Getting started

What services does PEF provide?

Please visit our Research Services page for an overview of PEF’s protein production services. If you are interested in a service that is not listed on our website, please contact us.

What will it cost to use PEF's services?

The cost for each project will depend on the strategy that we develop together with you. Please fill out our online Research Services Enquiry Form for a quote.

What materials do I need to provide PEF with to begin a new project?

No starting material is required if beginning the project from gene synthesis. Alternatively, facility users can supply PEF with DNA templates, expression constructs (plasmids), expression culture cell pellets or purified proteins.

My lab is overseas, can I still use PEF’s services?

Yes! PEF has enabled the research of numerous international academic and industry partners. Overseas shipment of materials can be organised with the appropriate documentation.

Protein expression

Which protein expression systems does PEF have?

PEF is the only facility in Australia with the flexibility to choose from four expression systems for protein production:

  • Bacteria
  • Yeast
  • Baculovirus/insect cell
  • Mammalian cell

Our team will work together with you to select the most suitable system for your protein and project.

Why is it important to optimise protein expression?

PEF initially optimises protein expression in a small-scale high throughput format. This approach ensures that the best expression condition is rapidly identified, increasing volumetric yield and ultimately saving time and cost during subsequent scale-up production.

I need large quantities of recombinant protein. What scale can PEF express proteins at?

PEF has twin 10 L stirred-tank fermenters for high growth bacterial and yeast production and a WAVE bioreactor enabling up to 25 L expression in baculovirus/insect cells or mammalian cells. PEF also has the capability to produce up to 20 L in shake flask format.

Protein purification, analysis and characterisation

What yield/purity will I get?

Each protein is unique and it is difficult to predict the final yield and purity before starting a project. There are a number of factors that affect the final yield and purity of a recombinant protein, such as the expression system, level of soluble expression or secretion efficiency, and complexity of the purification process.

I am planning to use my protein in animals/animal cell work. Can PEF generate endotoxin-free material?

PEF ensures that proteins destined for in vivo studies have minimal endotoxin content to avoid undesirable immune responses. Low endotoxin levels are confirmed using Endosafe-PTS FDA licensed LAL cartridges.

Why is it important to characterise proteins?

PEF routinely employs protein characterisation as a quality control to confirm protein integrity and quality. For more information please visit our Protein Analytics and Characterisation page.


Does PEF offer training?

PEF offers training in all areas of protein production, including molecular cloning, protein expression, purification and characterisation. Training programs are tailored towards the specific requirements of each individual. Please contact us to enquire about opportunities to up-skill with the protein experts at PEF.

My lab is already set up for protein production. What other support can PEF provide?

PEF offers a range of affordable protein production reagents for UQ researchers, including plasmids, cell lines, cell culture media and enzymes. UQ staff and students can login to our UQ Resource Centre to view a complete list of reagents.

I am looking for something not listed on PEF's Research Services page. Can PEF still help?

PEF’s protein services are not limited to those listed on our website. We have a suite of protein production and characterisation tools that can be used for various applications, including extraction and purification of peptides and proteins from native sources. Please contact us to see how we can tailor these services to support your research.

What information will be provided at the completion of my project?

A detailed scientific report will be provided to you at the completion of each stage of your project. 

Is PEF an accredited facility?

PEF operates under ISO9001 Quality Management System to ensure quality in the research services we offer.

Can PEF do GMP production?

PEF does not have the certification to conduct GMP production. However, we can put you in touch with facilities that are able to do so. 

Will my research and development activities be eligible for the R&D tax incentive if I use PEF?

PEF is a registered research provider with the expertise, resources and capabilities to conduct your R&D. We provide a comprehensive scientific report on completition of your project. See the ATO website to check your eligibility.