Aquaporin Physiology and Drug Discovery Program

The dual water and ion channels known as aquaporins (AQPs) are found in all forms of life, from bacteria to vertebrates. They play key roles in water balance and fluid homeostasis across cell membranes. 

The Aquaporin Physiology and Drug Discovery laboratory aims to define the molecular basis of AQP function, understand the roles of AQPs in physiological systems, and build a definitive portfolio of AQP antagonist and agonist compounds as tools for basic research and clinical innovation.  

Our work over the past two decades has challenged the assumptions about AQP function, leading to the existence of new knowledge of AQPs as ion channels, and as osmotic water channels. We have defined the first library of pharmacological agents in the world and are now working with traditional Chinese and Indian medicinal herbs, as well as testing potentially powerful dual therapies for blocking cell migration.  

Our findings offer exciting translational opportunities for clinical intervention in cancer metastasis and other fluid transport disorders. Our drug agents are currently being tested in collaborative projects in Australia, Europe and the United States of America.

  • Lead researcher

    Professor Andrea Yool

    Professor Andrea Yool is a Professor of Physiology at the University of Adelaide. She obtained her PhD from the University of California Santa Barbara and held joint academic appointments in Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the University of Arizona. In 2007 she moved to Australia as Professor and Head of the Department of Physiology at the University of Adelaide. She is currently a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts, and Associate Editor for Frontiers in Pharmacology.

  • Research team

    Research team


    Professor Andrea Yool

    Lead researcher

    Dr Sam Henderson

    Postdoctoral researcher

    Zein Amro

    PhD candidate

    Pak Hin (Jeffrey) Chow

    PhD candidate

    Sidra Khan

    PhD candidate

    Biko Kahare Muita

    PhD candidate

    Saeed Nourmohammadi

    PhD candidate

    Alanah Varricchio

    PhD candidate

    Kim Wagner

    PhD candidate

  • Partnerships

    • Dr Osheiza Abdulmalik, Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania
    • Prof David Adelson, University of Adelaide
    • Dr Simon Wade Baxter, University of Melbourne
    • Dr Caitlin Byrt, Australian National University
    • Prof François Chaumont, Université Catholique de Louvain
    • A/Prof Lyndsey Collins-Praino, University of Adelaide
    • Prof Olivier Devuyst, University of Zurich
    • Dr Jennifer Hardingham, Basel Hetzel Research Institute
    • Prof Boris Martinac, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
    • Dr Jinxin (Victor) Pei, Australian National University
    • Dr Sunita Ramesh, Flinders University
    • Dr Carmela Ricciardelli, University of Adelaide
    • Dr Katarina Richter, Basel Hetzel Research Institute
    • Prof Steve Tyerman, University of Adelaide
  • Related areas of research

Interested in a postgraduate research degree?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.

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