Dr Claudia Vickers

Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Leader

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A/Professor Claudia Vickers joined CSIRO in January 2017 to lead the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBioFSP), a $13 M investment aimed at expanding synthetic biology research both within CSIRO and across Australia. She maintains a joint position with The University of Queensland, where her research group is based.

A/Professor Vickers completed her PhD in cereal crop biotechnology at CSIRO Plant Industry/The University of Queensland in 2004. She held post-doctoral and Visiting Scientist positions at Essex and Lancaster Universities in the UK 2004-2007, where she worked on abiotic stress and the metabolic regulation and physiological function of volatile isoprenoids in plants. She returned to The University of Queensland in 2007, joining the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology to expand her research program into microbial metabolic engineering. Since then she has headed a group focussed on converting agricultural biomass to industrially-useful biochemicals using advanced systems and synthetic biology approaches. Target compounds sit in the isoprenoid group of natural products, and include jet fuel, plant hormones for agricultural applications, food additives (flavours, colours, etc.), fragrances, and pharmaceuticals.

A/Professor Vickers has worked with industry partners in a range of application areas to deliver industry-focused outcomes and provide consulting expertise. She has also acted as an advisor on synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology for the Australian Federal Government, the Queensland Government, and the Institute on Science for Global Policy. She has been working to develop and support synthetic biology across Australia and New Zealand for several years; as part of this initiative, she is founding President of Synthetic Biology Australasia (SBA).

Achievements and Awards

  • 2014-2018

    Accelerate Mid-Career Fellowship
    Queensland Government

  • 2014

    Young Tall Poppy Science Award
    Australian Institute of Policy & Science

  • 2013

    Foundation Research Excellence Award
    The University of Queensland

  • 2010

    Grand Challenge Commentary competition winner
    Nature Chemical Biology

  • 2010-2014

    Smart Futures Fellowship
    Queensland Government

  • 2007

    Inaugural Interdisciplinary Science Communication Award
    Gordon Research Conference on Biogenic Volatiles and the Atmosphere

  • 2010

    Research Travel Fellowship: Scientific Visit to Korea
    Australian Academy of Science

Current Roles

  • Leader
    Synthetic Biology FSP

  • Group Leader, Synthetic Biology
    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechology, UQ

Academic Qualifications

  • 2004

    The University of Queensland

  • 1998

    BSc (Hons Class I)
    The University of Queensland


We have publications by Dr Claudia Vickers