University of Queensland professor Mark Kendall is an innovator in producing technology solutions to global health problems; and a translator of commercial technologies focusing on delivery of drugs to skin and skin-based disease diagnostics. Professor Kendall set himself the research and innovation challenge of asking the world to rethink the role of the needle and syringe as a method of both introducing vaccines to the body and extracting biological material. He is the inventor of the patented Nanopatch technology, which has many advantages over the more than 160-year-old hypodermic needle. The Nanopatch could level the global playing field in health, providing safe vaccinations to the developing world, potentially overcoming many of the challenges of the traditional needle as the design technology targets the immune-rich cells of the skin’s out layers (the epidermis and upper dermis) with an array of thousands of micro projections on a single patch. With vaccines dry-coated to the patch, this eliminates the need for vaccine cold chain and removes the need for electricity networks which are so often unreliable in developing countries. Through his research, Professor Kendall has shown the Nanopatch generates equivalent and protective immune responses as the traditional needle, but only needs to deliver a small fraction of the dose (eg 1/100th) making this patch significantly cheaper and easy to apply.
Professor Kendall is a Rolex Laureate, recognising pioneering efforts to expand knowledge and improve human life. He is the recipient of many prestigious accolades, including The Australian Innovation Challenge in 2011. His AIBN group received the 2011 Eureka Prize for Interdisciplinary Research; and the Queensland Clinical Trial Network and Merck’s 2010 Translational Research Excellence Commercialisation Award. Professor Kendall won the Australian Society for Medical Research and Amgen’s Australia Medical Researcher Award in 2008; and was named Young Engineer of Britain 2004. He has presented at more than 90 international seminars and conferences, including the plenary at the 9th Symposium of the Lohmann Therapie-Systeme Academy (LTS) in Germany in 2012. Professor Kendall’s research group received the Eureka Prize for Research by an Interdisciplinary Team in 2011. Professor Kendall is an inaugural Australian Research Council Future Fellow. He has a patent pool of over 130 patents, of which 65 have been granted. Professor Kendall edits papers in the Journal of Nanotechnology and Shock Waves Journal. .