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Dr Robert Russell

Dr Robert Russell
Dr Robert Russell
Research Biochemist & Asset Manager, National Deuteration Facility

Role at ANSTO

Dr Rob Russell is responsible for biomolecular deuteration within the National Deuteration Facility, and is leading the yeast expression group for deuteration of sterols and lipids. He contributes to the management of the NDF laboratories and equipment through an asset management framework.


Rob has expertise in the production of deuterated molecules from bacterial, fungal and algal systems. Expertise in the characterisation of these molecules includes mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy, Infrared microspectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography and small angle neutron scattering (SANS).

Rob undertakes capability development programs to improve the delivery of new and existing deuterated molecules for research and commercial users.


Rob joined ANSTO in 1997 working in Environmental Research investigating the role of microorganisms in mining, industrial and radionuclide interactions. He was also responsible for Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry analysis of biological matrices including crocodile bones, corals and cultured pearls.

Rob developed the capability for biodeuteration of microbial biopolymers and characterisation by SANS, with the newly-formed National Deuteration Facility in 2007.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Production of novel deuterated lipids from yeast, supporting research into drug delivery and vaccine development.
  • Ph.D. in polymer biodeuteration and nanocomposites (2018) from the University of New South Wales, Sydney.
  • Fermentation/biotechnology industry (1993-1996)
  • BSc. (Hons) in environmental microbiology, University of Sydney (1992)

Committees, Affiliations & memberships

  • Member, Royal Australian Chemical Society (MRACI CChem)
  • Organising Committee for the International Conference on Bio-Polymers (ISBP 2012), Cairns, Australia