Primary research interest

Novel drug delivery systems

Additional roles

  • Chair in Biological Chemistry
  • Group Leader, IMB Division of Structural Biology

About me

I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Carleton University, Ottawa Canada (1974-76, Prof J.W. ApSimon). I then returned to Hungary to work as a Research Associate (1977-82), then Scientific Group Leader (1982-1987) at the Central Research Institute for Chemistry, Hungarian Academy of Science. I joined the School of Pharmacy at the University of London in 1987 as a Senior Lecturer and Royal Society sponsored Senior Research Fellow. I became a Reader in Medicinal Organic Chemistry in 1994, before relocating to The University of Queensland in 1998. I have since been appointed as a Fellow of both the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (2008) and the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (2009). I was an elected Member (external) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2016). I have more than 360 publications and 45 patents.

Research focus and collaborations

My major research interests are drug delivery, immunoadjuvants, carbohydrates, lipids, peptides, nucleosides and nucleotides. New developments in drug/vaccine delivery will clearly have a strong economic impact on the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. At the School of Pharmacy, University of London, and at The University of Queensland, I have built up a strong, very productive research group (presently about 25 members), where the research orientation is well suited to the direction of modern multidisciplinary pharmaceutical sciences. I also have a keen interest in research commercialisation. I am one of the founding members of Alchemia (listed on the Australian Stock Exchange), Implicit Biosciences Pty Ltd and Neurotide. I am also a key partner in the Queensland Preclinical Drug Development Facility (TetraQ), established in 2005 as a world-class facility to provide integrated preclinical drug development services to Queensland and Australian biotechnology companies engaged in human therapeutics development. My primary research goal is to develop versatile delivery mechanisms that can be adapted to suit a broad range of drug and vaccine candidates.

Group members

Postdoctoral research fellows:

  • Dr Waleed Hussein
  • Dr Rachel Stephenson
  • Dr Mariusz Swarczynsky 

PhD students:

  • Nedaa Alhabri
  • Armira Azuar
  • Stacey Bartlett
  • Chuankai Dai
  • Wei Dai
  • Viet Tam Duong
  • Mohammad Faruck
  • Tanjir Islam
  • Shakeel Khan
  • Farjana Khatun
  • Ummey Jannatun Nahar
  • Reshma Nevagi
  • Ahmed Shalash
  • Jieru Yang
  • Lili Zhao

Funded projects

  • NHMRC PROGRAM GRANT 201802022, Tropical diseases: Translating discoveries into better health, Total value of the grant: $19,800,000
  • NHMRC Project Grant 2017-2019, Understanding the myometrial transition at term and preterm labour to guide tocolysis, Total value of the grant: $808,447
  • NHMRC Program Grant 2013-2017, Tropical Disease – Immunity, pathogenesis and vaccine development: global translation, Total value of grant: $17,100,585
  • ARC Discovery Grant 2011-2015, Liposaccharide based peptide and vaccine delivery systems: improving the bioavailability and immunogenicity of LHRH, Total value of grant: $1, 030, 000
  • NHMRC Program Grant 2004-2012, Tropical Infectious Diseases – Pathogenesis and vaccine research, Total value of grant: $22, 000, 000
  • ARC Discovery Project Grant 2010-2012, Lipid and carbohydrate based systems to target and deliver peptide drug candidates to specific cells, Total value of grant: $750, 000

Teaching interests

  • Chemistry, medicinal chemistry and drug delivery.

Achievements and awards

  • Editor in Chief: Current Drug Delivery
  • Editor in Chief: Drug Delivery letters
  • Associate Editor: Medicinal Chemistry
  • Board Member: Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Design and Reviews Online
  • Scientific Advisory Board Member: Implicit Bioscience Pty Ltd.
  • Member ARC College of Experts 2008-2010
  • Business/Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Award: Outstanding Achievement in International Collaborative R&D 2005
  • Adrian Albert Award RACI Biomolecular Chemistry Division

Featured publications

Researcher biography

Professor Tóth's major research interests are: drug delivery, immunoadjuvants, carbohydrates, lipids, peptides, nucleosides, and nucleotides. This research has attracted over $60 million in competitive grants, research contracts and investment funds in the past 10 years.

Professor István Tóth is an Australian Research Council Australian Professorial Fellow; Chair in Biological Chemistry & Professor of Pharmacy at The University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane, Australia; and Affiliated Professorial Research Fellow and Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences, UQ. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University, Budapest, Hungary (1969) and was awarded his PhD (1972) for his Alkaloid Chemistry research. Professor Tóth undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at Carleton University, Ottawa Canada before returning to Hungary to work as a Research Associate (1977-82), then Scientific Group Leader (1982-87) at the Central Research Institute for Chemistry, Hungarian Academy of Science where he earned his Candidate of Science (C.Sc., 1979). He joined the School of Pharmacy at the University of London in 1987 as a Senior Lecturer and Royal Society sponsored Senior Research Fellow. He became a Reader in Medicinal Organic Chemistry in 1994 and was awarded a Doctorate of Science (D.Sc., 1994) for his work in Drug Delivery (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), before relocating to the University of Queensland in 1998 where he has built a productive research group (presently 30 members). Professor Tóth was a visiting professor at the School of Pharmacy, University of London (1994-2004) and at the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Science, University of California, San Francisco (2011-2013).

Professor Tóth has over 300 peer-reviewed publications, 43 patents, and an excellent track record in research commercialisation. He is a one of key founders of Alchemia (ASX listed), Implicit Bioscience Pty Ltd, Neurotide Pty Ltd and TetraQ (the commercial arm of Centre of Integrated Preclinical Drug Development). Professor Tóth is also a Scientific Advisory Board Member of Implicit Bioscience Pty Ltd. Brisbane, Australia, and Proxima Concept Ltd, London, UK.

Professor Tóth is an elected RACI Fellow and Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009 he was awarded the Adrian Albert award for sustained and outstanding research in medicinal biochemistry, and a Business/Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Award for Outstanding Achievement in International Collaborative Research and Development. Professor Tóth was appointed as a member of the ARC College of Experts (2008-2010). He was the founding (2007) then the elected (2008-2009) President of the Australian Chapter of Controlled Release Society. He is the Editor in Chief of Current Drug Delivery and Drug Delivery Letters, Associate Editor of Medicinal Chemistry; and the Board Member of Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, Open Drug Delivery, Open Medicinal Chemistry, and Current Patents in Drug Delivery.