Dr. Pieter Cullis inducted into Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Dr. Pieter Cullis inducted into Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

In a formal ceremony that took place in downtown Vancouver, BC, on 13 April 2024, former AllerGen Board Chair (2016-2022) Dr. Pieter Cullis was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF).

The CMHF selected Dr. Cullis as a 2024 inductee in recognition of his being “a leader in creating drug delivery systems to treat disease.” As stated in his laurate profile: “More than 32 million Canadians have been protected by at least one dose of an approved [COVID] 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.”

“I am incredibly honoured,” said Dr. Cullis. “The LNP technology enabling the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines reflect the efforts of literally hundreds of people. I have been extremely fortunate to receive credit for what was really a huge collective effort.”

Dr. Cullis’ work has contributed to five approved drugs, including Comirnaty, the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

“Dr. Cullis is a visionary scientist-entrepreneur and mentor who, with his trademark modesty and good humour, is changing the landscape of disease treatment and helping to usher in a new age of pharmaceuticals,” states AllerGen President & CEO Diana Royce. “AllerGen was privileged to have benefited from his leadership, and we could not be more pleased about his garning this well-deserved recognition. Congratulations, Pieter!”

“I have worked with Pieter, and I’m proud to have stepped into his shoes as the Board Chair for AllerGen,” says AllerGen’s current Board Chair, Dan Nixon. “He is a force of nature when it comes to advancing the boundaries of medical science, and I’m grateful to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for their recognition of him.”

“The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is proud to welcome [the 2024 inductees] whose outstanding contributions to health have made Canada, and the world, a better place,” commented CMHF Chair Dr. Cynthia Forbes.

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame 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.

Dr. Cullis with AllerGen Board Chair Dan Nixon (R) at the CMHF induction event
AllerGen President & CEO Diana Royce (R) with Dr. Cullis at the CMHF induction event

PCullis podium (3)

Dr. Pieter Cullis at the 2024 CMHF induction event


Long-time AllerGen Board member and research leader Dr. Paul O’Byrne at the 2024 CMHF induction ceremony; Dr. O’Byrne is scheduled to host the 2025 ceremony at McMaster University in Hamilton

Dr. Cullis, jointly with other international colleagues who were instrumental to the development of mRNA vaccines, has already accumulated a plethora of recent honours, including being elected to the Royal Society (UK) and appointed to the Order of British Columbia in 2023, the 2022 Bloom Burton Award, the 2023 Killam Prize, the 2023 Julia Levy Award, the Tang Prize, the  2021 Prince Mahidol Award,  the inaugural VinFuture Grand Prize, and the 2022 Canada Gairdner International Award. His co-awardees on many of these honours—Drs. Katilin Karikó and Drew Weismann—were awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Read the UBC announcement | See the CMHF event photo gallery