Lukas Gerstweiler

Lukas Gerstweiler

School of Chemical Engineering

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD, but is currently at capacity - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Welcome to the captivating world of biomanufacturing research, where cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs are transforming the way we produce life-saving therapeutics, revolutionary protein-based foods, and next-generation vaccines. As a lecturer at The University of Adelaide, I am dedicated to exploring and advancing the frontiers of continuous biomanufacturing, downstream processing, chromatography, and virus-like particle (VLP) technology. In this brief overview, I will introduce you to my research interests and shed light on the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.


Continuous Biomanufacturing and Process Intensification:

At the forefront of my research lies the development and optimization of continuous biomanufacturing processes. By moving away from traditional batch-based methods, we are pioneering integrated manufacturing approaches that facilitate the streamlined production of biotherapeutics, recombinant proteins, mRNA-based medicines, and even recombinant food proteins. By enhancing process efficiency, reducing costs, and ensuring consistent quality, continuous biomanufacturing holds immense potential to revolutionize the healthcare and food industries.

Downstream Processing and Chromatography Innovations:

In the pursuit of efficient and sustainable biomanufacturing, my research delves into downstream processing and chromatography, a critical step in isolating and purifying biotherapeutics and proteins. A particular focus of my work revolves around novel resin materials based on porous co-polymers. These advanced materials offer increased selectivity, improved separation capabilities, and enhanced productivity, paving the way for more efficient and environmentally friendly purification processes.


Mechanistic Modeling and Process Optimization:

To optimize chromatographic purification and overcome the challenges posed by complex biomolecules, my research incorporates mechanistic modeling techniques. By employing computational approaches and mathematical modeling, we gain valuable insights into the intricate interactions between biomolecules and chromatographic systems. This deeper understanding enables us to fine-tune purification processes, maximize product yield, minimize production costs, and accelerate the delivery of life-saving therapies to patients worldwide.


Virus-Like Particle (VLP) Technology and Vaccine Platforms:

Viruses have long been a significant challenge in public health, but they also offer a unique opportunity to harness their structural properties for novel vaccine development. My research explores the manufacturing of Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) and the creation of innovative VLP-based vaccine platforms. By leveraging the self-assembling nature of VLPs, we aim to engineer safe and effective vaccines against a wide range of diseases, including those caused by emerging pathogens. These breakthroughs hold promise for providing rapid responses to pandemics and protecting global health.


Future Perspectives:

As we move forward, my research group seeks to collaborate with motivated students and researchers who share our passion for biomanufacturing advancements. Through our multidisciplinary approach, we aim to integrate engineering, biology, and computational sciences to drive transformative innovations. Our overarching goal is to contribute to a future where life-saving medicines are more accessible, sustainable protein production is realized, and global health threats are effectively addressed.





  • MRFF - Develop enabling technologies for manufacture of precision mRNA vaccines
  • National Industry PhD Program
  • Pore-Size Adjustable Porous Materials for Purification Purposes


  • University Research Small Equipment Support Scheme 
  • Healthy Societies FAME Strategy Internal Grant
  • Mechanistic modelling for lactoferrin (LF) from bovine milk


CHEM ENG 7065 - Batch and Continuous Biomanufacturing

CHEM ENG 7062 - Downstream Bioprocessing

CHEM ENG 4074 - Brewery Engineering

CHEM ENG 7063 – Good Manufacturing Practice

CHEM ENG 4036 – Pharmaceutical Process Validation

BIOTECH 3000 - Biotechnology Practice III

CHEM ENG 4056 Process Design IV

CHEM ENG 4014 Plant Design

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Principal Supervisor Integrated Small-Scale Manufacturing of mRNA therapeutics Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Federico Moreno Sibaja
    2023 Co-Supervisor Whole Organism Analytics using Free-Living Nematodes - Astropharmacy Doctor of Philosophy under a Jointly-awarded Degree Agreement with Doctorate Full Time Miss Laura Jasmine Beckett
    2023 Co-Supervisor Development of Analyte sensitive Fluorescent Aerogels for Space Applications. Doctor of Philosophy under a Jointly-awarded Degree Agreement with Doctorate Full Time Miss Alexandra Nia Thomas
    2023 Principal Supervisor Next generation biomanufacturing: Yeast based continuous production of low-cost single domain antibodies Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Yannis Hendrik Karavias
    2023 Principal Supervisor Comparative Analysis of mRNA Loading, Cargo Release, and Cellular Uptake Between Virus-Like Particles and Lipid Nanoparticles Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Xiaoyan Wang
    2023 Principal Supervisor Fundamental study of chimeric protein molecular design and stability Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Hong Luo
    2023 Principal Supervisor Investigation of mechanistic and structural requirements for the formation of unwanted by-products during in-vitro transcription Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Cinderella Janine Angela Nowak
    2023 Principal Supervisor Polysaccharide-based double-grid structure pore-size-adjustable materials Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Manuella Cazelato Pires
    2022 Co-Supervisor Development of mRNA loaded Lipid Nanoparticles for CAR T Cell Therapy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Minh Trang Ho
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 - 2023 Principal Supervisor Stability Study of Engineered Ferritin Nano-vaccines by Combined Molecular simulation and Experiments Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Ms Yang Yang
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2023 - ongoing Member IChemE Australia
    2023 - ongoing Member IMNIS catalyst Australia
    2020 - ongoing Treasurer Adelaide University Waterski Club Australia
  • Community Engagement

    Date Title Engagement Type Institution Country
    2024 - 2024 STEM beyond school Public Community Engagement ATSE -
  • Event Participation

    Date Event Name Event Type Institution Country
    2023 - 2023 CARST industry engagement panel Seminars University fo Adelaide -
    2023 - 2023 Visionary leadership: connecting the pathways Plenary or general session ATSE -
    2023 - ongoing HDR supervision webinar: Supervising research students flexibility Workshop The University of Adelaide -
  • Industry Partnerships

    Date Engagement Type Partner Name
    2023 - ongoing Collaboration Holocyte
    2023 - 2023 Research Contract Vasta biotech
    2022 - 2023 Collaboration Cytiva
    2022 - ongoing Collaboration Holocyte
    2022 - 2023 Collaboration Cytiva
  • Presentation

    Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
    2023 - 2023 Virus like particle manufacture - IIT Delhi Centre of Excelence -

Connect With Me
External Profiles