Miguel Aguirre

"Being able to be a part of something that could potentially have great impact in the global public health outcomes in the area of Group A Strep (GAS) is what inspires my work."


How has studying UQ’s Master of Biotechnology Research Extensive program helped get you where you are today?

The Master of Biotechnology Research Extensive program enabled me to develop sound fundamentals and the business acumen needed to navigate the fast paced field of biotechnology.

The expertise I gained in biotechnology, bioprocess development and project management while studying at UQ has been valuable in enabling me to strengthen my impact in progressing research outcomes in my career to date.


What kind of work do you do as part of your job?

I'm currently working as a Project Manager on UQ’s mRNA vaccine development project for Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections in collaboration with Moderna and the Leducq Foundation.

One of my core responsibilities is to provide expertise and high-level support for the team of UQ researchers and wider consortium of researchers on the mRNA vaccine project to enhance research activity and performance. I'm currently providing assistance to researchers throughout all stages of the grant tenure process including ethics applications and assessment processes as well as administering the awarded grant. The thing I enjoy the most about this role is contributing to the problem-solving process if there are technical and administrative hurdles encountered.

Prior to my current role, I was working as a Research Specialist at the UQ Protein Expression Facility located at AIBN. In this role, I was able to complete more than 70 projects related to the bioprocess development and bioproduction of recombinant proteins for various biotechnological end applications. I managed different facility users from UQ researchers, external academics, industry collaborators and government research agencies. The research I conducted during my Masters with at Professor Glenn King's group at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience gave me the opportunity to develop essential laboratory techniques that helped me secure this role.


What is the best part of your job?

Group A Strep (GAS) infections such as tonsillitis, scarlet fever and skin sores can lead to further health complications or serious illness (including kidney disease and acute rheumatic fever) so being able to be a part of something that could potentially have great impact in the global public health outcomes in the area of Group A Strep (GAS) is what inspires my work.

I hope to be part of commercialising the vaccine that we are trying to develop and also apply my valuable experiences in vaccine development to other drug development projects.


What advice would you offer to anyone thinking about studying at UQ?

UQ has an amazing campus life. I met my closest friends while I was studying here. You might meet some of yours too. The academic environment in UQ will inspire you to be that conduit of global change.

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Miguel Aguirre

Miguel Aguirre

Job title
Project Manager (mRNA vaccine development), Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Master of Biotechnology Research Extensive

Profile published 2023

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