Dr. Pieter Cullis elected as Fellow of the Royal Society

Dr. Pieter Cullis OC (Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) is among 80 outstanding scientists from around the world elected as the newest Fellows of the Royal Society. The Royal Society is the UK’s national academy of sciences and the oldest science academy in continuous existence. The 2023 cohort includes 59 Fellows, 19 Foreign Members, and 2 Honorary Fellows.

In the announcement, Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society said, “I am delighted to welcome our newest cohort of Fellows. These individuals have pushed forward the boundaries of their respective fields and had a beneficial influence on the world beyond.”

“Among this year’s intake are individuals who were at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those working on global challenges, from TB to climate change. They are pioneering scientists and innovators from around the world who have confounded expectations and transformed our thinking.”

Please see the full announcement here.

Dr. Cullis’ biography in the Fellows Directory:

Pieter R. Cullis, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia. Dr. Cullis and co-workers have been responsible for fundamental advances in the development of nanomedicines employing lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology for cancer therapies, gene therapies and vaccines. This work has contributed to five drugs that have been approved by the FDA, the EMA and other regulatory bodies. These include Onpattro (the first RNAi drug to receive regulatory approval) to treat the previously fatal hereditary condition transthyretin-induced amyloidosis (hATTR), as well as Comirnaty, the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

Dr. Cullis has also co-founded eleven biotechnology companies that now employ over 400 people, has published over 350 scientific articles and is an inventor on over 100 patents. He co-founded two Canadian National Centre of Excellence networks, the Centre for Drug Research and Development (now AdMare) in 2004 and the NanoMedicines Innovation Network in 2019. Dr. Cullis has received many awards including the Order of Canada in 2021 and the VinFuture Prize (Vietnam), the Prince Mahidol Award (Thailand), the Gairdner International Award (Canada) and the Tang Prize (Taiwan) in 2022.

About the Royal Society

The mission of the Royal Society is to “recognize, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.”

Eight thousand Fellows have been elected to the Royal Society to date, including Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Dorothy Hodgkin, and Stephen Hawking. Currently, there are around 1,600 members worldwide.

As described on their website, the motto of the Royal Society, “Nullius in verba” — “take nobody’s word for it”— is an expression of their commitment to “withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by the experiment.”