Gareth Forde

veski innovation fellow

All Energy Pty Ltd & QUT

Adjunct Associate Professor Gareth Forde was awarded the 4-year veski innovation fellowship in October 2004.

Adjunct Associate Professor Forde returned from Cambridge University to join Monash University’s Department of Chemical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering as a Lecturer.

In his current role as Principal Engineer at All Energy Pty Ltd, Gareth provides engineering design and strategic advice on energy, water, clean tech, food processing, emissions abatement and energy efficiency projects.

Research project: Plasmid DNA purification for gene therapy and vaccine applications

One of the central challenges in delivering vaccines and gene therapy products is to find a vector that is able to safely introduce the product to the target cells. The use of viral vectors has been questioned due to safety and regulatory concerns over their toxicity and immunogenicity.

This has led to the study of plasmid DNA (pDNA) as a non-viral gene therapy expression vector, which has the dual advantages of being free from specific safety concerns associated with viruses and generally simpler to develop (Scherman, 2001).

The proposal is to utilise unique unit operations (affinity chromatography, expanded bed adsorption and monoliths) to develop a patentable industrial process for the production of pDNA. The process will be scalable and commercially viable.

Our primary goal is to develop a vaccine technology in order to streamline the speed at which vaccines can be produced from six to nine months down to as little as two weeks, whilst also reducing the cost per dose of vaccines. veski has been of enormous assistance in supporting the creation of BEL and in the ongoing support of the research projects.

Adjunct Associate Professor Gareth Forde