Dr Merridee Wouters

Senior Research Associate
Medicine & Health
School of Clinical Medicine

Research Interests:
After graduating in physics, I worked for a year as a clinical physicist in radiotherapy at the Queensland Radium Institute. During this period I became convinced of the need for molecular therapies for cancer. I completed a PhD in bioinformatics in the School of Physics at UNSW. This work investigated structural interactions in proteins and eventually became a passion to understand proteins as machines. My current work focuses on analysis of data from multiple omics platforms to enable precision medicine approaches to diagnosis and therapeutics.

Prior computational work focused on two major projects in genetics and thiol-based redox signalling.

The Gentrepid candidate gene prediction project uses data in biological database to prioritize genes underlying inherited diseases.

My work in thiol-based redox signalling aims to understand redox switches in proteins. It uses bioinformatic and computational chemistry techniques to differentiate structural and redox-active disulfides and characterize the function of redox-active disulfides.

Broad Research Areas:
Cancer Omics, Molecular Structure & Drug Design, Genetics - Genome Analysis


Society Memberships & Professional Activities:

Specific Research Keywords:
Bioinformatics, Cancer Omics, Protein Structure Modelling, Computational Biology, Oxidative stress, Candidate Gene Prediction

  • Journal articles | 2020
    Poulos RC; Hains PG; Shah R; Lucas N; Xavier D; Manda SS; Anees A; Koh JMS; Mahboob S; Wittman M; Williams SG; Sykes EK; Hecker M; Dausmann M; Wouters MA; Ashman K; Yang J; Wild PJ; deFazio A; Balleine RL; Tully B; Aebersold R; Speed TP; Liu Y; Reddel RR; Robinson PJ; Zhong Q, 2020, 'Strategies to enable large-scale proteomics for reproducible research', Nature Communications, 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17641-3
    Journal articles | 2020
    Young ND; Harris TJ; Evangelista M; Tran S; Wouters MA; Soares da Costa TP; Kershaw NJ; Gasser RB; Smith BJ; Lee EF; Fairlie WD, 2020, 'Diversity in the intrinsic apoptosis pathway of nematodes', Communications Biology, 3, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01208-5
    Journal articles | 2019
    Haworth NL; Wouters MJ; Hunter MO; Ma L; Wouters MA, 2019, 'Cross-strand disulfides in the hydrogen bonding site of antiparallel β-sheet (aCSDhs): Forbidden disulfides that are highly strained, easily broken', Protein Science, 28, pp. 239 - 256, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pro.3545
    Journal articles | 2019
    Li Y; Wang W; Wang T; Wouters MA; Yin Y; Jiao Z; Ma L; Zhang F, 2019, 'Regulation through MicroRNAs in Response to Low-Energy N + Ion Irradiation in Oryza sativa', Radiation Research, 191, pp. 189 - 200, http://dx.doi.org/10.1667/RR15125.1
    Journal articles | 2018
    Eissmann MF; Dijkstra C; Wouters MA; Baloyan D; Mouradov D; Nguyen PM; Davalos-Salas M; Putoczki TL; Sieber OM; Mariadason JM; Ernst M; Masson F, 2018, 'Interleukin 33 signaling restrains sporadic colon cancer in an interferon-g–dependent manner', Cancer Immunology Research, 6, pp. 409 - 421, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-17-0218
    Journal articles | 2017
    Mohanasundaram KA; Grover MP; Crowley TM; Goscinski A; Wouters MA, 2017, 'Mapping genotype–phenotype associations of nsSNPs in coiled-coil oligomerization domains of the human proteome', Human Mutation, 38, pp. 1378 - 1393, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23252
    Journal articles | 2015
    Bouveret R; Waardenberg AJ; Schonrock N; Ramialison M; Doan T; de jong D; Bondue A; Kaur G; Mohamed S; Fonoudi H; Chen CM; Wouters MA; Bhattacharya S; Plachta N; Dunwoodie SL; Chapman G; Blanpain C; Harvey RP, 2015, 'NKX2-5 mutations causative for congenital heart disease retain functionality and are directed to hundreds of targets', eLife, 4, pp. e06942, http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06942
    Journal articles | 2015
    Haworth NL; Wouters MA, 2015, 'Cross-strand disulfides in the non-hydrogen bonding site of antiparallel β-sheet (aCSDns): poised for biological switching', RSC Advances, 5, pp. 86303 - 86321, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5ra10672a
    Journal articles | 2015
    Mohanasundaram KA; Haworth NL; Grover MP; Crowley TM; Goscinski A; Wouters MA, 2015, 'Potential role of glutathione in evolution of thiol-based redox signaling sites in proteins', Frontiers in Pharmacology, 6, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2015.00001
    Journal articles | 2014
    Ballouz S; Liu JY; Oti M; Gaeta B; Fatkin D; Bahlo M; Wouters MA, 2014, 'Candidate disease gene prediction using : application to a genome-wide association study on coronary artery disease', Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine, 2, pp. 44 - 57, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.40
    Journal articles | 2013
    Ballouz S; Liu JY; George RA; Bains N; Liu A; Oti M; Gaeta B; Fatkin D; Wouters MA, 2013, 'Gentrepid V2.0: A web server for candidate disease gene prediction', BMC Bioinformatics, 14, pp. 249, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2105-14-249
    Journal articles | 2013
    Haworth NL; Wouters MA, 2013, 'Between-strand disulfides: Forbidden disulfides linking adjacent β-strands', RSC Advances, 3, pp. 24680 - 24705, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c3ra42486c
    Journal articles | 2007
    Pang CN; Lin K; Wouters MA; Heringa J; George RA, 2007, 'Identifying foldable regions in protein sequence from the hydrophobic signal', Nucl. Acids Res., 36, pp. 578 - 588, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkm1070
    Journal articles | 2006
    Haworth NL; Feng LL; Wouters MA, 2006, 'High torsional energy disulfides: Relationship between cross-strand disulfides and right-handed staples', Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, 4, pp. 155 - 168, http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0219720006001734
    Journal articles | 2003
    Wouters MA; Liu K; Riek P; Husain A, 2003, 'A despecialization step underlying evolution of a family of serine proteases', Molecular Cell, 12, pp. 343 - 354, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1097-2765(03)00308-3
    Journal articles | 2001
    Liu X; Fernandez M; Wouters MA; Heyberger S; Husain A, 2001, 'Arg1098 Is Critical for the Chloride Dependence of Human Angiotensin I-converting Enzyme C-domain Catalytic Activity', Journal of Biological Chemistry, 276, pp. 33518 - 33525, http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M101495200
  • Conference Papers | 2014
    Grover MP; Ballouz S; Mohanasundaram KA; George RA; Goscinski A; Crowley TM; Sherman CDH; Wouters MA, 2014, 'Novel therapeutics for coronary artery disease from genome-wide association study data', in BMC Medical Genomics, Springer Nature, PEOPLES R CHINA, Qingdao, pp. s1, presented at 4th Annual Translational Bioinformatics Conference (TBC) / 8th International Conference on Systems Biology (ISB), PEOPLES R CHINA, Qingdao, 24 October 2014 - 27 October 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1755-8794-8-S2-S1
    Conference Presentations | 2013
    Grover MP; Ballouz S; Mohanasundaram KA; George RA; H Sherman CD; Crowley TM; Wouters MA, 2013, 'Identification of novel therapeutics for complex diseases from genome-wide association data', presented at 3rd Annual Translational Bioinformatics Conference (TBC) / ISCB-Asia, SOUTH KOREA, Seoul, 02 October 2013 - 04 October 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1755-8794-7-S1-S8
    Conference Papers | 2011
    Hulugalle DV; Haworth NL; Ballouz S; Liu JY; Fan SW; Wouters MA, 2011, 'The Association Between Zn Fingers and Forbidden Disulfide Motifs', in FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, GA, Atlanta, pp. S21 - S21, presented at 18th Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Free-Radical-Biology-and-Medicine (SFRBM), GA, Atlanta, 16 November 2011 - 20 November 2011, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.10.047
    Conference Papers | 2011
    Hulugalle DVK; Haworth NL; Ballouz S; Liu JY; Fan SW; Wouters MA, 2011, 'Potential Role of Forbidden Disulfides in Zn Signalling', in BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, CELL PRESS, MD, Baltimore, pp. 56 - 56, presented at 55th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical-Society, MD, Baltimore, 05 March 2011 - 09 March 2011, https://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000306288600288&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
    Conference Papers | 2010
    Fan SW; George RA; Haworth NL; Feng LL; Liu JY; Wouters MA, 2010, 'Conformational Transitions Associated with Different Redox States of Di-Thiol Pairs', in BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, CELL PRESS, pp. 444A - 444A, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2009.12.2413
    Conference Papers | 2010
    Hulugalle DV; Haworth NL; Ballouz S; Liu JY; Fan SW; Wouters MA, 2010, 'The Association Between Zn Fingers and Forbidden Disulfide Motifs', in FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, FL, Orlando, pp. S130 - S131, presented at 17th Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Free-Radical-Biology-Medicine /15th Biennial Meeting of the Society-for-Free-Radical-Research-International, FL, Orlando, 17 November 2010 - 21 November 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2010.10.358
    Conference Papers | 2009
    Fan SW; George RA; Haworth NL; Feng LL; Liu JY; Wouters MA, 2009, 'Conformational Transitions Of Disordered Proteins Associated With Different Redox States Of Di-thiol Pairs', in BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, CELL PRESS, pp. 74A - 74A, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2008.12.281