Pieter Cullis, OC PhD

A leader in creating drug delivery systems to treat disease

As the world continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 32 million Canadians have been protected by at least one dose of an approved vaccine—thanks in part to Pieter R. Cullis, PhD. Over a 40-year career in physics, biochemistry and molecular biology, Dr. Cullis has taken lipid nanoparticle (LNP) drug delivery systems from a compelling concept to cutting-edge medicines that are impacting billions of lives. Today, LNPs form a key part in the 95% effective BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19. Discoveries by Dr. Cullis and his teams have led to five approved LNP nanomedicines in total, opening the door for new anticancer medicines and gene therapies as well as vaccines. In this way, Dr. Cullis’ success stems not just from his ground-breaking research, but also from his passion for transforming that research into practical uses. In addition to helping develop two Canadian national centre of excellence networks, he co-founded 11 biotech companies and two not-for-profit enterprises, including adMare BioInnovations, to translate academic discoveries into new treatments. As a researcher, company founder, author and mentor, Dr. Cullis continues to shape the next generation of disease-fighting therapeutics.

About the CMHF

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) celebrates Canadian heroes whose work advances health in Canada and the world, fostering future generations of health professionals through the delivery of local and national youth education programs and awards.

This enduring tribute to our country’s rich medical history is showcased here and in our physical exhibit hall in London, ON.