Network to bring together researchers from across Canada to further development of nanomedicines

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences is excited to be closely involved in the NanoMedicines Innovation Network (NMIN) which has today been awarded $18.5 million in new funding from the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), a federal program that promotes collaboration between scientists across Canada. This funding is matched by over $22 million in additional funding from industry and other not-for-profit agencies. 

The NMIN aims to develop nanomedicines that will deliver drugs, such as anticancer drugs, more specifically to the sites of disease; enable gene therapies that employ RNA and DNA to treat a wide variety of acquired and hereditary diseases and develop diagnostics and imaging agents to detect disease earlier and monitor the effectiveness of therapies more accurately. 

The NMIN is led by Pieter Cullis, professor, UBC Faculty of Medicine, and brings together scientists from 17 academic institutions across Canada, 15 companies and eight not-for-profit research and granting institutions. Dr. Michael Coughtrie, UBC Pharm Sci professor and dean, is a founding member of the Board of Directors, together with Dr. Helen Burt, professor and UBC associate vice-president, research & innovation. Dr. Colin Ross, assistant professor of pharmacogenomics, will join the initiative as a Network Lead in Genome Editing. Dr. Shyh-Dar Li, associate professor, is co-lead with Dr. Marcel Bally of the theme on nanomedicines for delivery of small molecules, and Dr. Sarah Hedtrich, assistant professor, will also be involved with the initiative. 

Nanomedicines is one of the Faculty’s core research themes, and is internationally recognized for its work in this field. Researchers in this area apply their expertise in the chemical biology of the fabrication and handling of nanoscopic materials to drug discovery and delivery. The Faculty also holds the UBC-University of Copenhagen Lundbeck Foundation joint professorship and PhD program which aims to combine Canada and Denmark’s research strengths in drug delivery and nanomedicines. The professorship is led by Dr. Urs Häfeli and supported by funding from the Lundbeck Foundation.

“We look forward to contributing significantly to the NanoMedicines Innovation Network through related new faculty positions and other in-kind contributions, as well as leveraging our existing excellence in this research area to support this ground-breaking initiative,” says Dr. Michael Coughtrie, professor and dean, UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

For more information about the NanoMedicines Innovation Network click here.