Professor Bowen Li sitting on steps at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy

The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy is pleased to share that Assistant Professor Bowen Li has been awarded a new Canada Research Chair in RNA Vaccines and Therapeutics. Li was among 36 researchers from across U of T and its partner hospitals awarded new and renewed chairs.

"The Canada Research Chair in RNA Vaccines and Therapeutics serves as both an acknowledgment of the transformative power of RNA technologies in medicine and a testament to our team's unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of Canadians,” said Li who joined the department of pharmaceutical sciences at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy in early 2022.

Working at the intersection of biomaterials sciences, drug delivery and immunoengineering, the Li lab is leading a cutting-edge research program dedicated to building nonviral delivery systems for nucleic acids including mRNA, siRNA and CRSIPR-Cas9. In his past research, Li created a high-throughput combinatorial platform that can synthesize lipid-like materials and select the most effective one for mRNA delivery much quicker than what is currently available. Based on this groundbreaking platform, he has developed different types of mRNA lipid nanoparticles for a range of human health applications.

“This prestigious award will be pivotal in amplifying our efforts to develop next-generation RNA-based vaccines and therapeutics, spurring groundbreaking advancements in areas such as vaccination and immunotherapy,” he said. “Our team is working to advance innovations that will not only propel scientific discovery but will also yield meaningful improvements in the health and quality of life for Canadians, ultimately contributing to a healthier society."

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