Mario Pinto was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and received his BSc and PhD in chemistry from Queen’s University. He is currently professor of chemistry and vice-president, research at Simon Fraser University, and is a Fellow of the CIC and the Royal Society of Canada. He has received numerous awards and honours for his research.
Pinto is a pioneer in the field of chemical biology, having developed novel NMR/molecular modeling protocols for the study of bioactive ligand conformations when bound to proteins, and enzyme inhibitors as agents against Type-2 diabetes, obesity, and associated metabolic diseases. His work also involves the synthesis of antiviral and antibacterial drug candidates, bacterial vaccines, and new methods of viral control. Pinto’s approach combines biophysical analysis, synthesis, in vitro molecular and cell-based assays, and in vivoanimal studies.
Pinto is one of the founding members of the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), and has served as chair of the CSC conference in 1998, president of the International Carbohydrate Organization in 2006, CSC vice-president in 2010, and CSC president in 2011. He has served on several NSERC, CIHR, and provincial and federal committees, and on several boards of directors.