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Professor Michelle Colgrave

Michelle Colgrave is a Professor of Food and Agricultural Proteomics in the School of Science. Michelle is using proteomics, the study of proteins, using mass spectrometry (MS), to help identify key proteins that will benefit Australia's food and agriculture industries and improve human health.

Professor Michelle Colgrave joined ECU in October 2018. She has a joint appointment at CSIRO as the Molecular Analysis Team Leader and Principal Research Scientist in the field of proteomics.

Professor Colgrave’s contributions include the identification of novel proteins, characterisation of their function and post-translational modifications, as well as development of MS-based quantitative assays for food and beverage products.

Professor Colgrave has focused on the application of MS as an agricultural research tool: (1) detection of differential protein and peptide expression, for example examining the change in expression of peptide hormones during different stages of reproduction; (2) natural product discovery leading to the development of novel pest control agents, i.e. the cyclotides; (3) large-scale proteome analysis that enables systems biology approaches to investigate environmental and/or genetic effects on plant production; (4) targeted protein quantitation, for example the measurement of gluten proteins in food and beverages.

Professor Colgrave was sole editor of the 2017 book “Proteomics in Food Science: From Farm to Fork (Elsevier) is aimed at introducing the application of MS and proteomics to the food science and agricultural research communities.

Research page: Proteomics.


  • 2018                Professor, Edith Cowan University
  • 2007 – 2018    Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Agriculture and Food
  • 2006 – 2007    Senior Field Application Specialist, Applied Biosystems
  • 2002 – 2006    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The University of Queensland

Professional Memberships

  • HUPO 2019 Organising Committee
  • Australasian Proteomics Society (APS)
  • Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry (ANZSMS)
  • American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS)

Awards and Recognition

National and International Awards

  • 2017    Runner-up “Women in Research Award”, Scopus Researcher Awards
  • 2017    Agriculture & Food Director’s Award for Leadership


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Wollongong, 2002.
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Wollongong, 1999.


Recent Research Grants

  • Non-responsive Coeliac Disease – Understanding the Grass Roots Cause for Gluten Free Diet Failure,  Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO),  CSIRO - Fellowship,  2020 - 2023,  $381,361.
  • Application of proteomics methods to monitor the ability of GluteGuard to detoxity ATIs,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Engagement Grant,  2019 - 2020,  $112,397.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Book Chapters

  • Li, H., Byrne, K., Howitt, C., Colgrave, M., (2019), Efficient extraction and digestion of gluten proteins. Functional Proteomics: Methods and Protocols, New York, USA, Humana Press, DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8814-3_22.

Journal Articles

  • Luo, J., Ahmed, R., Kosar-Hashemi, B., Larroque, O., Butardo, V., Tanner, G., Colgrave, M., Upadhyaya, N., Tetlow, I., Emes, M., Millar, A., Jobling, S., Morell, M., Li, Z., (2019), The different effects of starch synthase IIa mutations or variation on endosperm amylose content of barley, wheat and rice are determined by the distribution of starch synthase I and starch branching enzyme IIb between the starch granule and amyloplast stroma. Theoretical and Applied Genetics: international journal of plant breeding research, 128(7), 1407-1419, DOI: 10.1007/s00122-015-2515-z.
  • Jamtgard, S., Robinson, N., Moritz, T., Colgrave, M., Schmidt, S., (2019), Optimising methods for the recovery and quantification of di- and tripeptides in soil. Soil Research, 56(4), 404-412.
  • Bose, U., Broadbent, J., Byrne, K., Hasan, S., Howitt, C., Colgrave, M., (2019), Optimisation of protein extraction for in-depth profiling of the cereal grain proteome. Journal of Proteomics, 197(April), 23-33, DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2019.02.009.
  • Colgrave, M., Byrne, K., Pillai, S., Dong, B., Leonforte, A., Caine, J., Kowalczyk, L., Scoble, J., Petrie, J., Singh, S., Zhou, X., (2019), Quantitation of seven transmembrane proteins from the DHA biosynthesis pathway in genetically engineered canola by targeted mass spectrometry. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 126(April), 313-321, DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2019.02.035.
  • Li, H., Byrne, K., Galiamov, R., Mendoza-Porras, O., Bose, U., Howitt, C., Colgrave, M., (2018), Using LC-MS to examine the fermented food products vinegar and soy sauce for the presence of gluten. Food Chemistry, 254(15 July 2018), 302-308, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.02.023.
  • Niyomploy, P., Chan, L., Harvey, P., Poth, A., Colgrave, M., Craik, D., (2018), Discovery and Characterization of Cyclotides from Rinorea Species. Journal of Natural Products, 81(11), 2512-2520, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b00572.
  • Dawsonl, C., Mendoza-Porras, O., Byrne, K., Hooper, T., Howitt, C., Colgrave, M., (2018), Oat of this world: Defining peptide markers for detection of oats in processed food. Peptide Science, 110(3), Article no.e24045, DOI: 10.1002/pep2.24045.
  • Deatley, K., Colgrave, M., Canovas, A., Wijffels, G., Ashley, R., Silver, G., Rincon, G., Medrano, J., Islas-Trejo, A., Fortes, M., Reverter, A., Porto-Neto, L., Lehnert, S., Thomas, M., (2018), Neuropeptidome of the Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland of Indicine × Taurine Heifers: Evidence of Differential Neuropeptide Processing in the Pituitary Gland before and after Puberty. Journal of Proteome Research, 17(5), 1852-1865, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.7b00875.
  • Colgrave, M., Byrne, K., Howitt, C., (2017), Food for thought: Selecting the right enzyme for the digestion of gluten. Food Chemistry, 234(Nov), 389-397, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.05.008.
  • Colgrave, M., Byrne, K., Howitt, C., (2017), Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Analysis Reveals Hydrolyzed Gluten in Beers Crafted to Remove Gluten. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 65(44), 9715-9725, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b03742.
  • Powell, J., Carere, J., Sablok, G., Fitzgerald, T., Stiller, J., Colgrave, M., Gardiner, D., Manners, J., Vogel, J., Henry, R., Kazan, K., (2017), Transcriptome analysis of Brachypodium during fungal pathogen infection reveals both shared and distinct defense responses with wheat. Scientific Reports, 7(1), Article no.17212, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17454-3.
  • Mendoza-Porras, O., Botwright, N., Reverter, A., Cook, M., Harris, J., Wijffels, G., Colgrave, M., (2017), Identification of differentially expressed reproductive and metabolic proteins in the female abalone (Haliotis laevigata) gonad following artificial induction of spawning. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics and Proteomics, 24(December 2017), 127-138, DOI: 10.1016/j.cbd.2016.04.005.
  • Powell, J., Carere, J., Fitzgerald, T., Stiller, J., Covarelli, L., Xu, Q., Gubler, F., Colgrave, M., Gardiner, D., Manners, J., Henry, R., Kazan, K., (2017), The Fusarium crown rot pathogen Fusarium pseudograminearum triggers a suite of transcriptional and metabolic changes in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Annals of Botany, 119(5), 853-867, DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcw207.
  • Nix, A., Paull, C., Colgrave, M., (2017), Flavonoid profile of the cotton plant, Gossypium hirsutum: A review. Plants, 6(4), article no.43, DOI: 10.3390/plants6040043.
  • Fallabaghery, A., Zou, W., Byrne, K., Howitt, C., Colgrave, M., (2017), Comparison of Gluten Extraction Protocols Assessed by LC-MS/MS Analysis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 65(13), 2857-2866, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00063.
  • Ravipati, A., Poth, A., Troeira Henriques, S., Bhandari, M., Huang, Y., Nino, J., Colgrave, M., Craik, D., (2017), Understanding the Diversity and Distribution of Cyclotides from Plants of Varied Genetic Origin. Journal of Natural Products, 80(5), 1522-1530, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.7b00061.
  • Franke, B., James, A., Mobli, M., Colgrave, M., Mylne, J., Rosengren, K., (2017), Two proteins for the price of one: Structural studies of the dual-destiny protein preproalbumin with sunflower trypsin inhibitor-1. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 292(30), 12398-12411, DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M117.776955.
  • Mendoza-Porras, O., Harris, J., Wijffels, G., Reverter, A., Cook, M., Botwright, N., Colgrave, M., (2017), Gonadal reproductive and metabolic proteins of male abalone Haliotis laevigata (Donovan, 1808) assessed by targeted mass spectrometry after artificial induction of spawning. Aquaculture Research, 48(12), 6009-6015, DOI: 10.1111/are.13413.
  • Pinto, M., Silva, O., Viana, J., Porto, W., Migliolo, L., De Cunha, N., Gomes, N., Fensterseifer, I., Colgrave, M., Craik, D., Dias, S., Franco, O., (2016), Characterization of a Bioactive Acyclotide from Palicourea rigida. Journal of Natural Products, 79(11), 2767-2773, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00270.
  • Niyomploy, P., Chan, L., Poth, A., Colgrave, M., Sangvanich, P., Craik, D., (2016), Discovery, isolation, and structural characterization of cyclotides from Viola sumatrana Miq. Biopolymers, 106(6), 796-805, DOI: 10.1002/bip.22914.
  • Yu, X., James, A., Yang, A., Jones, A., Mendoza-Porras, O., Bétrix, C., Ma, H., Colgrave, M., (2016), A comparative proteomic study of drought-tolerant and drought–sensitive soybean seedlings under drought stress. Crop and Pasture Science, 67(5), 528-540, DOI: 10.1071/CP15314.
  • Tanner, G., Blundell, M., Colgrave, M., Howitt, C., (2016), Creation of the first ultra-low gluten barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) for coeliac and gluten-intolerant populations. Plant Biotechnology Journal,  14(4), 1139-50, DOI: 10.1111/pbi.12482.
  • Colgrave, M., Byrne, K., Blundell, M., Heidelberger, S., Lane, C., Tanner, G., Howitt, C., (2016), Comparing Multiple Reaction Monitoring and Sequential Window Acquisition of All Theoretical Mass Spectra for the Relative Quantification of Barley Gluten in Selectively Bred Barley Lines. Analytical Chemistry, 88(18), 9127-9135, DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b02108.
  • Colgrave, M., Byrne, K., Blundell, M., Howitt, C., (2016), Identification of barley-specific peptide markers that persist in processed foods and are capable of detecting barley contamination by LC-MS/MS. Journal of Proteomics, 147(Sep 2016), 169-176, DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2016.03.045.
  • Carere, J., Colgrave, M., Stiller, J., Liu, C., Manners, J., Kazan, K., Gardiner, D., (2016), Enzyme-driven metabolomic screening: a proof-of-principle method for discovery of plant defence compounds targeted by pathogens. New Phytologist, 212(3), 770-779, United Kingdom, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, DOI: 10.1111/nph.14067.
  • Franke, B., Colgrave, M., Mylne, J., Rosengren, K., (2016), Mature forms of the major seed storage albumins in sunflower: A mass spectrometric approach. Journal of Proteomics, 147(Sep 2016), 177-186, DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2016.05.004.
  • Colgrave, M., Goswami, H., Byrne, K., Blundell, M., Howitt, C., Tanner, G., (2015), Proteomic Profiling of 16 Cereal Grains and the Application of Targeted Proteomics To Detect Wheat Contamination. Journal of Proteome Research, 14(6), 2659-2668, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00187.
  • Nix, A., Paull, C., Colgrave, M., (2015), The flavonoid profile of pigeonpea, Cajanus cajan: a review. SpringerPlus, 4(1), 6p., DOI: 10.1186/s40064-015-0906-x.
  • Ravipati, A., Henriques, S., Poth, A., Kaas, Q., Wang, C., Colgrave, M., Craik, D., (2015), Lysine-rich Cyclotides: A New Subclass of Circular Knotted Proteins from Violaceae. ACS Chemical Biology, 10(11), 2491−2500, DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.5b00454.
  • Himeno, K., Rosengren, K., Inoue, T., Perez, R., Colgrave, M., Lee, H., Chan, L., Henriques, S., Fujita, K., Ishibashi, N., Zendo, T., Wilaipun, P., Nakayama, J., Leelawatcharamas, V., Jikuya, H., Craik, D., Sonomoto, K., (2015), Identification, Characterization, and Three-Dimensional Structure of the Novel Circular Bacteriocin, Enterocin NKR-5-3B, from Enterococcus faecium. Biochemistry, 54(31), 4863-4876, DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.5b00196.
  • Colgrave, M., Goswami, H., Blundell, M., Howitt, C., Tanner, G., (2014), Using mass spectrometry to detect hydrolysed gluten in beer that is responsible for false negatives by ELISA. Journal of Chromatography A, 1370(28 November 2014), 105-114, DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2014.10.033.
  • Osborne, S., Chen, W., Addepalli, R., Colgrave, M., Singh, T., Tran, C., Day, L., (2014), In vitro transport and satiety of beta-lactoglobulin dipeptide and beta-casomorphin-7 and its metabolites. Food and Function, 5(11), 2706-2718, DOI: 10.1039/c4fo00164h.
  • Canovas, A., Reverter, A., Deatley, K., Ashley, R., Colgrave, M., Fortes, M., Islas-Trejo, A., Lehnert, S., Porto-Neto, L., Rincon, G., Silver, G., Snelling, W., Medrano, J., Thomas, M., (2014), Multi-Tissue Omics Analyses Reveal Molecular Regulatory Networks for Puberty in Composite Beef Cattle. PLoS One, 9(7), Article number e102551, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102551.
  • Elliott, A., Delay, C., Liu, H., Phua, Z., Rosengren, J., Benfield, A., Panero, J., Colgrave, M., Jayasena, A., Dunse, K., Anderson, M., Schilling, E., Ortiz-Barrientos, D., Craik, D., Mylne, J., (2014), Evolutionary Origins of a Bioactive Peptide Buried within Preproalbumin. The Plant Cell, 26(3), 981-995, DOI: 10.1105/tpc.114.123620.
  • Menzies, M., Seim, I., Josh, P., Nagaraj, S., Lees, M., Walpole, C., Chopin, L., Colgrave, M., Ingham, A., (2014), Cloning and tissue distribution of novel splice variants of the ovine ghrelin gene. BMC Veterinary Research, 10(1), Article No. 211, DOI: 10.1186/s12917-014-0211-x.
  • Whan, A., Dielen, A., Mieog, J., Bowerman, A., Robinson, H., Byrne, K., Colgrave, M., Larkin, P., Howitt, C., Morell, M., Ral, J., (2014), Engineering α-amylase levels in wheat grain suggests a highly sophisticated level of carbohydrate regulation during development. Journal of Experimental Botany, 65(18), 5443–5457, DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eru299.
  • Mendoza-Porras, O., Botwright, N., McWilliam, S., Cook, M., Harris, J., Wijffels, G., Colgrave, M., (2014), Exploiting genomic data to identify proteins involved in abalone reproduction. Journal of Proteomics, 108(28 August 2014), 337-353, DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2014.06.001.

Research Student Supervision

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy: The mode of action of cyclotides: Functional studies of the prototypic cyclotide kalata B1
  • Doctor of Philosophy: Proteomics as a tool for rapid detection and characterisation of cyclic peptides: a path to discoveries in cyclotide biosynthesis and evolution
  • Doctor of Philosophy: Molecular Assessment of Spawning Cues in Temperate Abalone Haliotis laevigata
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