The Protein Expression Facility (PEF) is Australia’s leading protein research facility with an excellent track record that specialises in recombinant protein production for both academic and industry researchers.


The AIBN Centre for Theoretical and Computational Molecular Science (CTCMS) brings together leading researchers developing and using theories and computational techniques for molecular science from across The University of Queensland (UQ).


Australian Universities

  • Australian National University
  • Curtin University
  • Deakin University
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University
  • James Cook University
  • La Trobe University
  • Monash University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • The University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Southern Queensland
  • University of Sunshine Coast
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Tasmania
  • University of Technology Sydney

Research Organisations

  • Australian Army Malaria Institute
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation
  • Children's Cancer Institute
  • Children’s Medical Research Institute
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry
  • Elizabeth MacArthur Agriculture Institute
  • QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
  • Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services
  • Telethon Kids Institute
  • The Children's Hospital at Westmead


  • Avipep Pty Ltd
  • Cbio Limited
  • Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Ltd
  • Lipotek Pty Ltd
  • Panbio – Alere
  • Pepfactants Pty Ltd
  • Phylogica Limited
  • Plasvacc Pty Ltd
  • PolyActiva
  • Progen Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  • Q-Sera Pty Ltd
  • Vet Diagnostic Solutions
  • Zoetis Australia


Which expression system should I use?

Choosing which system to use is based on the following points:

  1. A review of the current literature (it may already have been produced).

  2. The characteristics of the protein.

  3. The budget for expression.

What would I need to provide to PEF to get started?

This is dependent on the project you have with PEF. Any starting material from a user can be shipped to PEF (e.g. DNA, protein or clones).

What purity will I get?

The yield and purity of the final product is entirely protein dependent.

Can you help me design my experiment?

Yes, PEF can design an experiment for any stage of protein production.

Do you release your production methods?

Yes, methods are available on request from PEF.

Can you do GMP production?

No, PEF does not have GMP-certified facilities.

Why should I get PEF to do this work for me?

Producing large quantities of pure protein requires specialised staff and equipment. PEF provides a cost-effective solution for research groups that require recombinant protein but don’t have or want the outlay to setup protein production in their own lab.

Can you do a bioreactor run for me?

Yes, PEF can perform bioreactor expression runs for microbial systems from 5 - 10 L in a stirred tank bioreactor or up to 20 L for insect or mammalian cells in a WAVE bioreactor

What is the turnaround time?

The time needed will depend on the amount of work and complexity of the project. PEF can provide an estimate on the completion date with any quote provided.

How much does it cost?

The cost involved is different for each project. Contact PEF to enquire about the costs involved in any project.

What information will I receive at the end of the project?

A detailed report is provided on completion of your project. To see example reports, please download the pdf here: (i) Bacterial Production (ii) Insect cell/baculovirus production

What stage is my project up to?

Users can contact PEF at any stage to enquire about the progress of their project.

When will I be sent the invoice?

In most cases, the invoice will be sent once the work outlined in the quote has been performed.

My lab is overseas; can I still use your facilities?

Yes, PEF can collaborate with overseas institutions.

Can my protein be shipped to me?

Yes, PEF can organize delivery of material to the user by courier.

Do I need to sign any legal documents?

A PEF service agreement will need to be signed prior to the commencement of work.

Who we are

The Protein Expression Facility (PEF) is an internationally recognised research facility that specialises in recombinant protein production for academic and industry researchers. PEF incorporates state-of-the-art facilities and a team of highly skilled specialists that possess extensive knowledge and expertise in protein production. With an impressive track record and a portfolio of national and international users from university, industry and government sectors, PEF prides itself in advancing cutting-edge research.

The Protein Expression Facility (PEF) is Australia’s leading protein research facility with an excellent track record that specialises in recombinant protein production for both academic and industry researchers.

Founded in 2004 at the University of Queensland, PEF incorporates state-of-the-art facilities and a team of highly skilled research specialists that possess an extensive knowledge and expertise in protein expression and purification. In recognition for its long-standing commitment and outstanding contribution to the research community, PEF has been awarded the 2016 UQ Award for Excellence in Service and the Chancellor's Award for Team Excellence in 2013.

PEF delivers quality proteins for diverse applications in the areas of structural biology and chemistry, drug screening and discovery, vaccine development and delivery, protein therapeutics, functionalised material, biomedical imaging and agricultural science. It is the only protein facility in Australia offering expression services in E. coli, yeast, baculovirus-insect cell, mammalian cell and eukaryotic cell-freeLeishmania tarentolae. By utilising a rapid and flexible protein production pipeline, the facility streamlines molecular cloning, protein expression and protein purification while delivering an industry-competitive turnaround time. The pipeline provides flexibility and freedom to users to enter and leave the production process as they decide.

The facility has a training program for research staff and students to develop technical skills in protein expression and purification. Trained staff and students can access our facility to conduct their protein production. For enquiries on our training program and access to our facility please contact us.

PEF provides high quality materials and know-how to the University of Queensland users.  Custom vectors and reagents for cloning, expression and purification are available.

The PEF Advantage
  • Robust protein production pipeline providing flexibility to users
  • High quality proteins for diverse applications
  • Cost-effective services with an industry-competitive turnaround time
  • Comprehensive scientific reports
  • Responsive, collaborative customer service
View our  profile and connect with us!

PEF is proud to be an invited international partner in the Protein Production and Purification Partnership in Europe (P4EU). This network initiative was started in 2010 to improve service outcomes for user groups. The P4EU aims include:

  • Sharing and exchange of information, protocols and material
  • Access to new technologies
  • Developing and/or evaluating new or emerging technologies
  • Establishing standards for protein related work
  • Enabling collaboration between users
  • Training of users

For more information, please visit our network's web site at


Professor Lars Nielsen  (AIBN)

'Considering our labour costs, the high-throughput quick turn-around service provided by PEF is cost-effective'.

Professor Lars Nielsen 

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology 

The University of Queensland

Dr Jane Cardosa - Sentinext Therapeutics 

'PEF has helped us enormously in method development for characterising our enterovirus 71 VLPs using state-of-the-art AF4 technology, thus allowing Sentinext Therapeutics to enter the field with confidence about the stability and integrity of our superious EV71 VLP vaccine'.

Dr Jane Cardosa 

Sentinext Therapeutics 

Sherman Leung - Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences UQ

The UQ Protein Expression Facility produced a recombinant human protein for in vivo and in vitro experiments in my research. My experience with them was fantastic. Staff were professional, scientifically rigorous, and clear with communication. I have no issue recommending their services for the production of your protein of interest.

Sherman Leung 

Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 

The University of Queensland

Professor Stephen Mahler - AIBN

'We are impressed with the professionalism, quality and cost effectiveness of work which has been performed'.

Professor Stephen Mahler 

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology 

The University of Queensland

Ms Kathryn Hjerrild - Faculty of Health, Deakin University

I have been purchasing Leishmania LTE extract from PEF at UQ for over a year.  Communication with the facility has been excellent and all shipments have arrived in perfect condition in a timely manner.

Ms Kathryn Hjerrild 

Faculty of Health 

Deakin University

Dr Maggie Hardy - Institute for Molecular Bioscience 

'Our contacts at PEF were on the cutting edge of their field. They had the most information about the vectors, expression systems and were aware of the intellectual property surrounding each construct. The staff were knowledgeable, helpful and a pleasure to work alongside'.

Dr Maggie Hardy 

Institute for Molecular Bioscience 

The University of Queensland

Dr Tony Velkov  - Monash University 

'PEF provided us with purified and active proteins to meet our groups project milestones and grant deadlines on time, every time!'

Dr Tony Velkov 

Monash University 

Dr Tim Mahony - Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation 

While PEF has excellent experience in a number of expression systems, its greatest strength is the capacity to work directly with the person who is managing my projects. This approach recognises that there is no one shoe fits all in protein expression and therefore increases the likelihood of success'.

Dr Tim Mahony 

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation 

The University of Queensland

Dr Brett Collins - Institute for Molecular Bioscience 

Our recent work has required us to develop methods for producing larger heteromeric protein complexes in recombinant form for biophysical, functional and structural studies. As our proteins are eukaryotic (mostly human) this means using either insect or mammalian cells for large scale expression due to poor yields using bacterial systems. Our recent experience with PEF has been great, and Cindy and Linda have provided some excellent advice and great service, especially for the use of new expi293 mammalian cells for high level expression. This has already resulted in the production of one large (150 kDa) heteromeric complex that we have been able to purify for structural studies. We imagine using this service again in the future, and also making use of PEF facilities to train postdocs and students for recombinant protein production. 

Dr Brett Collins 

Institute for Molecular Bioscience 

The University of Queensland

Dr Kate Schroder - Institute for Molecular Bioscience 

We use PEF to generate recombinant growth factors for immune cell differentiation. PEF provides a fast and professional service to produce high-quality, active protein at competitive prices.

Dr Kate Schroder 

Institute for Molecular Bioscience 

The University of Queensland

Professor Anton Middelberg - AIBN

'PEF knows proteins, inside and out'.

Professor Anton Middelberg 

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology 

The University of Queensland

Dr Chris Marquis - The University of NSW

The PEF provides an excellent service. Their staff are efficient and very knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend them to provide services for creating vectors for protein expression.

Dr Chris Marquis 

The University of NSW

Michael Grant - Q-Sera

PEF has been a valuable partner, working closely with our R&D team to optimise and scale-up our lead recombinant protein. Always professional, with an excellent standard of reporting and documentation.

Michael Grant 



Dr Conny Turni - Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation 

'Their dedication and teamwork made it possible to keep to a tight schedule. They delivered the purified product in the agreed time frame and provided excellent reports including methods, results and discussion'.

Dr Conny Turni 

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation 

The University of Queensland

Dr Robert Burton - PATH

'This is certainly beautiful work you have done. Very high quality. We very much appreciate your effort to provide such detailed analysis of the purification process'.

Dr Robert Burton 


Professor Kirill Alexandrov - AIBN/IMB

'We value PEF as a facility with unparalleled skill set. The facility is very well managed and flexible in the way it interacts with customers. We highly recommend the facility to other users'.

Professor Kirill Alexandrov 

Institute for Molecular Bioscience 

The University of Queensland

Dr Kar-Chun Tan - Curtin University 

'I highly recommend PEF for large-scale protein expression. Their service is impeccable with an excellent project turn-around time and good quality products'.

Dr Kar-Chun Tan 

Curtin University 

Professor Michael Holland - Faculty of Science UQ

'PEF helped me clone and express glycoproteins in a system which maximised their immunogenicity and retained their biological function. This was a crucial step in the development of the immunocontraceptive vaccine for cattle'.

Professor Michael Holland 

Faculty of Science 

The University of Queensland

Associate Professor John Hooper - Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences UQ

We recently approached the UQ PEF about purification of recombinant proteins that we had stably expressed from mammalian cells. The advice we received has been spot on in every respect - timely, cost effective and, most importantly, resulted in success!

Associate Professor John Hooper 

Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 

The University of Queensland

Associate Professor Mark Coulthard - Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences UQ

The Protein Expression Facility recently prepared 60mg of a specific Fc-protein for our animal experiments on vascular leak in septic shock.  We provided the plasmid and PEF did all the work with a turnaround time of about a week. When the protein was ready we received a courteous email with details of the preparation and concentration – in fact PEF asked us to tell them “what was the most convenient concentration for our experiments?” Lastly the production cost was very reasonable.

Associate Professor Mark Coulthard 

Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 

The University of Queensland

PEF Team

General Information and User Enquiries

For all enquiries, please use the contact details below. Alternatively, submit your protein information via our online protein request form. +61 7 33463979 +61 7 33463498 +61 7 33463979

PEF aims to reply to all enquiries within 1-2 working days. If you do not receive a reply within this time, please call us.

Postal address

UQ Protein Expression Facility
Level 2, AIBN Building (#75)
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

Fill out the form below to receive a rapid response to your enquiry.


Step 1 of 7 Contact details

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Step 2 of 7 Project details

Please attach any reference documents, images, results etc
If there are multiple files, please upload them as a zip file.
Files must be less than 20 MB.
Allowed file types: txt docx doc pdf jpeg jpg png csv xls zip.
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Step 3 of 7 Protein Details

3 / 7

Step 4 of 7 Sequence Information

Please include the start methionine, stop codon, any tag sequences and cleavage sites
4 / 7

Step 5 of 7 Protein Production Services

PEF offers a flexible protein production pipeline that can be customised to suit your needs. Please select the services that you would like included
Will you be providing a DNA template? If so, please provide details
Which expression system would you prefer?
5 / 7

Step 6 of 7 Protein Purification and Storage

Please select any additional characterisation and analysis services you would like included in the project
6 / 7

Step 7 of 7 Follow up information

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General enquiries

Please direct general enquiries to our reception team

+61 7 3346 3877

Student enquiries

If you would like to enquire about studying at AIBN please contact our RHD Team

Contact RHD Team