Research and development of biologic medicine

Professor Stephen Mahler is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland. Professor Mahler is a biotechnologist with a focus on R&D of recombinant-DNA derived protein biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery systems and nanomedicines. Professor Mahler has a record of translational research success and engages extensively with industry associated with the biomedical sciences both nationally and internationally.
Professor Mahler's research covers three thematic research areas; discovery of new biopharmaceuticals, engineering cells for production of protein-based biopharmaceuticals and advanced manufacturing for industrial production. A current research interest is at the interface of the life sciences and materials science, using a synthetic biology approach for creating novel therapeutic entities as well as new systems for drug delivery.
Professor Mahler has a strong interest in education and training and was formerly Head of the Chemical and Biological Engineering Plan at the University of Queensland (2010-2016). Other educational initiatives include development of Masters Programs and a Continuing Professional Development program in the area of biopharmaceuticals. The CPD program is available to stakeholders in the industry, both in Australia and internationally.

Industry Engagement & Collaborations

Professor Mahler has delivered short courses in biologics nationally and internationally to big pharma, biotechnology companies, regulatory agencies and universities, including Pfizer Australia; the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau, Malaysia; and at the National Forum for Biosimilars, Brazil. He has consulted for a wide range of biotechnology companies both nationally and internationally including Pfizer and Abbott. He also has academic collaborations with University of Cambridge United Kingdom and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in the areas of Antibody Engineering and Targeted Drug Delivery, respectively.

Professor Mahler has a strong engagement with industry both nationally and internationally, that through collaborative research has led to some significant translational outcomes including clinical trial of biopharmaceutical drug candidates through to approval. The Australian Research Council Training Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation is a consortium of partners including government, the University of Queensland and several industry partners, with a goal of contributing to the transformation of the biopharmaceutical industry. Through the Centre and the CPD Program in Biopharmaceuticals, Professor Mahler continues to work with stakeholders to ensure a vibrant future for the biopharmaceutical industry in Australia.


Professor Mahler has secured more than $8 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) funding during the past four years for projects principally associated with biologics discovery, recombinant protein production and development of targeted drug delivery systems. Since 2007,  Professor Mahler has been interacting with biotechnology companies and has secured research funding from industry sources. Two provisional patent applications are now in the process of being submitted. 


Key Publications

Taylor K, Howard CB, Jones ML, Sedliarou I, MacDiarmid J, Brahmbhatt H, Munro TP and Mahler SM. (2015) Nanocell targeting using engineered bispecific antibodies. mAbs. 7, 53-65.

Goodall SF, Howard CB, Jones ML, Trent Munro TP, Zhongfan Zhi Z, Montiero M and Mahler SM. (2014) An EGFR targeting immunomicelle nanoparticle self-assembled with a thermoresponsive polymer. J. Chem. Technol. and Biotechnol. DOI: 10.1002/jctb.4509.

Leow H, Jones MJ, Cheng Q, Mahler SM and McCarthy J (2014) Production and characterization of specific monoclonal antibodies binding the Plasmodium falciparum diagnostic biomarker, histidine-rich protein II Malaria Journal 13, 277-287. 

Goodall SF, Jones ML and Mahler SM. (2014) Monoclonal antibody-targeted polymeric nanoparticles for cancer therapy – future prospects. J. Chem. Technol. and Biotechnol. DOI 10.1002/jctb.4555

Munro TP, Mahler SM, Huang EP, Chin DY and Gray PP (2012) Bridging the gap: development of preclinical mAb candidates.Mabs 3, 440-452. 

Featured projects Duration
Rational Improvement for High Density CHO Cell Culture