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CDRD appoints Dr. Kelly McNagny as co-scientific director


Vancouver, BC – The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) has appointed 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) 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 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.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. McNagny join the organization,” said Karimah Es Sabar, CDRD’s president and CEO. “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. McNagny replaces UBC’s Dr. T. Michael Underhill who has recently completed his term as co-scientific director and division chair for target validation.