Thanks to its fully fledged, highly advanced range of capabilities to enhance research into infectious pathogens and the prevention and treatment of disease – along with leading research technologies, specialised equipment, and fit-for-purpose laboratories – UQ is well placed in the current fight against coronavirus.
UQ Protein Expression Facility Director Professor Linda Lua believes UQ’s expertise in immunology, structural biology, vaccine engineering and bioprocessing, and materials fabrication and characterisation has assisted many of the University’s COVID-19-related research activities.
“In drug discovery, rapid diagnostics and vaccine development, it’s critical to have a comprehensive understanding of the virushost interaction and the structure and function of key viral proteins,” she says.
“UQ has several centres with a range of expertise and diverse equipment on offer to accelerate drug discovery and the development of rapid diagnostic tools and vaccines.
“For example, the Australian National Fabrication Facility – Queensland node offers state-of-the-art fabrication, characterisation and 3D printing services that can help create diagnostic devices for early rapid disease identification. It also develops and tests personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect against virus transmission.”
|Infrastructure located at UQ||Capabilities|
|Australian Genome Research Facility||Sanger sequencing for validation purposes|
|Australian National Fabrication Facility–Queensland||Diagnostic devices, PPE manufacture and quality control, design and fabrication of microfluidic devices, rapid development of medical treatments|
|Centre for Advanced Imaging||Processing of small molecules via NMR molecular structure determination tools, preclinical molecular imaging, vaccine component monitoring, vaccine safety testing, clinical tracing, long-term patient monitoring|
|Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis||Protein structure characterisation, TEM methods for identifying and locating virus in tissues, macromolecular structure determination – including x-ray protein crystallography and three cryogenic electron microscopes|
|Protein Expression Facility||Recombinant protein production, high-grade plasmid DNA, serology-specific reagents, protein engineering, bioprocess development, antibody technology|
|TetraQ||Rodent toxicology and pharmacokinetic services, bioanalytical services|
|NBF (National Biologics Facility)||NBF offers protein production services across a range of modalities from research to GMP scale (up to 200L) capable of isolating milligrams to grams of protein. Bridging the gap between basic research discoveries and support complex products through to pre-clinical and clinical trials|