Professor Peter Gray is a pioneer of biotechnology research and development in Australia. In 2003 he was appointed AIBN’s inaugural Director and has since overseen the institute’s growth to 450 people and an annual turnover of $40million. Before joining AIBN, he was Professor and Head of Biotechnology at UNSW.
Professor Gray has held academic positions at University College London and the University of California, Berkeley. He has had commercial experience in the US, working for Eli Lilly and Co and the Cetus Corporation. His research collaborations include groups at Stanford University; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
He serves on several boards and government committees. He is on the board of Engineering Conferences International, New York, a group that runs global, multi-disciplinary engineering conferences, many of which have played key roles in developing emerging industry sectors. The conferences include cell culture engineering; vaccine technology; and scale-up and manufacturing of cell-based therapies. Professor Gray also serves on the board of Biopharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd, the company established to build a GMP grade biopharmaceuticals manufacturing facility in Brisbane, and has been heavily involved in negotiations that led to DSM Biologics becoming the facility’s operator.
Professor Gray is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has chaired, served on organising committees for, and given plenary and keynote addresses at many key international conferences. In 2006 he attracted to Sydney and chaired the International Biotechnology Symposium – the first time a conference in the four-yearly series was held in the southern hemisphere. Professor Gray is a founder and past president of the Australian Biotechnology Association (Ausbiotech).
Professor Gray has graduated more than 60 PhD students from his research group, in fields including secondary metabolite bioprocesses; bioconversion of cellulosic substrates; mammalian cell expression of complex proteins; nanoparticles for drug delivery; and the development of stem-cell based bioprocesses. He has twice been listed by Engineers Australia among the top 100 most influential engineers in Australia, and in 2001 was awarded the Australian Government’s Centenary Medal.