Garth Maker  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Dr Garth Maker
    BSc (Hons), PhD

    Associate Professor of Biochemistry

    About me

    I completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Marine and Biological Sciences in 2002, and then completed my PhD in Biochemistry. I have been on the staff at Murdoch since 2007, and am currently Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the discipline of Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences, and a member of the Centre for Computational and Systems Medicine.

    My research focuses on the application of the advanced technologies of mass spectrometry and metabolomics to the study of biochemistry and toxicology. My main research interest is the quality and safety of herbal medicines and supplements. In particular, we are working to better determine the composition of these products, to understand how they may influence consumer health. I am also interested in developing new in vitro models for toxicology studies (e.g. pesticides) and better understanding the biochemistry of important diseases such as sepsis.

    My aim in teaching is to integrate students’ understanding of biochemistry with these cutting-edge research skills. In particular, I am committed to training students in advanced analytical biochemistry and toxicology, and ‘omics’ technologies.

    Teaching area

    My teaching expertise is in the areas of biochemistry and toxicology, including analytical applications. At undergraduate level, I coordinate and teach units in biochemistry and toxicology. At postgraduate level, I previously coordinated and taught three units in pharmaceutical chemistry. I have also taught in a range of other areas including molecular biology, microbiology and physiology, as well as a number of professional courses in mass spectrometry and metabolomics.

    I currently teach:
    BIO247 Biochemistry
    BIO367 Forensic Toxicology
    BIO390 Metabolic & Cellular Biochemistry
    VLS683 Advanced Research Methods for Scientists

    Research areas

    My research focuses on the application of metabolomics and mass spectrometry to the study of biochemistry and toxicology. Using these advanced techniques, we can study hundreds of metabolites and entire biochemical pathways in a single analysis. My main area of interest is the safety of herbal medicines and supplements.

    Applied to biomedical science, we can look for biomarkers which will allow us to detect disease earlier; we can study how the body changes as a disease progresses; and we can identify new targets for treating disease. I also have substantial expertise in the analysis of other small molecules, such as pharmaceuticals and other drugs. Through the application of the latest mass spectrometry techniques, I can develop quick and efficient methods for pre-clinical and clinical studies.

    Current projects

    1. Herbal medicine and supplement safety
    Herbal medicines and supplements continue to increase in popularity, but there are numerous potential safety issues, including poor quality products, adulteration and contamination and toxic ingredients. By applying mass spectrometry and metabolomic analysis, we are profiling the composition of these products and developing new tools that can be used for regulatory analysis. We are also beginning to investigate the toxicology of popular products such as green tea extract.

    2. In vitro toxicology
    We are also using metabolomics to study the response of cultured cells to stress. These include neuronal cells, the primary component of the nervous system, and liver cells. This system will allow us to better understand how these cells respond to toxins such as illicit drugs (e.g. methamphetamine) and food/environmental contaminants (e.g. pesticides). We will then be able to determine which treatments could be used to prevent or reverse the damage that is caused.

    3. Biochemistry of sepsis
    Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused when the body overreacts to an infection or other challenge. The pathology of sepsis is complicated, as is diagnosis and treatment. By applying metabolomic analysis to this condition, we hope to better understand the biochemistry involved, providing the potential for new diagnostic tests and treatment options.

    Awards and grants


    2014                NHMRC Project Grant ($470,000)

    2011                McCusker Foundation Early Career Research Grant ($60,000)



    2016                Young Tall Poppy Science Award

    2014                VLS Award for Innovative Research by an Early Career Academic

    2008                Murdoch Veterinary Trust Award for the Advancement of Animal Welfare
    (inaugural winners)

    Events and speaking engagements

    My most recent conference presentation was a keynote address at Metabolomics 2017 in Brisbane. Previously, my work has been presented at a range of international conferences, including the American Society of Mass Spectrometry, Metabolomics and Mass Spectrometry Applications to the Clinical Laboratory.

    Professional and community service

    Academic Chair – Forensic Biology & Toxicology

    Member of Academic Council

    Member of University Research Committee

    Chair of NHMRC grant review panel – Early Career Fellowships

    National academic calibrator for the IRU group

    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    I currently supervise seven PhD students at various stages of their projects. If any of them are reading this, get back to work!

    Current students
    Elly Crighton – Herbal medicine safety
    Sarah Hayton – In vitro toxicology
    Benjamin Hunter – Sepsis and iron regulation
    Sherrianne Ng – Neonatal sepsis
    Monique Ryan – Wound healing in burns
    Adam King – Metabolomics methods development
    Ashley Nolan – Protein markers of decomposition

    Recent PhD completions
    Hayley Abbiss
    Nathan Lawler
    Faizal Manaf
    Josephine Ng



    • Plumb, R., Gethings, L., King, N., Mullin, S., Maker, G., Trengove, R., Wilson, R., (2021), Hybrid organic/inorganic hybrid surface technology for increasing the performance of LC/MS(MS)-based drug metabolite identification studies: Application to gefitinib and metabolites in mouse plasma and urine, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 200, , .
    • Hoban, C., Musgrave, I., Byard, R., Nash, C., Farrington, R., Maker, G., Crighton, E., Bunce, M., Coghlan, M., (2020), Combined Liquid Chromatography‑mass Spectrometryand Next‑generation DNA Sequencing Detection of Adulterants and Contaminants in Analgesic and Anti‑inflammatory Herbal Medicines, Pharmaceutical Medicine, 34, 1, pages 49 - 61.
    • Manaf, F., Peiffer, J., Maker, G., Fairchild, T., (2020), Branched-chain amino acid supplementation improves cycling performance in untrained cyclists, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 24, , pages 412 - 417.
    • Randhir, A., Laird, D., Maker, G., Trengove, R., Moheimani, N., (2020), Microalgae: A potential sustainable commercial source of sterols, Algal Research: biology, biomass and biofuels, 46, , pages 101772 -.
    • Nolan, A., Maker, G., Mead, R., Bringans, S., Speers, S., (2020), Peptide analysis of mammalian decomposition fluid in relation to the post-mortem interval, Forensic Science International, 311, 06/2020, pages 110269 -.
    • Abbiss, H., Maker, G., Gummer, J., Rawlinson, C., Musk, G., Fleming, P., Phillips, J., Boyce, M., Trengove, R., (2019), Untargeted gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics analysis of kidney and liver tissue from the Lewis Polycystic Kidney rat, Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 1118-1119, 15 June 2019, pages 25 - 32.
    • Nolan, A., Maker, G., Mead, R., Bringans, S., Speers, S., (2019), The impact of environmental factors on the production of peptides in mammalian decomposition fluid in relation to the estimation of post-mortem interval: A summer/winter comparison in Western Australia (PLS UPLOAD PDF OF PUBLISHED ARTICLE), Forensic Science International, 303, 2019 Oct, pages -.
    • Crighton, E., Weisenseel, J., Bunce, M., Musgrave, I., Trengove, R., Maker, G., (2019), Exploring the Application of the DSA-TOF, a Direct,High-resolution Time-of-Flight Mass SpectrometryTechnique for the Screening of Potential Adulteratedand Contaminated Herbal Medicines, Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 30, 9, pages 1713 - 1719.
    • Abbiss, H., Maker, G., Trengove, R., (2019), Metabolomics approaches for the diagnosis and understanding of kidney diseases, Metabolites, 9, 2, pages 34 -.
    • Hayton, S., Trengove, R., Maker, G., (2019), Sample Preparation and Reporting Standards for Metabolomics of Adherent Mammalian Cells, Methods in Molecular Biology, 1978, 2019, pages 3 - 12.
    • King, A., Mullin, L., Wilson, I., Coen, M., Rainville, P., Plumb, R., Gethings, L., Maker, G., Trengove, R., (2019), Development of a rapid profiling method for the analysis of polar analytes in urine using HILICMS and ion mobility enabled HILICMS, Metabolomics, 15, 2, pages 17 -.
    • Crighton, E., Coghlan, M., Farrington, R., Hoban, C., Power, M., Nash, C., Mullaney, I., Byard, R., Trengove, R., Musgrave, I., Bunce, M., Maker, G., (2019), Toxicological screening and DNA sequencing detects contamination and adulteration in regulated herbal medicines and supplements for diet, weight loss and cardiovascular health, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 176, , pages 112834 -.
    • Nolan, A., Mead, R., Maker, G., Bringans, S., Chapman, B., Speers, S., (2019), Examination of the temporal variation of peptide content indecomposition fluid under controlled conditions using pigs as human substitutes, Forensic Science International: Genetics, 298, , pages 161 - 168.
    • Byard, R., Musgrave, I., Maker, G., Bunce, M., (2019), What risks do herbal products pose to the Australian community?, Medical Journal of Australia, 206, 2, pages 86 - 90.
    • Nolan, A., Mead, R., Maker, G., Speers, S., (2019), A review of the biochemical products produced during mammalian decomposition with the purpose of determining the post-mortem interval, Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, , , pages 1 - 12.
    • Lawler, N., Abbiss, C., Gummer, J., Broadhurst, D., Govus, A., Fairchild, T., Thompson, K., Garvican-Lewis, L., Maker, G., Trengove, R., Peiffer, J., (2019), Characterizing the plasma metabolome during 14 days of live-high, train-low simulated altitude: A metabolomics approach. Experimental Physiology, Experimental Physiology, 104, 1, pages 81 - 92.
    • Lawler, N., Abbiss, C., Gummer, J., Broadhurst, D., Govus, A., Fairchild, T., Thompson, K., Garvican-Lewis, L., Maker, G., Trengove, R., Peiffer, J., (2019), Characterizing the plasma metabolome during 14 days of live-high, train-low simulated altitude: A metabolomic approach, Experimental Physiology, 104, 1, .
    • Hong, I., Garrett, A., Maker, G., Mullaney, I., Rodger, J., Etherington, S., (2018), Repetitive low intensity magnetic field stimulation in a neuronal cell line: a metabolomics study, PeerJ, 2018, 3, pages 4501 -.
    • Maker, G., Green, T., Mullaney, I., Trengove, R., (2018), Untargeted Metabolomic Analysis of RatNeuroblastoma Cells as a Model System to Studythe Biochemical Effects of the Acute Administrationof Methamphetamine, Metabolites, 8, 2, pages 38 -.
    • Hoban, C., Musgrave, I., Coghlan, M., Power, M., Byard, R., Nash, C., Farrington, R., Maker, G., Crighton, E., Trengove, R., Bunce, M., (2018), Adulterants and Contaminants in Psychotropic Herbal Medicines Detected with Mass Spectrometry and Next‑Generation DNA Sequencing, Pharmaceutical Medicine, 32, , pages 429 - 444.
    • Abdul Manaf, F., Lawler, N., Peiffer, J., Maker, G., Boyce, M., Fairchild, T., Broadhurst, D., (2018), Characterizing the plasma metabolome during and following a maximal exercise cycling test, Journal of Applied Physiology, 125, 4, pages 1193 - 1203.
    • Hayton, S., Maker, G., Mullaney, I., Trengove, R., (2017), Experimental design and reporting standards for metabolomics studies of mammalian cell lines, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 74, 24, pages 4421 - 4441.
    • Hayton, S., Maker, G., Mullaney, I., Trengove, R., (2017), Untargeted metabolomics of neuronal cell culture: A model system for the toxicity testing of insecticide chemical exposure, Journal of Applied Toxicology, 37, 12, pages 1481 - 1492.
    • Lawler, N., Abbiss, C., Raman, A., Fairchild, T., Maker, G., Trengove, R., Peiffer, J., (2017), The Influence of Blood Removal on Pacing During a 4-Minute Cycling Time Trial, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12, , pages -.
    • Crighton, E., Mullaney, I., Trengove, R., Bunce, M., Maker, G., (2016), The application of metabolomics for herbal medicinepharmacovigilance: a case study on ginseng, Essays in Biochemistry, 60, , pages 429 - 435.
    • Wenner, M., Maker, G., Dawson, L., Drummond, P., Mullaney, I., (2016), The potential of metabolomic analysis techniques for the characterisation of alpha 1-adrenergic receptors in cultured N1E-115 mouse neuroblastoma cells, Cytotechnology, 68, 4, pages 1561 - 1575.
    • Drummond, E., Maker, G., Birklein, F., Finch, P., Drummond, P., Birklein, F., (2016), Topical prazosin attenuates sensitivity to tactile stimuli in patients with complex regional pain syndrome, European Journal of Pain, 20, 6, pages 926 - 935.
    • Hyndman, T., Musk, G., Murdoch, F., Maker, G., Whittem, T., (2015), The bioavailability of medetomidine in eight sheep following oesophageal administration, Research in Veterinary Science, 103, , pages 137 - 142.
    • Coghlan, M., Maker, G., Crighton, E., Haile, J., Murray, D., White, N., Byard, R., Bellgard, M., Mullaney, I., Trengove, R., Allcock, R., Nash, E., Hoban, C., Jarrett, K., Edwards, R., Musgrave, I., Bunce, M., (2015), Combined DNA, toxicological and heavy metal analyses provides an auditing toolkit to improve pharmacovigilance of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Scientific Reports, 5, 0, pages 0 - 0.
    • Lopresti, A., Maes, M., Meddens, M., Maker, G., Arnoldussen, E., Drummond, P., (2015), Curcumin and major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating the potential of peripheral biomarkers to predict treatment response and antidepressant mechanisms of change, European Neuropsychopharmacology, 25, 1, pages 38 - 50.
    • Abbiss, H., Rawlinson, C., Maker, G., Trengove, R., (2015), Assessment of automated trimethylsilyl derivatization protocols for GC-MS-based untargeted metabolomic analysis of urine, Metabolomics, 11, 6, pages 1908 - 1921.
    • Wong, H., Maker, G., Trengove, R., O'Handley, R., (2015), Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolite Profiling of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Differentiates between Biofilm and Planktonic Phenotypes, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81, 8, pages 2660 - 2666.
    • King, G., Damas, J., Cake, M., Berryman, D., Maker, G., (2014), Influence of glucocorticoids, neuregulin-1 beta, and sex on surfactant phospholipid secretion from type II cells, American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (Print), 306, 3, pages 292 - 298.
    • Lopresti, A., Maes, M., Maker, G., Hood, S., Drummond, P., (2014), Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study, Journal of Affective Disorders, 167, , pages 368 - 375.
    • Lopresti, A., Maker, G., Hood, S., Drummond, P., (2014), A review of peripheral biomarkers in major depression: The potential of inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 48, , pages 102 - 111.
    • King, G., Maker, G., Berryman, D., Trengove, R., Cake, M., (2014), Role of neuregulin-1 beta in dexamethasone-enhanced surfactant synthesis in fetal type II cells, FEBS Letters, 588, 6, pages 975 - 980.
    • Murdoch, F., Maker, G., Nitsos, I., Polglase, G., Musk, G., (2013), Intraperitoneal medetomidine: a novel analgesic strategy for postoperative pain management in pregnant sheep, Laboratory Animals: the international journal of laboratory animal science and welfare, 47, 1, pages 66 - 70.
    • Maker, G., Siva, B., Batty, K., Trengove, R., Ferrari, P., Olynyk, J., (2013), Pharmacokinetics and safety of deferasirox in subjects with chronic kidney disease undergoing haemodialysis, Nephrology, 18, 3, pages 188 - 193.
    • De Meyer, S., Cnockaert, M., Ardley, J., Maker, G., Yates, R., Howieson, J., Vandamme, P., (2013), Burkholderia sprentiae sp nov., isolated from Lebeckia ambigua root nodules, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 63, 0, pages 3950 - 3957.
    • Ng, J., Ryan, U., Trengove, R., Maker, G., (2013), Metabolomic Profiling of Faecal Extracts fromCryptosporidium parvum Infection in Experimental MouseModels, PLoS One, 8, 10, pages 1 - 7.
    • Abbiss, H., Maker, G., Gummer, J., Sharman, M., Phillips, J., Boyce, M., Trengove, R., (2012), Development of a non-targeted metabolomics method to investigate urine in a rat model of polycystic kidney disease, Nephrology, 17, 2, pages 104 - 110.
    • Ng, J., Ryan, U., Trengove, R., Maker, G., (2012), Development of an untargeted metabolomics method for the analysis of human faecal samples using Cryptosporidium-infected samples, Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, 185, 2, pages 145 - 150.
    • Musk, G., Netto, J., Maker, G., Trengove, R., (2012), Transplacental transfer of medetomidine and ketamine in pregnant ewes, Laboratory Animals: the international journal of laboratory animal science and welfare, 46, 1, pages 46 - 50.
    • Netto, J., Musk, G., Maker, G., Trengove, R., (2011), Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry for the simultaneous quantitative analysis of ketamine and medetomidine in ovine plasma, Biomedical Chromatography, 25, 12, pages 1374 - 1380.
    • Wong, H., Townsend, K., Fenwick, S., Maker, G., Trengove, R., O'Handley, R., (2010), Comparative susceptibility of Salmonella Typhimurium biofilms of different ages to disinfectants., Biofouling, 26, 7, pages 859 - 864.
    • Tan, K., Trengove, R., Maker, G., Oliver, R., Solomon, P., (2009), Metabolite profiling identifies the mycotoxin alternariol in the pathogen Stagonospora nodorum, Metabolomics, 5, 3, pages 330 - 335.
    • Clode, P., Saunders, M., Maker, G., Ludwig, M., Atkins, C., (2009), Uric acid deposits in symbiotic marine algae, Plant, Cell and Environment, 32, 2, pages 170 - 177.

    Gummer J, Banazis M, Maker G, Solomon P, Oliver R and Trengove R (2009), ‘Use of mass spectrometry for metabolite profiling and metabolomics’, Australian Biochemist, 40: 5-8.