Pieter Cullis

University British Columbia

Pieter R. Cullis, Ph.D. FRSC, FNAI (USA), Scientific Director & CEO, NanoMedicines Innovation Network, Canada’s National Centre of Excellence in nanomedicines. Dr. Cullis is also Director, NanoMedicines Research Group and Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia. Dr. Cullis and co-workers have been responsible for fundamental advances in the design and development of nanomedicines employing lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology for cancer therapies and gene therapies. This work has contributed to four drugs that have been approved by regulatory agencies in the U.S., Europe and Canada. Dr. Cullis has co-founded ten biotechnology companies, has published over 300 scientific articles and is an inventor on over 60 patents. He also co-founded the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD, also a National Centre of Excellence), in 2004 and the Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI) in 2012. Dr. Cullis was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004 and was also awarded the Prix Galien, Canada’s premier prize for achievements in pharmaceutical R&D, in 2011. In August 2018 the US FDA approved Onpattro to treat the hereditary condition transthyretin-induced amyloidosis (hATTR). Onpattro employs an LNP delivery system devised by Dr. Cullis and colleagues and is the first RNAi drug to receive regulatory approval. Similar technologies can be used to enable other gene therapies employing mRNA and gene editing constructs.