3 June 2008

University of Queensland researcher Professor Mark Kendall has been awarded the 2008 Amgen Medical Research Award for his excellence in translational medical research studies.

This national award is made annually by the Australian Society for Medical Research as part of Medical Research Week.

Professor Kendall leads a research team at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) developing needle-free delivery of vaccines targeting the skin.

“I am delighted and honoured with the award, it offers me great encouragement at this stage of my career,” Professor Kendall said.

“Our research is focused on practical needle-free devices accurately targeting key skin cells, with the goal of clinical application of better vaccines in both the developed and developing world.

“To help optimise our delivery devices, we are performing fundamental research into the mechanical and biological properties of the skin, together with vaccine delivery studies in key disease areas.”

Professor Kendall joined UQ in 2006 as a joint appointment by AIBN, the Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and Metabolic Medicine and the Faculty of Health Sciences. Prior to this he was the Associate Director of the PowderJect Centre for Gene and Drug Delivery at Oxford University, UK.

In congratulating Professor Kendall, AIBN Director Professor Peter Gray said his work typified the research excellence to be found at the AIBN.

“Mark’s work is multidisciplinary in nature, combining vaccine science, bioengineering together with biomaterials and microfabrication, and it typifies AIBN’s dynamic research environment and industry focus,” Professor Gray said.

Director of the Diamantina Institute Professor Ian Frazer said that Professor Kendall’s work was an important collaboration between the Institutes.

“This collaborative project offers great hope in reducing the estimated 14 million deaths caused each year by infectious diseases and, due to its robustness and efficiency, could be of particular benefit in developing countries," Professor Frazer said.

The AIBN is a multi-disciplinary research institute based at UQ, which brings together the skills of world-class researchers in the areas of bioengineering and nanotechnology to produce positive health and environmental outcomes such as biomedical delivery; bio-devices; tissue regeneration; and cell therapies.

Media: Professor Mark Kendall (0431 162 391) or Russell Griggs (07 3346 3989).