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Pieter Cullis

Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia

Dr. Pieter Cullis OC, former Director of the Life Sciences Institute, is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UBC. He is recognized for making fundamental advances in the generation, loading and targeting of lipid nanoparticle (LNP) systems for intravenous delivery of small molecule drugs and genetic drugs. These efforts have led to 5 approved LNP drugs (Abelcet, Myocet, Marqibo, Onpattro and Comirnaty). Dr. Cullis has co-founded and served on the board of more than 10 companies to commercialize his research in nanomedicines. These include the Canadian Liposome Company, Inex Pharmaceuticals (now Arbutus Biopharma), Northern Lipids Inc. (now Evonik Canada), Acuitas Therapeutics and Precision NanoSystems. He also founded and led pan-Canada research centres including the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD; 2004-2010), and NanoMedicines Innovation Network (NMIN; 2019-2021) to advance academic research, commercialization and training of the next generation scientists. Dr. Cullis has received many awards throughout his career; notably in 2021-2022 for his contribution in the Covid-19 vaccine, he was awarded Prince Mahidol Award, VinFuture Prize Grand Prize, Canada Gairdner International Award and Governor General’s Innovation Award. Dr. Cullis is an Officer of the Royal Society of Canada. He has published over 380 papers and holds 80 patents.