Professor Peter Gray

Director, AIBN

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
p.gray1@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 63899

Overview

Professor Peter Gray is a pioneer of biotechnology research and development in Australia. In 2003 he was appointed AIBN’s inaugural Director and has since overseen the institute’s growth to 450 people and an annual turnover of $40million. Before joining AIBN, he was Professor and Head of Biotechnology at UNSW.

Professor Gray has held academic positions at University College London and the University of California, Berkeley. He has had commercial experience in the US, working for Eli Lilly and Co and the Cetus Corporation. His research collaborations include groups at Stanford University; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

He serves on several boards and government committees. He is on the board of Engineering Conferences International, New York, a group that runs global, multi-disciplinary engineering conferences, many of which have played key roles in developing emerging industry sectors. The conferences include cell culture engineering; vaccine technology; and scale-up and manufacturing of cell-based therapies. Professor Gray also serves on the board of Biopharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd, the company established to build a GMP grade biopharmaceuticals manufacturing facility in Brisbane, and has been heavily involved in negotiations that led to DSM Biologics becoming the facility’s operator.

Professor Gray is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has chaired, served on organising committees for, and given plenary and keynote addresses at many key international conferences. In 2006 he attracted to Sydney and chaired the International Biotechnology Symposium – the first time a conference in the four-yearly series was held in the southern hemisphere. Professor Gray is a founder and past president of the Australian Biotechnology Association (Ausbiotech).

Professor Gray has graduated more than 60 PhD students from his research group, in fields including secondary metabolite bioprocesses; bioconversion of cellulosic substrates; mammalian cell expression of complex proteins; nanoparticles for drug delivery; and the development of stem-cell based bioprocesses. He has twice been listed by Engineers Australia among the top 100 most influential engineers in Australia, and in 2001 was awarded the Australian Government’s Centenary Medal.

Research Impacts

Research

Mammalian Cell Lines and Stem Cell Bioprocesses

Professor Peter Gray leads a research group with a focus on bioengineering of mammalian cell protein expression and stem cell systems. The research group is growing a strategic link with DSM Biologics, a contract manufacturer that takes early-stage projects to the next stage of commercial development. AIBN is developing mammalian cell lines, which form the basis of biologics, medicines based on natural proteins, and DSM will produce and commercialise them at a $65 million scale-up facility at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.

Professor Gray's research group is collaborating with Sydney-based Biosceptre International Ltd in a partnership aiming to develop a bio-process for producing monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer. AIBN researchers will characterise candidate therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that bind to Biosceptre's novel cancer target, known as nf-P2X7. Research and development will include antibody and cell line development; bioprocess development; and recombinant protein production in pre-commercial quantities ahead of preclinical trials. The Biosceptre collaboration is a critical step towards preclinical and human clinical trials. The long-term goal is to develop a therapeutic monoclonal antibody capable of specifically detecting nf-P2X7 and inducing cancer cell death without affecting normal healthy cells.

Ongoing research in Professor Gray's research group and Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Victoria with a Hendra virus antibody aims to determine its shelf life, to see how long it can be stored. The AIBN research group has developed a process to produce large amounts of high-quality antibody. The research group has produce batches of the experimental antibody for Queensland Health and collaborators at the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong for testing in animal trials.

Professor Gray has graduated more than 60 PhD students from his research group, in fields including secondary metabolite bioprocesses; bioconversion of cellulosic substrates; mammalian cell expression of complex proteins; nanoparticles for drug delivery; and the development of stem-cell based bioprocesses.

Qualifications

  • Fellow, Inst of Engineers Australia
  • Fellow, Internat Inst of Biotechnology
  • Fellow, Aust Acad Technological Sc and Eng
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales
  • Bachelor of Science(ChemEng)(Hons), The University of Sydney

Publications

View all Publications

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Codamo, Joe, Munro, Trent P., Hughes, Benjamin S., Song, Michael and Gray, Peter P. (2012). An optimised transfection platform for the Epi-CHO transient expression system in serum-free media. In Nigel Jenkins, Niall Barron and Paula Alves (Ed.), Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT), Dublin, Ireland, June 7-10, 2009 (pp. 19-23) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

  • Hou, Jeff Jia Cheng, Song, Michael, Munro, Trent P. and Gray, Peter P. (2012). Analysis of protein expression via alternate 3’ Untranslated Region (UTR) signals through the use of site specific recombination. In Nigel Jenkins, Niall Barron and Paula Alves (Ed.), Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT), Dublin, Ireland, June 7-10, 2009 (pp. 47-51) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

  • Dietmair, Stefanie, Timmins, Nicholas E., Chrysanthopoulos, Panagiotis, Gray, Peter P., Krömer, Jens O. and Nielsen, Lars K. (2012). Metabolomic analysis of CHO cultures with different growth characteristics – development of a metabolite extraction protocol for suspension adapted mammalian cells. In Nigel Jenkins, Niall Barron and Paula Alves (Ed.), Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT), Dublin, Ireland, June 7-10, 2009 (pp. 37-41) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

  • Munro, Trent P., Pilbrough, Warren, Hughes, Benjamin S. and Gray, Peter P. (2011). Cell line isolation and design. In Murray Moo-Young, Michael Butler, Colin Webb, Antonio Moreira,, Bernard Grodzinski, Z. F. Cui and Spiros Agathos (Ed.), Scientific Fundamentals of Biotechnology 2nd ed. (pp. 169-178) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision