27 June 2003

THE University of Queensland has appointed Professor Peter Gray as the inaugural director of the $50 million Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN).

Professor Gray will come from the University of New South Wales where he is Director of the Bioengineering Centre and Professor of Biotechnology, as well as a Senior Principal Research Fellow with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

The aim of the AIBN is to be at the forefront of innovations in areas such as nanotechnology, which is the ability to build structures atom by atom at the molecular level.

The Institute will also focus on areas of biotechnology such as developing materials that are less likely to be rejected when used in tissue or organ replacement.

Professor Gray said he was excited about heading up the AIBN as it was great to be at the forefront of such an innovative area of science.

“It’s an exciting opportunity given the very rapid development coming out of the fields of nanotechnology and biotechnology,” Professor Gray said.

“The work being done there is a real plus as is the Institute’s ability to already attract some strong basic science people.”

He said he was also looking forward to building on some already strong links to commercial activities through the AIBN.

Professor Gray has had commercial experience in the USA working for Eli Lilly and Co and for Cetus Corporation as well as holding academic positions at the University College of London and at the University of California, Berkley.

While at UNSW, Professor Gray has built up the research and development capabilities in mammalian cell culture to be the leading group in Australia with an extensive collaborative network of international research groups and corporations.

Professor Gray was one of the founders and a past president of the Australian Biotechnology Association (Ausbiotech) and is regularly called upon as an expert witness in biotechnology patent cases as well as extensive consultancy projects.

UQ’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor David Siddle said getting someone of the calibre of Professor Gray was quite a coup for the University and the newly-established AIBN.

“We are delighted to have him coming here,” Professor Siddle said.

“He will add significantly to the University, not only as the director of the AIBN, but also as someone engaged in innovative research.”

Professor Gray will take up the AIBN directorship at UQ in August.

Media: For further information contact Andrew Dunne at UQ Communications on 07 3365 2820.