After graduating from Sydney University Professor Ollis completed a Post-doctoral period at Yale and then held faculty position at Northwestern University. He has since held positions at Yale University (1980-1985), Northwestern University Evanston (1986-1991) before his appointment as Senior Fellow in the Research School of Chemistry. He was awarded a fellow of the American Institute of Chemistry (1987) and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Award (2005). He was promoted to Professor at the Research School of Chemistry in 2005.
We study how proteins function and investigate how they might be modified for new and useful purposes. Our group uses directed evolution to produce mutant proteins which are then screened for enhanced function or other interesting properties. We frequently discover proteins which may be useful in industrial and environmental applications. X-ray crystallography and a variety of other techniques are used to determine the structures of proteins and better understand the detailed mechanics of protein function.