The Power List 2020 – R&D Trailblazers
Professor of Pharmacology, Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Anesthesia, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Motivation: To develop new drugs that target elements of the endocannabinoid system to treat inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease.
Starting out in cannabis science: A collaboration initiated in 1998 with a colleague and friend, Orlando Hung, and his research team. He approached me to work on the pharmacology of a new inhalation delivery platform for cannabinoids. He believed that there were superior and safer ways to deliver THC via inhalation that did not involve smoking and that could provide effective pain relief for patients. This was my first scientific exposure to THC and cannabinoids and kickstarted a scientific journey for me in endocannabinoid research that now spans more than two decades.
The next 10 years: This is an exciting time in endocannabinoid research due to the high level of public interest and the changed political landscape for cannabis. I strongly believe that the next decade will lead to a greater understanding of the body’s endocannabinoid system and result in breakthrough new therapeutics. Production, analysis and manufacturing technologies that are emerging in the cannabis industry will drive innovation elsewhere.