NMIN’s Founding Director, Dr. Pieter Cullis, has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada, in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of biomedical research and drug development, and for his mentorship of the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs.
One of the nation’s highest forms of recognition, the Order of Canada honours people who make extraordinary contributions to Canadian society, inspiring and enhancing the lives of others through their service, innovation and compassion. The motto of the Order is DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”).
This is a tremendous honour. Any accomplishment I am credited with is the result of a great deal of effort by a great many people; I wish they could be included.
“We can accomplish fantastic things here [in Canada],” Dr. Cullis stated in an announcement by the Life Sciences Institute of the University of British Columbia (UBC), “but this can only be done if we have ambitions to be the very best, retain our talent locally by whatever means and work together closely to achieve our objectives.”
Dr. Cullis, a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UBC, pioneered the development of lipid nanoparticles (or LNPs), the drug delivery technology that enabled the use of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. He was recognized most recently for this contribution with the 2021 Prince Mahidol Award.
Dr. Cullis has also founded numerous companies to commercialize technologies developed in his lab, has mentored and inspired hundreds of young scientists, and tirelessly promotes nanomedicines as a Canadian-led field for its potential to revolutionize the treatment of disease.
Canada’s Governor General announced Dr. Cullis’ appointment, along with that of 134 other Canadians, on 29 December 2021.