New Associate Director of Research Named

Jun 10, 2007

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Volker Gerdts will become the new Associate Director of Research at the University of Saskatchewan’s VIDO/InterVac starting July 1.

Dr. Gerdts leads VIDO’s Neonatal Immunization program and holds a science management position. He succeeds Andrew Potter who is taking up the position of Director of VIDO/InterVac July 1.

"I am delighted that Dr. Gerdts has accepted the position of Associate Director of Research at VIDO/InterVac. He has both the scientific credentials and the management skills required to move VIDO/InterVac to the next level of international scientific acclaim," said Lorne Babiuk, VIDO Director.

"Further, his personal qualities as a colleague and collaborator will be a magnet for building the national and international collaborations required to ensure VIDO/InterVac’s continued success."

"Dr. Gerdts’ leadership skills will be a great benefit to VIDO/InterVac," said Andrew Potter. "As well, his commitment to teaching and mentorship will be a valuable contribution to the newly established University of Saskatchewan School of Public Health."

Dr. Gerdts is an expert in neonatal immunization and in 2000 developed a unique approach to immunize fetuses in the womb through oral delivery of novel "DNA" vaccines. His work was published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine.

He is scientific manager of an international project to develop single-dose vaccines that will be effective in newborns. These vaccines have the potential to save thousands of lives in developing countries. The project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Krembil Foundations.

Dr. Gerdts completed his DVM degree at Germany’s Hanover Veterinary School, and pursued graduate studies at the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (Island of Riems) and Hanover Veterinary School.

He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at VIDO in 2000 and joined the VIDO staff as a scientist in 2002.

"VIDO’s unique research environment is both interdisciplinary and strongly team-based, and I have learned a great deal from my colleagues. I am very excited about the new opportunities presented by this position, particularly with InterVac on the horizon," says Dr. Gerdts.

Currently operating a successful research program supported by competitive grants, Dr. Gerdts has mentored a number of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. He has published in peer-reviewed international journals, holds international patents, and sits on grant review panels for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF).

He has received Young Investigator Awards from both CIHR and the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network, one of the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence.