Transforming Discovery into Opportunity

CDRD Appoints Dr. Kelly McNagny as Co-Scientific Director

Vancouver, BC – June 30, 2015:  The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) announced today that Dr. Kelly McNagny, Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics, and Co-Director of the Biomedical Research Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC) has joined the organization as Co-Scientific Director alongside Dr. Michael Rudnicki, Senior Scientist and the Director of the Regenerative Medicine Program at the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Health Research Institute and Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. McNagny replaces UBC’s Dr. T. Michael Underhill who has recently completed his term as Co-Scientific Director and Division Chair for Target Validation.

CDRD’s President and CEO Karimah Es Sabar commented, “I first want to sincerely thank Michael Underhill who has long been one of the organization’s most valued Executive Committee members, scientific contributors, and most active and important champions whether it be in his role as our Scientific Director, Chair of Target Validation, or as a collaborating PI. He has played a critical role in so many of our successes, and provided a continued and vital link to CDRD’s academic partner organizations and the individual investigators with whom CDRD collaborates – an ambassadorial role which we know he will continue to play.”

Ms. Es Sabar continued, “We are very fortunate to have Dr. McNagny join the organization. His deep experience and scientific expertise, particularly in the area of stem cell biology will allow us to bring added value to our stakeholders. We have collaborated with him on individual projects for several years, and now look forward to having him take on this expanded role as a part of our Executive Team.”

Dr. Kelly McNagny obtained his PhD in Cellular Immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990. There he worked with Dr. Max D. Cooper (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Academy of Sciences) and his research focused on cell surface proteins expressed by preB cells that regulate B cell maturation and homing. His post-doctoral studies took him to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany where he joined Dr. Thomas Graf’s lab from 1991 to 1996. There his work focused on transcriptional control of hematopoietic stem cell maturation and cell fate. He performed some of the first studies to identify transcription factors that regulate the gene expression and differentiation of eosinophils, which are known to play a major role in allergic and asthmatic responses. In addition, he identified a number of novel hematopoietic stem cell surface proteins and began analyzing their function.  He continued his studies at the EMBL as a semi-independent, visiting scientist from 1996 to 1998 prior to starting his own laboratory at UBC’s Biomedical Research Centre, where he is a full professor in Medical Genetics. Dr. McNagny has received a number of awards including a Canadian Institutes of Health Research scholarship, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Senior scholarship, and the 2002 Showell-Pfizer Junior Faculty Award from the American Association for Immunology. He is also an active member of the Canadian AllerGen and Stem Cell Network Centres of Excellence.

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About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD):
CDRD is Canada’s fully-integrated national drug development and commercialization centre, providing expertise and infrastructure to enable researchers from leading health research institutions to advance promising early-stage drug candidates. Its mandate is to de-risk discoveries stemming from publicly-funded health research and transform them into viable investment opportunities for the private sector — thus successfully bridging the commercialization gap between academia and industry, and translating research discoveries into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

Julia White
Manager, Communications
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