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Dr. Gerry Wright

Position: 
Director of the Michel G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research
Organization: 
McMaster University

Dr. Gerry Wright is the Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University (2007-present). He is Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and Associate member of the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Biology as well as Pathology and Molecular Medicine.

He received his BSc in Biochemistry (1986) and his PhD in Chemistry (1990) from the University of Waterloo working in the area of antifungal drugs. He followed this up with 2 years of postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School in Boston where he worked on the molecular mechanism of resistance to the antibiotic vancomycin in enterococci. He joined the Department of Biochemistry at McMaster in 1993.

Dr. Wright holds the Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Infection and Anti-Infective Research, a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Antibiotic Biochemistry and has received Canadian Institutes of Health Research Scientist (2000-2005) and Medical Research Council of Canada Scholar (1995-2000), Killam Research Fellowship (2011-1012), Premier’s Research Excellence (1999) and Polanyi Prize (1993) awards. He was the American Society of Microbiology Division ‘A’ (Antimicrobial Chemotherapy) lecturer in 2007, received the Faculty of Science Alumni of Honor Award from the University of Waterloo (2007) and was the 2012 Hopwood Lecturer (John Innes Centre, Norwich UK). He was elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada in 2012 and to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2013. He is the past director of the American Chemical Society Short Course on Antibiotics and Antibacterial Agents. Dr. Wright was Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences for 6 years (2001-2007) and the founding director of the McMaster Antimicrobial Research Centre; he is co-founder, with Dr. Eric Brown, of the McMaster High Throughput Screening Facility.

He has consulted widely in the private sector (biotech and pharma) on aspects of antibiotic resistance and discovery and antifungal agents. He has published over 180 papers and book chapters and is a member of the editorial boards of Chemistry and Biology (2000-present), The Journal of Antibiotics (2004-present), Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Antimicrobial Therapeutics Reviews (2011-present) and Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy (2011-2013).