Local Key Collaborators
Pieter Cullis, PhD
Professor Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia | Director, NanoMedicines Research Group, UBC
Dr. Cullis and co-workers have been responsible for fundamental advances in the generation, loading and targeting of liposomal nanoparticulate (LNP) systems for intravenous delivery of conventional and genetic drugs. This work has contributed to two LNP products that have been approved by regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Europe for the treatment of cancer and its complications, another that is under consideration by the US FDA for approval for the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia, and five more that have finished Phase I clinical studies. Dr. Cullis co-founded The Canadian Liposome Company, Inex Pharmaceuticals (now Tekmira Pharmaceuticals), Northern Lipids Inc., Lipex Biomembranes Inc., and, most recently, AlCana Technologies and Precision NanoSystems. In addition, he co-founded and was Scientific Director of the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) 2004-2010. He has published over 290 scientific articles and is an inventor on over 40 patents. 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.
Kelly McNagny, PhD
Professor Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia
Dr. Kelly McNagny is a Professor of Medical Genetics. He obtained his Ph.D. in Cellular Immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990. There he worked with Dr. Max D. Cooper (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Academy of Sciences) and his research focused on cell surface proteins pre B cells that regulate B cell maturation and homing. He then moved to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany where he performed his postdoctoral studies in the lab of Dr. Thomas Graf from 1991 to 1996. There his work focused on transcriptional control of hematopoietic stem cell maturation, cell fate and tumorigenesis. He performed some of the first studies to identify transcription factors that regulate the gene expression and differentiation of eosinophils, which are known to play a major role in allergic and asthmatic responses. In addition, he identified a number of novel hematopoietic stem cell surface proteins and began analyzing their function. He continued his studies at the EMBL as a semi-independent, Visiting Scientist prior to starting his own laboratory at The Biomedical Research Centre, at UBC in 1998. His lab has identified a novel family of hematopoietic cell surface proteins, called the CD34 family, and shown that these are essential for a number of developmentally important processes. His data suggest that these molecules act as a type of molecular “Teflon” to make cells more mobile and invasive and regulate chemotaxis. They play key roles in such diverse processes as gut and kidney formation, regulation of vascular permeability, allergic responses, clearing infections, stem cell homing and migration, and tumor progression. His latest work suggests that one member of the family, Podocalyxin is commonly unregulated in the most life-threatening epithelial tumors and is studying how it influences tumor progression.
Gregg Morin, PhD
Assistant Professor Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia | Head of Proteomics, Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency