UQ and Europe

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Collaboration in action

Global response to COVID-19

In January 2020, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) requested UQ use its rapid response vaccine technology to develop a vaccine, and the candidate being tested was produced within three weeks. The research team led by School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Professor Paul Young (pictured on right of) A/Professor Keith Chappell, Professor Trent Munro and Dr Daniel Watterson established important collaborations with entities in the USA to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Despite positive outcomes from the phase 1 clinical trials the vaccine will not continue to phase 2/3 clinical trials at this time. However, CEPI will continue its support of the molecular clamp technology.


Global search for new antibiotics

In an Australian-first, UQ will join with the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership based in Switzerland to tackle the growing problem of drug-resistant infections. Dr Mark Blaskovich from UQ’s Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery (CO-ADD) said about 700,000 people die from drug-resistant infections every year. “International initiatives such as this are essential to refuel the antibiotic pipeline, which has been neglected in recent years, placing us dangerously close to a return to the pre-antibiotic era, when even simple infections caused death,” he said. UQ's CO-ADD has helped the global chemistry community identify more than 1500 potential new antibiotics since its launch in 2015.

Landmark deal for UQ-Trinity inflammation startup

A startup company developing treatments for inflammatory diseases based on a research partnership between UQ and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has been acquired in a landmark deal – one of the largest in Australian and Irish biotech history. Inflazome has been acquired by Roche for an upfront cash payment of €380 million (about $AU617 million), plus additional payments based on the achievement of certain milestones. The company was founded in 2016 following research collaboration between UQ and TCD, with UQ’s technology transfer company UniQuest leading the commercialisation of the resulting intellectual property. Professor Cooper moved to Cambridge in the UK to be the CEO of Inflazome. (Photo credit: CEO Matt Cooper with Inflazome colleagues. Source: Inflazome.)

Turning 'have-nots' into 'haves'

The Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan MP announced another seven years of funding, $32.1 million, for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course to help Australian families break the cycle of disadvantage and stop the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ widening. UQ will collaborate with three Australian universities and 17 academic and industry partner organisations from Australia, Europe, New Zealand and USA. Together, they will provide an additional $33 million in cash and in-kind support to the Centre.


Mental disorders and life expectancy mapped out

UQ psychiatrist Prof John McGrath and Dr Oleguer Plana-Ripoll from Denmark’s Aarhus University studied anonymous data from 7.4 million people living in Denmark, which found that on average mental disorders shortened life expectancy by 10 years for men and seven years for women. There is an increased risk of death due to cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes. “Our study emphasises the urgent need to improve general health for people with mental disorders,” Prof McGrath said. “This is particularly critical when estimates indicate that one in three individuals experiences a mental disorder during their lifetime.” Prof McGrath made the 2019 Highly Cited list, making him one of the most influential medical academics in the world.

Genes underscore five psychiatric disorders

A group of international doctors has uncovered the genes that contribute to the development of ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia. A collaborative research project carried out by UQ and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam analysed more than 400,000 individuals to determine the genes behind these five psychiatric disorders. Genes that are highly expressed in the brain were shown to affect the different disorders, and some genes were related to all the illnesses studied. It showed that there is a common set of genes that increase your risk for all five disorders. This knowledge will bring us closer to the development of more effective personalised medicine.

Student mobility

Student exchange

UQ has a thriving student exchange program with partners in 18 countries across Europe. Popular European exchange destinations include the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark and Sweden. 

Law students investigating transnational crime

UQ, University of Vienna and the University of Zurich offer law students from all three universities the chance to investigate transnational organised crime. The elective course in 2019–20 focusses on organised crime, gambling, and criminal law. In 2020-21 the focus will be on firearms trafficking, and in 2021-22 on drug trafficking

Study abroad without leaving home

UQ students can now learn from leading international academics and forge cross-cultural awareness, knowledge, and friendships online. In early 2017, UQ began the Virtual Exchange Program, giving students the opportunity to gain credit by undertaking online courses from a range of international institutions including the University of Edinburgh (UK), Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland). 

Master of Global Management

The Master of Global Management is designed to prepare graduates for an international business career. The two-year postgraduate double degree is run in conjunction with five leading business schools in Finland, Italy, France, Norway, and Canada. Students spend the first year studying at UQ Business School, and the second year studying overseas at one of UQ's partner institutions.


More than 6840 alumni live in Europe. Alumni from or living in the region include:


Australian Ambassador to Croatia (Graduate Certificate in International Relations 2001)

Speed skating Olympic gold medal winner, and Founder of Right to Play (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery 2000)

Director of the Queensland State Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) since March 2021. Former Australian Ambassador to Ukraine (Master of International Relations and Asian Politics 1999, Bachelor of Arts (Hons) 1993)

Senior Adviser, Human Rights and Business, (Bachelor of Arts/Laws (Hons) 2008)

Stuart Ward is professor and head of the Saxo Institute for History, Archaeology, Ethnology and Classics at the University of Copenhagen (Bachelor of Arts (Hons) 1992)

Chief of Mediation Support, the United Nations (Bachelor of Arts 1993, Bachelor of Laws (Hons) 1996)

Co-Founder & CEO at TourRadar Austria (Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) 1999)

Managing Director, Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures at Total (Master of Business 2006)