After completing his PhD studies in synthetic chemistry at the University of Otago in 1995, Professor Gavin Painter took up a collaborative research project at the University of Cambridge involving phospholipids and cell signalling with the Babraham Institute. In 1999 he joined the Ferrier Research Institute at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington to continue his research into improving the potency and delivery of vaccines through the application of lipids and codelivery of vaccine components.
Professor Painter leads the Painter Laboratory. Through collaboration with the Hermans Laboratory the group has shown chemical conjugation of targeting moieties can improve adaptive immune responses leading to more efficacious vaccines. A current focus of the group is the nanoencapsulation of antigenic materials in lipid particles utilising microfluidics.