Remembering Dr. Mavanur Rangarajan Suresh (1953-2018)

    It is with heavy hearts that we mark the passing of one of our own, Dr. Mavanur Rangarajan Suresh, on May 11, 2018.

    May 14, 2018

    Dr. Mavanur Rangarajan Suresh 1953-2018


    Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Members of the Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Community,

    It is with heavy hearts that we mark the passing of one of our own, Dr. Mavanur Rangarajan Suresh, on May 11, 2018.

    Born April 22, 1953 in Shimoga, Karnataka, India, Dr. Suresh commenced his studies at Bangalore University where he completed his BSc (honours), Botany 1st class in 1971. He was a Senior Under officer, 14th Mysore Battalion National cadet corps and was best marksman in 1971. He then received a MSc degree in Cytognetics, 1st Rank from Bangalore University as well as the Sri Gopinath Memorial Gold Medal. He studied at the Indian Institute of Science in the Department of Biochemistry from 1973-1978 where he received his PhD. He received a National Science Talent Fellowship from the National Council of Educational research and Training, New Delhi, India through his educational training.

    Dr. Suresh furthered his education at the Department of Biochemistry Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, California, U.S.A. under an American Cancer Society Post-Doctoral Fellowship from 1979-1982. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta from1982-1984 and then moved to the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom where he held a Senior Usher Fellowship from 1984-1985. Dr. Suresh returned as Chief Scientist, Biomira Inc. and Adjunct Associate Professor with the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences from 1986-1993. He was as appointed as a Professor to the Medical Research Council: Biomira Chair in Immunoconjugates in 1993. He studied antibodies and new ways of making effective vaccines with less antigen and was involved in point of care diagnostic device development while holding several patents.

    Throughout his career, Dr. Suresh received significant research grants from the Alberta Cancer Board, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the United States National Institutes of Health. He was also involved in the Centre for Biological Imaging and Adaptive Radiotherapy operations on University of Alberta’s South Campus.

    In 1993, he also started a spinoff biotechnology company, Immunocreations Inc., of which he was President. Later, he was integral in the creation of another spinoff company with the founding of IGY Inc.

    In 2000-2001, Dr. Suresh was awarded a McCalla Professorship at the University of Alberta. A passionate advocate and champion of ethics, Dr. Suresh was awarded the Louis D. Hyndman Senior Scientific Award in 2003 for his outstanding contributions to improving the welfare of animals used in research on campus through his use of in-vitro production of antibodies. Dr. Suresh was advisor or co-advisor of 19 graduate students within the Faculty over his career. He was also a key member of the Immunology Network at the University of Alberta. He served as Director of Graduate Affairs 2005-2006 and Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies from 2006-2009 in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science. Special recognition for mentoring high school students in the Sanofi Aventis BioTakent Challenge was awarded to Dr. Suresh by Bio Alberta in 2011. He subsequently took medical leave from the University of Alberta in 2011.

    Dr. Suresh was a colleague, mentor, teacher, and friend to many. Through his work and in his personal life he provided inspiration to us all and will be greatly missed. Our condolences go out to his wife, Bharathi; his daughter, Sneha and son Arjun and the rest of his family. A Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, May 16 at 1:00 p.m. at Park Memorial Chapel, 9709 – 111 Avenue. Read Dr. Suresh’s obituary here.



    Neal Davies BSc.(Pharm), Ph.D. R.Ph.