“The tangled history of mRNA vaccines,” a news feature published today in Nature, reflects on the culmination of work by hundreds of scientists who worked on mRNA vaccines for decades before the coronavirus pandemic brought a breakthrough.
Former LSI Director Pieter Cullis is featured for his linchpin contributions in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). “Many experts highlight another innovation that was crucial for mRNA vaccines — one that has nothing to do with the mRNA,” writes science journalist Elie Dolgin. “It is the tiny fat bubbles known as lipid nanoparticles, or LNPs, that protect the mRNA and shuttle it into cells.
“This technology comes from the laboratory of Pieter Cullis, a biochemist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and several companies that he founded or led. Beginning in the late 1990s, they pioneered LNPs for delivering strands of nucleic acids that silence gene activity. One such treatment, patisiran, is now approved for a rare inherited disease.”
Read the full story via Nature online
Listen to Dr. Cullis discuss his LNP discoveries and vaccines of the future in an interview with CBC’s Quirks and Quarks