Congratulations to Dr. James Piret, recipient of the 2015 R.S. Jane Memorial Award, the premier award from the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. Dr. Piret is being recognized for his outstanding accomplishments in the field of chemical and biological engineering.
Dr. Piret is a leading scholar in biotechnology, specializing in multi-disciplinary mammalian cell culture research that uses technologies ranging from molecular biology to bioreactor engineering in order to advance research to improve human health outcomes. His group develops and optimizes mammalian cell culture processes to produce cells or proteins intended for the treatment of diseases. Actively collaborating with scientists and industries throughout his career, Dr. Piret has contributed to several successfully commercialized innovations.
In 2001, Piret was the founding bioengineering theme leader of Canada’s Stem Cell Networks of Centres of Excellence and led projects that networked multidisciplinary stem cell research across Canada at multiple universities. Piret currently serves as the bioengineering leader of CellCAN, a network of Canadian researchers who work to enable cell therapy clinical trials for major diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
With Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in applied mathematics to biochemistry and doctoral degree in chemical engineering from MIT, Dr. Piret joined UBC in 1989. Dr. Piret has supervised more than 40 graduate students and 20 postdoctoral fellows. His lab has trained more than 100 undergraduate thesis, co-op and international students. For his dedication to students, Piret was named a Faculty Member of the Year in 2006 by the UBC Engineering Co-op Program and received the Chemical & Biological Engineering Teaching Excellence Award in 2012. Other notable distinctions include becoming a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and winning the 2012 Engineering Conferences International’s Cell Culture Engineering Award, the 2015 UBC Applied Science Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service, and a UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowship and Prize.