Vassilios Papadopoulos, DPharm, PhD, DSc (hon)

Vassilios Papadopoulos, DPharm, PhD, DSc (hon)

Dean, USC School of Pharmacy
John Stauffer Dean's Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Vassilios Papadopoulos, DPharm, PhD, DSc (hon), was named dean of the USC School of Pharmacy on Aug. 2, effective Oct. 1. Prior to his appointment as dean, he served as executive director and chief scientific officer of the Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre in Montreal.

A noted scientist and innovative leader, Dr. Papadopoulos has published over 300 papers, holds numerous patents and serves on many national and international advisory committees. He is an elected foreign member of the National Academies of Medicine and Pharmacy in France, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

For nearly a decade, Dr. Papadopoulos led initiatives at McGill University Health Centre’s research arm, including Translational Research and Intervention across the Lifespan, which resulted in over $300 million in federal and provincial grants to build a state-of-the-art facility for clinical and biomedical research, said McGill University Health Centre officials.

To foster the development of future scientists and clinicians at McGill University Health Centre, Dr. Papadopoulos established the institution’s Desjardins Centre for Advanced Training and established a Business Development Office to facilitate knowledge transfer and assist in the commercialization of technologies. Under his leadership, the Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre launched numerous international collaborations.

A School of Pharmacy graduate of the University of Athens in Greece, Dr. Papadopoulos holds a PhD in health and life science from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, and he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in France and Australia. In 1988, he joined the faculty of Georgetown University School of Medicine, rising to become professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In 2004, Dr. Papadopoulos was appointed associate vice president for research and then director of the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization at Georgetown University Medical Center. He moved to McGill in 2007. In addition to his leadership roles, he has been a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill, and held a Canada Research Chair in Biochemical Pharmacology and the Phil Gold Chair in Medicine.


Dr. Papadopoulos’ research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the initiation and maintenance of steroid biosynthesis in the adrenal, gonads and brain, in health and disease. He also examines the regulation of steroid biosynthesis, intracellular compartmentalization and homeostasis by hormones, chemicals, drugs, natural products and environmental factors. His goal is to understand the pathophysiology of steroidogenesis and develop new tools for the treatment of diseases related to elevated or low steroid levels or alter subcellular steroid compartmentalization as a means to block disease acquisition and/or progression. In these studies his laboratory is using biochemical, pharmacological and molecular methods as well animal models of disease and human biopsies and specimens to identify the physiological role of critical components of the steroidogenic pathway and pathological situations created by changes in the expression of these components in animals and humans. Drug design methods and molecular modeling are used by his laboratory to modify existing chemical entities and generate novel ones targeted at key elements of the steroidogenic machinery. Dr. Papadopoulos’ research has direct applications in reproduction and development, cancer, stress-related disorders, aging and brain related dysfunction, such as Alzheimer’s disease pathology, and infectious diseases, such as HIV.

Dr. Papadopoulos has published more than 300 articles and holds numerous patents presented below. His work has been cited over 15,000 times (h-index = 66) based on source items indexed within Web of Science (ISI Web of Knowledge SM) and Google Scholar.

Applications of the findings from Dr. Papadopoulos’ research in Reproductive Biology, Endocrinology, Neurosciences, Pathology, Environmental Toxicology, Aging, Breast Cancer and HIV therapy have been and are supported by grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Private Foundations, the US Department of Defense, the Canadian Foundation of Innovation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries.

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