Master of Science in Protein Biochemistry, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Honours in Biochemistry, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Biochemistry, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Dr Megan Cross is a biochemist and specialist medical, science and technical editor. Her PhD thesis was groundbreaking. It described the use of structural biology to discover how an essential enzyme can be used to prevent and treat parasitic diseases, as developed during her research tenure at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University. As part of her Honours and Masters degrees, she elucidated the mechanism underlying the role of pH in controlling the function of the CLIC1 protein, which traffics chloride ions across cell membranes and is implicated in a range of diseases.
With 10 years’ research experience and a lifelong love of writing, Dr Cross has written and published 10 research articles in top peer-reviewed scientific journals and a textbook chapter for undergraduate enzymologists in Wilson and Walker's Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, an essential and best-selling resource for budding molecular biologists and biochemists.
She is passionate about science communication and is currently responsible for the hands-on science experiments in the That’s RAD!Science book series, which aims to inspire children through engaging STEM stories written by real scientists. She loves showing others how science is present in our everyday lives and believes that intimidating, complex systems can be understood by anyone if they are able to engage with them in a simplified context. Megan believes in empowering the public to tell good science from bad in the age of misinformation. Her personal war on fake news begins with enabling scientists to communicate their results and discoveries in a clear and engaging manner that reaches their target audience—be it their professional colleagues or the general public. Through her editing, she helps academics, thesis students and medical researchers/writers to present their work in a manner that is structurally consistent, concise and clear, but also reflects/demonstrates their technical excellence and experimental rigour, while remaining engaging for the reader.
She enjoys assisting students with their academic writing, particularly those from diverse language backgrounds. As a research assistant and early career researcher, she has supervised many international interns and undergraduate project students and relished the opportunity to edit their writing to communicate their ideas in the best way possible and help them grow as young scientists.
Cross, M and Hofmann A 2018, ‘Chapter 23: Enzymes’, in A Hofmann and S Clokie (eds.), Wilson and Walker's Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Eighth edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Cross, M, Biberacher, S, Park, S-Y, Rajan, S, Korhonen, P, Gasser, RB, Kim, J-S, Coster, MJ and Hofmann, A 2018, ‘Trehalose 6-phosphate phosphatases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa’, FASEB Journal, https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.201800500R.
Cross, M, Rajan, S, Chekaiban, J, Saunders, J, Hamilton, C, Kim, J-S, Coster, M, Gasser, R and Hofmann, A 2017, ‘Enzyme characteristics of pathogen-specific trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatases’, Scientific Reports, vol. 7, pp. 1–9, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-02220-2.
Cross, M, Rajan, S, Biberacher, S, Park, S-Y, Coster, MJ, Długosz, E, Kim, J-S, Gasser, RB and Hofmann, A 2017, ‘Trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase as a broad-spectrum therapeutic target against eukaryotic and prokaryotic pathogens’, Emerging Topics in Life Science, vol. 1, pp. 675–683, https://doi.org/10.1042/ETLS20170106.
Dallaston, MA, Rajan, S, Chekaiban, J, Wibowo, M, Cross, M, Coster, MJ, Davis, RA and Hofmann, A 2017, ‘Dichloro-naphthoquinone as a non-classical inhibitor of the mycobacterial carbonic anhydrase Rv3588c’, MedChemComm, vol. 8, pp. 1318–1321, https://doi.org/10.1039/C7MD00090A.
Cross, M, Lepage, R, Rajan, S, Biberacher, S, Young, ND, Kim, B-N, Coster, M, Gasser, RB, Kim, J-S and Hofmann, A 2016, ‘Probing function and structure of trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatases from pathogenic organisms suggests distinct molecular groupings’, FASEB Journal, vol. 31, no. 3, pp 920–926, https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.201601149r.
Cross, M, Klepzig, E, Dallaston, M, Young, ND, Bailey, U-M, Mason, L, Jones, MK, Gasser, RB and Hofmann, A 2016 ‘Exploring the molecular mechanisms of parasite-host interactions with a view towards new therapeutics and vaccines’, Postepy Biochemii, vol. 62, pp. 370–376.
Rijal, R, Arhzaouy, K, Strucksberg, K-H, Cross, M, Hofmann, A, Schröder, R, Clemen, CS and Eichinger, L, 2016, ‘Mutant p97 exhibits species-specific changes of its ATPase activity and compromises the UBXD9-mediated monomerisation of p97 hexamers’, European Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 95, pp. 195–207, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejcb.2016.03.004.
Nienaber, L, Cave-Freeman, E, Cross, M, Mason, L, Bailey, U-M, Amani, P, Davis, R, Taylor, P and Hofmann, A 2015, ‘Chemical probing suggests Redox-regulation of the carbonic anhydrase activity of mycobacterial Rv1284’, FEBS Journal, vol. 282, pp. 2708–2721, https://doi.org/10.1111/febs.13313.
Sarnpitak, P, Mujumdar, P, Taylor, P, Cross, M, Mason, L, Bailey, U-M, Coster, M, Gorse, A-D, Krasavin, M and Hofmann, A 2015, ‘Panel docking of small-molecule libraries – Prospects to improve efficiency of lead compound discovery’, Biotechnology Advances, vol. 33, pp. 941–947, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biotechadv.2015.05.006.
Cross, M, Fernandes, M, Dirr, HW and Fanucchi, S 2014, ‘Glutamate 85 and glutamate 228 contribute to the pH-response of the soluble form of chloride intracellular channel 1’, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, vol. 398, pp. 83–93, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-014-2207-z.
Mason, L, Amani, P, Cross, M, Baker, J, Bailey, M, Jones, MK, Gasser, RB and Hofmann, A 2014, ‘The relevance of structural biology in studying molecules involved in parasite-host interactions: potential for designing new interventions’, Australian Journal of Chemistry, vol. 67, pp. 1732–1740, https://doi.org/10.1071/CH14304.
Achilonu, I, Fanucchi, S, Cross, M, Fernandes, M and Dirr, HW 2012, ‘Role of Individual Histidines in the pH-Dependent Global Stability of Human Chloride Intracellular Channel 1’, Biochemistry, vol. 51, pp. 995–1004, https://doi.org/10.1021/bi201541w.