Professor Anton Middelberg
|Professor Anton Middelberg, above, and PhD student Alemu Tekewe Mogus explains his research, below.|
Queensland Smart Futures Premier’s Fellow and Group Leader
Professor Anton Middelberg is a leading international chemical engineer conducting breakthrough research at the interface of chemistry and the life sciences. He is the recipient of Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Exploration funding in 2012 and the 2010 Smart Futures Premier’s Fellowship (only one awarded annually). He was the youngest Lecturer appointed in Engineering at Adelaide University and established Adelaide’s laboratory in Biochemical Engineering. He was awarded the Engineers Australia's Uhde Shedden Medal for the leading Australian Chemical Engineer aged under 40. At Cambridge University he was rapidly tenured and promoted twice, against a strict quota, and pioneered new research into designer biosurfactants and vaccine manufacture. In 2003 he was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Federation Fellowship and returned to Australia. Professor Middelberg’s intellectual property for peptide surfactants was licensed to the first AIBN spin-out company. Engineers Australia has named Professor Middelberg one of Australia’s 100 most influential engineers. His landmark virus-like particle publication in 2011 in the journal Vaccine led to his invitation to join as an Associate Editor in 2013.
Research: Biomolecular engineering
Professor Middelberg and his team conduct research in green chemical engineering, vaccine engineering and computational bioengineering. Projects encompass new technologies for cost-effective rapid vaccine development, sustainable biosurfactant technologies and nanomedicine approaches based on fundamental understanding of bio-nano interactions. Research teams collaborate extensively nationally and internationally, with regular invitations to global events. Recent funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is targeting low-cost vaccine solutions to Rotavirus for the developing world. Alemu Tekewe Mogus joined the group from Ethiopia to advance the project. His journey is captured in a recent video. To support the research, visit the AIBN Giving Page and click on Support One Student's Journey.
Professor Middelberg is Editor-in-Chief of leading international journal Chemical Engineering Science. He is Associate Editor of Vaccine and an Editorial Advisory Board Member for Trends in Biotechnology. Professor Middelberg has editorial roles on the Biochemical Engineering Journal, the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Bioprocessing. He has joint publications with researchers from Tianjin University, China; Oxford and Cambridge Universities, UK; University of California Berkeley, US; KAIST, Korea; and a number of companies including Eli Lilly, Novartis and Dow. Professor Middelberg has served in scientific roles for numerous international conferences including the International Biotechnology Symposium (Daegu, South Korea, 2012); the International Small-Angle Scattering Conference (Sydney, 2012); the Asian Congress of Biotechnology (Shanghai, China, 2011); and Recovery XIV (Lake Tahoe, USA, 2010).
Memberships, patents and funding
Professor Middelberg is an elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers UK. Professor Middelberg has attracted more than $13 million in research funding since 2003 and has been named as an inventor on almost 58 patents and applications.
Awards and plenaries
Professor Middelberg’s invention of peptide surfactants was awarded three major prizes including the 2006 TechConnect Prize in Boston. His recent invitations include plenary lectures at the World Congress of Chemical Engineering 9 GLS-11 in Seoul (2013) and the 14th Asia Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering Congress in Singapore (2012). He annually attends either the AIChE or ECCE meeting where, in his capacity as Editor-in-Chief of Chemical Engineering Science, he introduces the Danckwerts Award Lecturer.
Key publications for the past five years
Wibowo N, Chuan YP, Lua LHL, Middelberg APJ. (2013) Modular engineering of a microbially-produced viral capsomere vaccine for influenza. Chemical Engineering Science. In press: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2012.04.001.
Middelberg APJ, Rivera-Hernandez T, Wibowo N, Lua LHL, Fan YY, Magor G, Chang C, Chuan YP, Good MF, Batzloff MR. (2011) A microbial platform for rapid and low-cost virus-like particle and capsomere vaccines. Vaccine 29(41), 7154-7162.
Middelberg APJ, Dimitijev-Dwyer M. (2011) A designed biosurfactant protein for switchable foam control. ChemPhysChem 12(8), 1426-1429.
Zhao CX, He LZ, Qiao SZ, Middelberg APJ. (2011) Nanoparticle synthesis in microreactors. Chem Eng Sci 66(7), 1463-1479. (5th ranked “Hottest Articles” for journal in 2011).
Ding Y, Chuan YP, He L, Middelberg APJ. (2010) Modeling the competition between aggregation and self-assembly during virus-like particle processing. Biotechnol Bioeng 107(3), 550-560. (Front Cover).
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