volker gerdts new head of vido intervac at university of saskatchewan

Volker Gerdts new head of VIDO-InterVac at University of Saskatchewan

Canada Science

VIDO-InterVac has a new director and CEO. Dr. Volker Gerdts, the organization’s current associate director of research, will take over his new duties on Jan. 1, 2019.

READ MORE: Dr. Andrew Potter stepping down as head of VIDO-Intervac

Karen Chad, the University of Saskatchewan’s vice-president of research, said Gerdts appointment is a reflection of his contributions during his 18 years at the centre.

“With his vision, passion for research and leadership skills honed during 18 years of outstanding work at VIDO-InterVac, Volker is well equipped to advance the organization — one of Canada’s top scientific centres — to another level of excellence and global leadership,” Chad said in a statement.

Gerdts has led a number of projects over the years, including developing and testing a vaccine for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, a viral disease in pigs.

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He said he intends to advance VIDO-InterVac’s scientific excellence and make the centre a premiere research institution.

“VIDO-InterVac truly is a global leader,” Gerdts said.

“With some of the best minds and most advanced infrastructure in the world, we have the opportunity to make VIDO-InterVac the world’s premiere research institute for emerging diseases.”

READ MORE: New cattle vaccine in Africa developed in part by Saskatoon’s VIDO-InterVac

VIDO-InterVac has commercialized eight vaccines, and has two more in commercial development.

Gerdts first joined VIDO-InterVac in 1998 as a post-doctoral fellow. He was hired as a research scientist in 2002 and named associate director in 2007.

He takes over from Andrew Potter, who announced in July he was stepping down after leading the facility for 11 years.