Media Release: Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation Kicks Off Inaugural Life Sciences Week By Welcoming Nobel Laureate Sir Michael Houghton As Chief Scientific Officer


Share this:

September 25, 2023 (Edmonton, Alberta) – Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API), an Edmonton-based not-for-profit, is rallying Alberta’s life sciences sector through a new province-wide celebration. Life Sciences Week, which runs from September 25-29 this year, will feature three events hosted by API in Edmonton and more than 20 affiliated events in communities across Alberta.

As part of this weeklong celebration API is thrilled to announce Sir Michael Houghton as its new Chief Scientific Officer. Sir Michael was named the 2020 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine. His research in the field of viral hepatitis has led to improved blood safety and hepatitis C treatment. Sir Michael has saved tens of thousands of lives with his groundbreaking discoveries.

This appointment represents Sir Michael’s esteemed lifetime commitment to science and humanity. His new role allows him to increase his contributions by supporting the industry and the companies that bring so much critical research to life in our communities.

In this new role Sir Michael will be serving in an enhanced capacity in the Canadian Critical Drug Initiative in addition to other high potential projects. Sir Michael will continue in his work as a member of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta.


“I believe that Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation along with the new Canada Critical Drug Initiative will be the key catalyst for the Albertan biotechnology industry. Alberta has very fine universities and training colleges to provide academic innovation, but it has needed a bridge like API to cross the well-known difficult leap between academic discovery and subsequent clinical development and commercialisation. With my academic and commercial biotechnology experience, I am delighted to join API as their Chief Scientific Officer to help them in their development, while still maintaining my academic position within the U of A.”

Sir Michael Houghton, Chief Scientific Officer, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation & Professor and Nobel Laureate, University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

“The Canadian Critical Drug Initiative is going to be an important part of Alberta’s Life Sciences sector for years to come. I am excited to see Sir Michael Houghton join API as Chief Scientific Officer where he will help to accelerate the development of new, life-saving medical innovations. Alberta is proud to have such a rock-star scientist working in collaboration with the University of Alberta and API.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation, Government of Alberta

“This is a major step forward for both API and the life sciences sector in Alberta. Sir Michael Houghton brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that is unparalleled. His leadership as our Chief Scientific Officer will undoubtedly catalyze groundbreaking research and development initiatives that will shape the future of the life sciences not only in Alberta but across Canada.”

Andrew MacIsaac, CEO, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation

“Sir Michael Houghton is a Nobel laureate and a globally recognized researcher and leader. While maintaining his current appointment with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and his active involvement with his ongoing programs of research at the University of Alberta, I wish him all success as he takes on an additional role at API. With API working closely with the U of A, Dr. Houghton’s research impact will be greater than ever.”

Bill Flanagan, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta

About Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation


API is an industry-led not-for-profit organization that provides life sciences and health technology development capacity for innovative companies to commercially produce their intellectual property within Canada. Since its inception 6 years ago, it has grown to over 65 staff and a network of post-secondary research labs working with many small and multinational clients and has supported 43 spin-off companies. API also operates a growing network of over 100,000 square feet of lab and company incubation space.

For media inquiries, contact:

Sam Goertz
Communications Manager
Berlin Communications