UBC Pharm Sci professor Dr. Helen Burt appointed Officer of the Order of Canada

UBC Pharm Sci professor Dr. Helen Burt, PhD’80, has been appointed an Officer (O.C) of the Order of Canada together with 61 other new appointees across Canada, many of whom are current, emeritus, and former UBC faculty members. The announcement on December 30, 2020 includes 1 Companion (C.C.), 13 Officers, and 47 Members (C.M.). 

Dr. Burt is a professor at UBC Pharm Sci and serves as Associate Vice-President Research & Innovation at UBC. Dr. Burt was a founding scientist of the Centre for Drug Research & Development—now adMare BioInnovations—where she played an instrumental role in advancing promising scientific discoveries, transforming the work of university researchers into viable investment opportunities for the private sector, and ultimately new therapies for patients. Her founding work also focused on improving care and promoting transparent research practices to set a new standard for research across Canada. adMare BioInnovations is now a central leader in Canada's innovation landscape, and Dr. Burt continues to serve as a board member for the organization.

Dr. Burt’s research involves the development of polymer-based drug delivery systems, primarily focusing on nanotechnology as applied to the development of innovative nano-sized drug carriers. These nanoparticulate drug delivery systems are designed to deliver their drug payload to different sites in the body and release the drug at controlled rates. Dr. Burt's research on life-saving nanotechnology has had major impact on Canadians suffering from a broad range of diseases including cancer, arthritis, and infectious diseases. Her ground-breaking medical developments are now used for patients around the world, including a drug delivery system to treat bladder cancer and the development of a system that reduces coronary artery disease and the chance of heart attacks.

“On behalf of all of us at UBC Pharm Sci, my sincere congratulations to Dr. Burt on this exceptional achievement,” says Dr. Michael Coughtrie, professor and dean, UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences. “This new appointment highlights the magnitude of Dr. Burt’s research accomplishments and her dedicated efforts to transform innovative scientific discoveries into new treatments for patients.”

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.