Dr. Peter Zandstra, Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME), was appointed to the Order of Canada on December 29 for his significant contributions to stem cell bioengineering and regenerative medicine. 

This appointment is both a recognition of Dr. Zandstra’s groundbreaking work, as well as the support he has received in his career working in a community that includes UBC’s Dr. Pieter Cullis and Dr. Connie Eaves, who were also appointed to the Order on December 29th. It’s a groundbreaking moment for the school and the Canadian life sciences research and development ecosystem, at large. 

“I’m excited to see Biomedical Engineering being recognized for its current and potential impact in Canada and abroad,” says Dr. Zandstra. “The appointments of Dr. Connie Eaves, a giant in stem cell and cancer therapy, as well as Dr. Pieter Cullis, one of the key scientists behind our ability to use mRNA technology in vaccine development, shows the impact of interdisciplinary research and education, and projects to the leadership that UBC’s School of Biomedical Engineering is building at the interface of engineering and medicine .” 

Dr. Zandstra is recognized for more than 20 years of groundbreaking work at the intersection of biology and engineering—discoveries that have facilitated the development of technologies for stem cell-based therapies used for regenerative medicine and furthered the understanding of stem cell biology, immunology, and tissue regeneration. Dr. Zandstra’s research has been pivotal in working towards finding cures for debilitating chronic diseases such as cancer, and helping patients live better lives.