Vassilios Papadopoulos, DPharm, PhD, DSc (hon)'s Bio
Vassilios Papadopoulos, DPharm, PhD, DSc (hon), was named dean of the USC School of Pharmacy in fall 2016. Before joining USC, 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, Papadopoulos has published more than 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, Papadopoulos led initiatives at McGill University Health Centre’s research arm, which resulted in more than $300 million in federal and provincial grants to build a state-of-the-art facility for clinical and biomedical research. He established the Desjardins Centre for Advanced Training to foster the development of future scientists and clinicians, and a business development office to facilitate knowledge transfer and assist in the commercialization of technologies. Under his leadership, the Research Institute launched numerous international collaborations. In addition to his leadership roles, he held a Canada Research Chair in Biochemical Pharmacology and the Phil Gold Chair in Medicine.
A School of Pharmacy graduate of the University of Athens in Greece, Papadopoulos holds a PhD in health and life science from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, and he worked as a postdoctoral 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, he 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.
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.
His 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. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, private foundations, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Canadian Foundation of Innovation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.