Solving society's problems through sustainable materials, healthy living and translational success
Stem cell ageing & regenerative engineering
|Development of solutions for regeneration of ageing stem cells||Development of the tools for healthy living||Development of smart materials||Development of nanotechnology for agriculture||Development of products using tailored cell design|
|Building knowledge and developing techniques for slowing down stem cell depletion and loss of function in the human body.||Development of leading program in next generation point of care diagnostics.||Positioning as key leader for future adaptive and smart materials in the area of functional polymers and adaptive polymer materials.||Based on strong collaborations in the area of nanoparticles for animal vaccines and crop treatment.||Use of synthetic biology to perform automated, single-pass design-build-deploy processes.|
The University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) is an integrated multi-disciplinary research institute bringing together the skills of world-class researchers in the areas of bioengineering and nanotechnology.
AIBN is home to 18 research groups working at the interface of the biological, chemical and physical science to alleviate current problems in human health and environmental issues. These characteristics focus AIBN research efforts on developing new products, processes and devices for improving human health and quality of life. In this way the Institute goes beyond basic research to promote and develop the growth of innovative industries, which will benefit the Queensland and Australian economies.
FInd out more about AIBN's impact and research space in the following AIBN Fast Facts video.
The AIBN proudly acknowledges the financial support of Atlantic Philanthropies, the Queensland State Government and The University of Queensland toward the construction of the AUD$75 million AIBN research facility.The University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) is an integrated multi-disciplinary research institute bringing together the skills of world-class researchers in the areas of bioengineering and nanotechnology.
Each calendar year AIBN produces an annual report documenting the research and achievements of its groups.
The completed reports available for download in PDF format below.
Hard copies are available on request.Each calendar year AIBN produces an annual report documenting the research and achievements of its groups. The completed reports available for download in PDF format below. Hard copies are available on
The AIBN provides an excellent environment for developing and enhancing research careers in the fields of bioengineering and nanotechnology.
AIBN advertises its research and support positions on the University of Queensland's employment service - please refer to both the Academic and General Staff Vacancies.
The Institute hosts a number of senior research fellows including Australian Research Council Federation Fellows and National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellows and is interested in attracting further Fellows to the Institute.
The Institute provides attractive packages of support including:
- Financial support;
- Access to world class facilities;
- A multi-disciplinary research environment;
- An entrepreneurial framework to facilitate the commercialisation of research; and
- Strong networks with industry.
To explore the possibility of the AIBN hosting your Fellowship please contact Dr Julie Osborne.
Research StudentsThe AIBN provides an excellent environment for developing and enhancing research careers in the fields of bioengineering and nanotechnology.
The AIBN also provides outstanding postgraduate training opportunities for those looking to start a career in bioengineering and nanotechnology. For further details of Research Degrees and Scholarship support refer to Student Opportunities.
- Your donation will make a valuable contribution towards scientific research.
The AIBN Board is an advisory body, established to assist the Director in matters relating to the Institute’s governance, defined strategic goals, progress against goals, and levels of funding required to support ongoing operations and strategic initiatives. Members are high-calibre representatives with broad ranging experience and expertise in the university, industry, community and government sectors.
The Board has a broad ambit, including providing advice on funding opportunities, commercialisation paths, extension activities and growth strategies for the Institute on both a strategic and operational basis. It reviews progress of the Institute in the areas of research, internationalisation, commercialisation, governance and management. It is also charged with providing advice on matters such as raising the international profile of the Institute to maximise the benefits to Queensland and Australia generally, and with assisting to maintain the high visibility and reputation of AIBN in research, industry, government and public domains.
Dr Susan Pond AM, MD, DSc, FTSE
AIBN Board Chair
Dr Susan Pond is Adjunct Professor in the Dow Sustainability Program at the United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney. Her area of interest is the development of the advanced transportation biofuels industry, including the critical success factors required for commercially viable production at scale. Dr Pond has a strong scientific and commercial background, with executive positions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry for 12 years, most recently as Chairman and Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Research Pty Ltd. Following post-doctoral studies at the University of California San Francisco, Dr Pond joined the UCSF Faculty of the Department of Medicine for six years. Returning to Australia, Dr Pond was appointed as Associate Professor of Medicine at The University of Queensland and later to a Personal Chair. She has an extensive publication record and is an inventor on five patent families. Dr Pond has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (Hons 1) from the University of Sydney, Doctor of Medicine from the University of New South Wales and Doctor of Science and Doctor of Medicine honoris causa degrees from UQ. Dr Pond’s board positions include the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation; Commercialisation Australia; the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering as Vice-President; Biotron Ltd; and the Centenary Institute.
Professor Alan Rowan BSc University of Liverpool, PhD University of Liverpool, FRSC
Professor Alan Rowan was appointed director of AIBN in 2015. He has performed his research at the interface of chemistry and biology with seminal and pioneering work on processive catalysis and functional self-assembly. In the last three years Professor Rowan’s group developed the first truly biomimetic hydrogel, which mimics precisely the mechanical behaviour of the natural fibrous materials. This work has received considerable attention since it is the first step to truly controlling cell behaviour. This scientific breakthrough is already now being developed commercial for wound dressing, drug therapeutic and cell growth. Professor Rowan has published nearly 300 hundred peer-reviewed articles and books which were cited 12,000 times.
Kathy Hirschfeld is a non-executive director of InterOil Corp, Transfield Services Limited, and Toxfree Solutions; and a Senator of The University of Queensland. She is on the board of UN Women in Australia. A chemical engineer, Ms Hirschfeld’s 20-year career with BP included oil refining, logistics and exploration, located in Australia, the UK and Turkey. Her last executive role was as Managing Director of BP Bulwer Island Refinery in Brisbane, with responsibility for all aspects of the business.
Kathy was recognised by Engineers Australia in 2014 as an Honorary Fellow – the 9th woman to be so honoured. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK) and a member of Chief Executive Women.
Professor Chris Lowe OBE, FREng,FInstP, FRSC.
Professor Christopher R. Lowe is in the Institute of Biotechnology at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge and researches in both diagnostics and therapeutics in the healthcare biotechnology sector. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has 380 peer-reviewed publications, 8 books and monographs, >100 patents and has supervised >95 PhD students and has a number of national and international prizes: “Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement”; “Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education”; “Most Entrepreneurial Scientist of the UK”; OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours; BBSRC Commercial Innovator of the Year in 2011. He has been the driving force for the establishment of 11 spin-out companies and fosters entrepreneurship within the University. He is active in various government committees and in a number of legal and entrepreneurial roles.
Professor Robyn Ward, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) AM MBBS (Hons 1) UNSW, PhD UNSW, FRACP, FAHMSProf Robyn Ward has recently joined the University of Queensland as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), after many years of work within hospital and academic settings in New South Wales, including roles as Director of the Prince of Wales Cancer Centre and Clinical Associate Dean at UNSW. She remains Director of the Translational Cancer Research Network, a multi-institutional group based in NSW and supported by the Cancer Institute NSW, while for the Commonwealth, she chairs the Medical Services Advisory Committee and is a long standing member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. Professor Ward is also the chair of the NHMRC’s Human Genetics Advisory Council and Member of the NHMRC council.
Bob McCarthy AM
Bob McCarthy has spent the past 30 years in senior positions in both the public and private sectors. He has been Director General of several Queensland Government departments, including the Department of Natural Resources and Mines and the Department of State Development and Innovation. He has been at the forefront of efforts to diversify the Queensland economy and develop new industries, based on science and innovation. In July 2009, Mr McCarthy joined the University of Queensland as Adjunct Professor in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. He is a key person in progressing UQ's research efforts in biofuels technology and has an important role in expanding UQ efforts to include major international companies such as Boeing and GE.
The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) has overall responsibility for providing advice to the Board and the Director on the future scientific directions and research strategies of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.
Responsibilities of the Committee include:
- Identify future strategic opportunities for fields of research, collaboration and cross-disciplinary foci of the Institute
- Identify unique funding opportunities for the Institute’s activities
- Assist in providing global visibility for the activities of the Institute
- Propose strategies for the training and development of researchers and research students to build scientific capacity and capability in a multi-disciplinary and global environment
- Recommend to the Board research strategies and goals
Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) MembershipThe Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) has overall responsibility for providing advice to the Board and the Director on the future scientific directions and research strategies.
Female researchers are essential and valued contributors to the AIBN. We recognise that as females you may face unique challenges as you develop your research career, and we aim to provide a number of initiatives to support you in developing and achieving a fulfilling research career at the institute.
Opportunities Parental Support Resources
Career Development Opportunities
UQ Career Progression for Women Program (CPW)
This program is designed for academic women at Level C who are actively pursuing career development within UQ. It provides participants with the opportunity for both personal and professional growth and helps them to clarify and pursue their career goals in an academic environment.
Application Form Program Information
L’Oréal Australia for Women in Science Fellowships
This fellowship is intended to assist women who are within five years of their PhD at an Australian or New Zealand academic or research institution to undertake research in their chosen field. Fellowship funds can be used to purchase scientific equipment, pay for child care costs, conference and travel costs, or any other identified means to support you to continue your research.
Application Details Fellowship Information
Advance Queensland Women’s Academic Fund (Government Scheme)
This fund supports the retention, development and progression of female researchers within Queensland based universities. The program offers female researchers lecture funding (up to $2,000), to cover the costs of delivering lectures or presentations that highlight your work as a leading Queensland based female researcher.
UQ Career Advancement for Senior Academic (CASA)
This program is designed to assist high calibre academic women advance in their careers. It is targeted at senior women at Academic Level D wishing to progress to Professorial level. The program aims to broaden participants' understanding of leadership in a global academic context; leverage off existing leadership strengths to build great capacity to lead strategically; increase knowledge of the university professorial promotion process and provides a gender frame of reference to academic leadership.
Application Form Program Information
UQ Promoting Women Fellowships (PFW)
This fellowship aims to increase the percentage of women at Senior Lecturer level and above, and to facilitate the career progression of academic women. Funding is available to provide relief from teaching, administrative or other duties, providing the opportunity to complete research, publications, or demonstrate leadership through undertaking a special project or program of work, so you can be appropriately prepared in your application for promotion.
Application Guidlines Fellowship Information
Endeavour Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to high achieving Australian researchers who will contribute to the advancement of women’s leadership in Australia. The scholarship provides funds to undertake postdoctoral research within a participating country (overseas), in any field.
Application details Scholarship information
UQ Parental Leave - What you need to know
The University and AIBN have a number of initiatives to support you in balancing your work and family life. Parental leave entitlements and initiatives are available to primary caregivers, with the University recognising that primary caregivers are both females and males.
Entitlements Funding Support Support Services
UQ Parental Leave Entitlements
With 12 months or more continuous service, eligible female primary caregivers will be entitled to:
- Six months paid parental leave, which can be taken as part pay over a period of up to 12 months;
- Five days paid pre-natal leave to attend appointments directly related to the pregnancy;
- Two weeks paid partner leave, for non-primary caregivers to access leave after the birth; and
- Additional 12 months unpaid parental leave following the initial period of parental leave.
With less than 12 months continuous service, eligible female primary caregivers will be entitled to:
- Six months unpaid parental leave;
- Five days paid pre-natal leave to attend appointments directly related to the pregnancy; and
- Two weeks unpaid partner leave, for non-primary caregivers to access leave after the birth.
Paid Parental Leave or Adoption Leave may be shared between staff members who are partners and both work at UQ where:
- Both staff members have 12 months continuous service at the date of commencement of Parental and/or Adoption Leave; and
- The primary caregiver responsibilities are shared.
You may also be entitled to a special needs parking permit that allows you to access car parks located closer to the AIBN. These permits are available during pregnancy, for carers of breastfeeding babies and for carers with young children (parents with prams bays).Parental Leave Policy Parking Permits
Federal Government Paid Parental Leave
You may be eligible to access government paid parental leave.Learn more about government paid parental leave
Keeping In Touch Days
You are entitled to access up to 10 “Keeping in Touch” days during the first year of parental leave, and an additional 10 days during a subsequent period of Additional Unpaid Parental Leave. Keeping in Touch days are intended to support you to remain connected with AIBN without losing your entitlement to parental leave, and thereby help to ease your transition back to work. The Keeping in Touch days are voluntary and must be agreed between you and your supervisor. Accessing these days does not extend any period of parental leave however staff on unpaid parental leave will be entitled to remuneration for these days.Learn more about Keeping in Touch days
As a supervisor it is important that you are supportive of staff taking parental leave, and where possible accommodate a flexible or gradual return work. Click here to learn more about the role a supervisor plays in creating and supporting a family friendly work environmentLearn more about the role supervisors play
AIBN Parental Leave Funding Support
To assist you in progressing your career, the AIBN will provide financial support tailored to the needs of primary caregivers. These funds can be utilised to cover carer costs to enable you to write research grants, to hire support staff to progress your research during your absence or to fund a carer to travel with you to attend a conference. In the first instance, please discuss with AIBN Human Resources.Advance Queensland Women’s Academic Fund (Government Scheme)
This fund supports the retention, development and progression of female researchers within Queensland based universities. The program encourages female researchers to return to their research careers following parental leave and offers the following funding:
- Maternity funding (up to $25,000) – to fund another researcher or research assistant to continue your research program while you are on maternity leave;
- Carer funding (up to $1,000) – to cover out-of-pocket childcare or respite costs incurred while you present at a conference or sit on a professional research committee.
Click here to learn more
AIBN and UQ Parental Support Services
UQ Breastfeeding Network
The UQ Breastfeeding Network provides a support group for mothers on campus who are breastfeeding, and is open to all staff and students. The UQ Breastfeeding Network aims to provide an opportunity for women who are breastfeeding, who have breastfed or have an interest in breastfeeding, to meet other women in the same position. The program aims to provide a network for peer-support, to provide advice and information about breastfeeding, and a forum to provide feedback on the quality of the services and facilities available for parents who breastfeed on campus.Learn More
AIBN has a designated parents room on level 1 for parents wanting to change or feed children in a private and comfortable environment.Book AIBN Parents Room
We also have a designated child-zone on level 2 that provides a safe and comfortable environment where you can undertake desk work or meetings while also supervising your child in a play room equipped for children of all ages.
Positive Parenting Program
The Triple P-Positive Parenting Program is a scientifically researched family intervention strategy designed to assist parents to improve their parenting skills and build positive relationships with their children.Learn more
UQ Childcare Facilities
The University currently has four childcare facilities located on the St Lucia Campus. These are independent organisations to the University and you should contact them directly to discuss their services and availability.Learn more
- Women in Technology
- Women in Science Enquiry Network
- Women in Science AUSTRALIA
- The League of Remarkable Women in Science
- UQ Business School Women in Research Leadership Course
- UQ’s Career Progression for Women Program
- Leadership Tips for Women
- Mind Matters: Back to Work After a Baby
- A Case Study of a Mom-Scientist: Canopy Meg
- Scientists as Parents
- Pregnancy and the Lab--Feature Index
- Mothers in Science: 64 Ways to have it all
Your suggestionsAIBN is comitted to supporting the career growth of female researchers. We are always open to suggestions for new initiatives and ways that AIBN can improve the support provided.
- Watch researchers explain the importance of their work