Dr. Pieter Cullis

Dr. Pieter Cullis

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Dr. Pieter Cullis completed his PhD in Physics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1972 and then pursued postdoctoral training in biochemistry at the University of Oxford as an MRC postdoctoral fellow and at the University of Utrecht as a fellow of the European Molecular Biology Organization. He joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UBC in 1978 and was appointed professor in 1985.

Dr. Cullis is an internationally recognized pioneer and leader in the field of lipids, biological membranes and liposomal drug delivery systems. His drug delivery systems have produced improved formulations of several cancer therapies as well as other drug agents. His lipid nanoparticles delivery system is a leading technology worldwide, enabling the therapeutic potential of siRNA. He has published over 300 scientific articles.

He has been very active in the development of several biotechnology companies and is recognized as a remarkable researcher and innovator. His work has led to three drugs that have been approved by regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Europe for the treatment of cancer and its complications and five more that have finished Phase I clinical studies. He has trained many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, several of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in their own right.

Dr. Cullis co-founded The Canadian Liposome Company, Inex Pharmaceuticals (now Tekmira Pharmaceuticals), Northern Lipids Inc., Lipex Biomembranes Inc., and, most recently, Acuitas Pharmaceuticals, Precision NanoSystems and Mesentech Inc. In addition, he co-founded and was Scientific Director of the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) 2004-2010. He has been part of management teams that have raised over $200M in the biotechnology sector in BC. He is an inventor on over 40 patents.

Our research efforts are directed towards gaining an understanding of membrane structure and function at the molecular level and using the information gained to therapeutic advantage. Particular interests concern investigations on the functional roles of lipids in membranes employing model membrane systems and the generation and use of appropriately engineered liposomal nanoparticulate (LN) systems to deliver conventional and genetic drugs.

For more information visit Dr. Cullis’ lab website at http://www.liposomes.ca/

Dr. Cullis has received many awards, including the B.C. Science Council Gold Medal for Health Sciences in 1991, the Alec D. Bangham Award for contributions to liposome science and technology in 2000 and the B.C. Biotechnology Association award for Innovation and Achievement in 2002. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004, received the Leadership Award of the Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Scientists in 2010 and was awarded the Prix Galien, Canada’s premier prize for achievements in pharmaceutical R&D, in 2011. Most recently he was also awarded the Milton Wong award for Leadership by LifeSciences BC in April 2015.

Personalized Medicine RevolutionPieter’s newest accomplishment is the publication of his book The Personalized Medicine Revolution. (ISBN – 10: 1771640383). In the book Dr. Cullis explains how personalized medicine is the biggest revolution of our time. By replacing the current one-size-fits-all approach to medicine with medical treatment based on each individual’s unique molecular makeup, personalized medicine will dramatically improve diagnosis and treatment of disease and radically empower us to take control of our own health.