Dr. Iva Kulic

Research Associate, University of British Columbia

Dr. Kulic obtained her PhD at the BC Cancer Research Centre where she identified a new tumor suppressor and used genome analysis technology to its explore mechanisms of action. She then completed her industry R&D fellowship at Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, where she validated molecular targets for cancer-directed nanoparticle technology. She has received six research scholarships from four different funding agencies throughout her thesis and fellowship work. Her additional experience extends to 5 years of innovative drug discovery and development, encompassing vaccine development, nanoparticles and small molecule therapeutics for indications including viral infections, cancer and dementia and includes positions at Merck Frosst and Protiva Biotherapeutics. Dr. Kulic joined the Wellington laboratory as a Research Associate in 2013 to lead and advance a collaborative program with AstraZeneca and the Centre for Drug Research and Development and plays a senior role in training and supervision of staff and students, and preparing competitive applications for research funding. Her current interests are in identifying drugs that modulate apolipoprotein E (the most influential gene involved late onset Alzheimer’s Disease) to address the urgent need for novel Alzheimer’s Disease targets and therapies. Through several independent high throughput screening approaches the program has identified three classes of compounds that upregulate apolipoprotein E-lipid metabolic pathways though distinct target mechanisms. P2X7 antagonists, one of these key promising leads that have spurred further investigation, emerged from an ongoing collaboration with AstraZeneca and is the focus of the research funded by the Weston Brain institute.

 

Dr. Iva Kulic Grants