People who fear needles may one day have no need to fear the doctor, with the
help of a funding injection for The University of Queensland's Professor Mark
Professor Kendall today won a three year Queensland
Government Smart State Senior Fellowship, gaining
$300,000 to research how nanotechnology may replace
syringes in administering therapeutics.
His work could eventually replace needles with tiny
'nano patches' on the skin.
"There is an explosion of designer drugs requiring
precise delivery to specific locations in the skin
and we are producing new delivery methods that are
practical and needle-free," Professor Kendall said.
"We are targeting immunologically sensitive cells
to produce improved immune responses in the treatment
of major diseases such as HIV, malaria and allergies.
"This has enormous potential, including for the
delivery of cheap and more effective vaccinations
in the developing world."
The grant boosts funding for Professor Kendall's
project by $540,000 over three years, as Queensland
biotech firm Coridon intends to commit $240,000 in
cash and kind as the industry co-sponsor.
Professor Kendall is a UQ graduate who recently
returned from the University of Oxford, where he
achieved excellent commercial success with a bioballistic
gene gun. He was the Associate Director of the PowderJect
Centre for Gene and Drug Delivery at Oxford.
He is jointly appointed to UQ's Australian Institute
for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), Centre
for Immunology and Cancer Research and Faculty of
AIBN Director Professor Peter Gray congratulated
Professor Kendall on his new fellowship and welcomed
him to the AIBN. He said the fit between Professor
Kendall's work and the aims of the AIBN made him
a valuable addition.
"Mark has been recognised for his outstanding work
in this area, most notably being awarded a Younger
Engineer of Britain prize in 2004, with one of his
technologies winning the Best Medical Innovation
2005 awarded by Popular Science Magazine," Professor
"In his eight years of work in this field he has
authored over 80 journal articles and conference
papers, as well as being listed as an inventor on
"His multi-disciplinary research spans biomedical
engineering, diagnostics, dermatology and vaccinology
and he has already established an important collaboration
with Australian of the Year Professor Ian Frazer
at UQ's Centre of Immunology and Cancer Research,
as well as substantial links to the University's
Faculty of Health Sciences.
"We expect more collaborations to develop as Mark's
research programs expand."
UQ's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor
David Siddle said he was excited by Professor Kendall's
Smart State Fellowship.
"Our efforts in nanotechnology are positioned at
the interface between biology and nanotechnology
and Professor Kendall's work fits precisely in this
space," he said.
Professor Siddle also noted the importance of growing
collaboration between the Australian Institute for
Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and Professor Ian
Frazer's Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research.
Professor Kendall has an Honours (Class I) degree
in mechanical engineering and a PhD in hypervelocity
aerodynamics, both from The University of Queensland.
The Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State
Development, Trade and Innovation, Anna Bligh, announced
Professor Kendall's three year fellowship today at
BIO 2006 in Chicago, USA.
MEDIA: For more information, please contact Professor
Mark Kendall - +61 733 462 620; or Fiona Kennedy
(UQ Office of Marketing & Communications) - +61
733 651 088 / +61 413 380 012