Dr Wayne Patrick

Senior Lecturer and Rutherford Discovery Fellow
  • Biochemistry Department
  • School of Biomedical Sciences
  • University of Otago
  • P.O. Box 56
  • 710 Cumberland St
  • Dunedin 9054 , New Zealand
  • Tel.: 64 3 479-7854
  • Fax: 64 3 479-7866
  • Email:wayne.patrick@otago.ac.nz

We borrow tools from functional genomics, directed evolution, microbiology and enzymology to address a fundamental question in molecular evolution: where do new enzymes and metabolic pathways come from? Grappling with this question gives us insights for designing proteins that have biomedical and biotechnological applications.

More information is available on our lab website.


B.Sc. (Hons), University of Otago (1999). Ph.D., University of Cambridge, UK (2003). Post-doctoral fellow, Emory University, USA (2003-2007). Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, Massey University (2007-2012). Senior Lecturer and Rutherford Discovery Fellow, University of Otago (2012-–).

Research Interests

  • The origins and evolution of new enzymes.
  • Enzyme-based strategies for bioremediation and chemical manufacture.
  • Engineering better enzymes for biotechnology.


  • Danni Maddock
  • 2016, NZSBMB student poster competition, 1st place

Selected Publications

Valerie W C Soo, Yuliana Yosaatmadja, Christopher J Squire, and Wayne M Patrick., Mechanistic and Evolutionary Insights from the Reciprocal Promiscuity of Two Pyridoxal Phosphate-dependent Enzymes., J Biol Chem 2016 vol. 291 (38) pp. 19873-19887., Link »

Brewster, J.L., Finn, T.J., Ramirez, M.A. and Patrick, W.M. (2016). Whither life? Conjectures on the future evolution of biochemistry. Biology Letters, 12, 20160269.

Newton, M.S., Arcus, V.L. and Patrick, W.M. (2015). Rapid bursts and slow declines: on the possible evolutionary trajectories of enzymes. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12, 20150036.

Ferla, M.P. and Patrick, W.M. (2014). Bacterial methionine biosynthesis. Microbiology, 160, 1571-1584.

Köpke, M., Gerth, M.L., Maddock, D.J., Mueller, A.P., Liew, F.M., Simpson, S.D. and Patrick, W.M. (2014). Reconstruction of an acetogenic 2,3-butanediol pathway involving a novel NADPH-dependent primary-secondary alcohol dehydrogenase. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 80, 3394-3403.

Ferla, M.P., Thrash, J.C., Giovannoni, S.J. and Patrick, W.M. (2013). New rRNA gene-based phylogenies of the Alphaproteobacteria provide perspective on major groups, mitochondrial ancestry and phylogenetic instability. PLoS ONE, 8, e83383.

Wilson, R.H., Morton, S.K., Deiderick, H., Gerth, M.L., Paul, H.A., Gerber, I., Patel, A., Ellington, A.D., Hunicke-Smith, S.P. and Patrick, W.M. (2013). Engineered DNA ligases with improved activities in vitro. Protein Engineering, Design and Selection, 26, 471-478.

Setiyaputra, S., Mackay, J.P. and Patrick, W.M. (2011). The structure of a truncated phosphoribosylanthranilate isomerase suggests a unified model for evolution of the (βα)8 barrel fold. Journal of Molecular Biology, 408, 291-303.

Soo, V.W.C., Hanson-Manful, P. and Patrick, W.M. (2011). Artificial gene amplification reveals an abundance of promiscuous resistance determinants in Escherichia coli. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 108, 1484-1489.

Firth, A.E. and Patrick, W.M. (2008). GLUE-IT and PEDEL-AA: new programmes for analyzing protein diversity in randomized libraries. Nucleic Acids Research, 36, W281-W285.

Patrick, W.M., Quandt, E.M, Swartzlander, D.B. and Matsumura, I. (2007). Multicopy suppression underpins metabolic evolvability. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 24, 2716-2722.