of IUPAB Council, President of Australian & New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance (ANZMAG), President of the Australian Society for Biophysics (ASB), and treasurer of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and the Lorne Protein Conference.

Frances has organised over 50 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, awarded an AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) in 2019, and received the Rosalba Kampman Distinguished Service Award of the Biophysical Society in 2024.


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