Dr. Pinto, of Goan and Sri Lankan origin, received his B.Sc. degree and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Queen's University. He did his postdoctoral work at Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France and the National Research Council Canada (NRC) in Ottawa before coming to SFU in 1983. Dr. Pinto is a Professor of Chemistry, and served as Chair of the Chemistry Department from 1999 until 2004, and is currently completing his second term as the Vice-President, Research.
Dr. Pinto is a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) and the Royal Society of Canada. He is a recipient of the Montreal Medal (2014), the Alfred Bader Award (2013) and R.U. Lemieux Award (2012) of the CSC, BCIC Frontiers of Research Award (2005), CSC Bernard Belleau Award (2002), CSC Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research Lecture Award (1993), and the ACS Horace S. Isbell Award (1992).
Professor Pinto has published over 225 papers that span a broad range of interests in molecular mimicry, glycomimetics, RNA-mimics, protein-ligand interactions, immunochemistry, enzyme inhibitors, vaccines and NMR/molecular modelling. His current focus is on carbohydrate mimicry for drug and vaccine design. The results of this research have implications for the diagnosis or treatment of bacterial and viral diseases, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer. He is a founding member of the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and serves on its Board and on the Scientific Advisory Board of Sirona Biochem Corp. He is Canada’s representative to the International Carbohydrate Organization, and was its President from 2006 to 2008. He has served as a member of the Expert Panel on Research Integrity of the Council of Canadian Academies, the Chair of the 2006 International Carbohydrate Symposium, the 81st CSC Conference, and the Gordon Conference on Carbohydrates in 1997. He served as Vice-President of the CSC in 2009 and its President in 2010. He is the Vice-Chair (2014) of the Chemical Institute of Canada.
As Vice-President, Research, Pinto is an advocate for university research and guides policy development at the university, provincial and national levels. He is a champion for multi-disciplinary approaches to global problems and for establishing national and international linkages in research, technology, and education. Developing new models of innovation for technology transfer, including VentureLabs® and Venture Connection®, Pinto strongly supports entrepreneurs, startup and spinout companies by capitalizing on the idea-innovation-commercialization ecosystem. He is well known for his efforts to promote investment in building the innovation ecosystem. Pinto has been instrumental in facilitating India-Canada collaborations in areas of infectious and chronic diseases, population and public health, clean energy technologies, digital media technologies, and resource and environmental management. Underscoring Pinto’s work is a dedication to revitalizing dialogue that advances scholarly inquiry and innovation through collaboration.
Interview on Your Education Matters (February 2012)
2012 Feb YEM - Dr. Mario Pinto from SFU Education on Vimeo.
Researchers Win Innovation Awards (November 3, 2005, SFU News)