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David Fenske

David Fenske

Associate Professor


Abbotsford campus, B326

Phone: 604-864-4641

email David


David obtained his B.Sc. (Biochemistry) and Ph.D. (Chemistry) from Simon Fraser University, where he studied the structure of the human plasma lipoproteins using magnetic resonance techniques (primarily 2H and 31P NMR).

Beginning in 1998 he spent two years as a Visiting Fellow in the Division of Biological Sciences at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa, where he used magnetic resonance techniques to study the physical properties of glycolipids in model and biological membranes.

In 1990 he received an offer to join the research group of Professor Pieter Cullis in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at UBC, where he remained for the next 15 years, first as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then as a Research Associate. During this period his research interests ranged from biophysical studies examining the functional roles of non-bilayer lipids in biological membranes, to biomedical studies involving the design of liposomal systems for the delivery of both conventional anticancer drugs as well as some of the newer genetic drugs. Much of this research involved collaborations with Inex Pharmaceuticals (Burnaby, BC). Dr. Fenske is the author of approximately 25 research publications, 12 review articles, and is co-inventor on several patents.

In addition to his research, David was involved in teaching 3rd year Biochemistry at UBC for 10 years, an activity which he found, somewhat to his surprise, strangely enjoyable. This discovery played a role in his joining UFV in 2005, where he currently teaches Biochemistry and 1st year Chemistry courses.

A resident of Surrey, David enjoys jazz and watches far too many movies for his own good.


  • BSc (Simon Fraser University)
  • PhD, Liposomal Nanoparticles and Broadband NMR (Simon Fraser University)


Selected Publications

  • Fenske, D.B & Cullis, P.R. (2005) "Entrapment of small molecules and nucleic-acid based drugs in liposomes", Methods in Enzymology 391, 7-40.
  • Sandhu A.P., Lam A.M., Fenske D.B., Palmer L.R., Johnston M., Cullis P.R. (2005) “Calcium enhances the transfection potency of stabilized plasmid-lipid particles,” Anal Biochem. 341, 156-164.
  • Chen T., McIntosh D., He Y., Kim J., Tirrell D.A., Scherrer P., Fenske D.B., Sandhu A.P., Cullis P.R. (2004) “Alkylated derivatives of poly(ethylacrylic acid) can be inserted into preformed liposomes and trigger pH-dependent intracellular delivery of liposomal contents,” Mol Membr Biol. 21, 385-393.
  • Fenske, D.B., Maurer, N., & Cullis, P.R. (2003) “Encapsulation of weakly-basic drugs, antisense oligonucleotides, and plasmid DNA within large unilamellar vesicles for drug delivery applications,” in Liposomes: A Practical Approach (Weissig, V. and Torchilin, V., eds.), Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 167-191.
  • Fenske, D.B., MacLachlan, I., and Cullis, P.R. (2002) “Stabilized plasmid-lipid particles: a systemic gene therapy vector,” Methods in Enzymology 346, 36-71.
  • Fenske, D.B., Palmer, L.R., Chen, T., Wong, K.F., & Cullis, P.R. (2001) “Cationic poly(ethylene glycol) lipids incorporated into pre-formed vesicles enhance binding and uptake to BHK cells,” Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1512, 259-272.
  • Fenske, D. B., MacLachlan, I., and Cullis, P. R. (2001) “Long-circulating vectors for the systemic delivery of genes,” Current Opinion in Molecular Therapeutics 3, 153-158.
  • Fenske, D.B., Wong, K.F., Maurer, E., Maurer, N., Leenhouts, J.M., Boman, N., Amankwa, L., & Cullis, P.R. (1998) “Ionophore-mediated uptake of ciprofloxacin and vincristine into large unilamellar vesicles exhibiting transmembrane ion gradients.” Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1414, 188-204.
  • Fenske, D. B., Thewalt, J. L., Bloom, M., & Kitson, N. (1994) “Models of stratum corneum intercellular membranes: 2H NMR of macroscopically oriented multilayers.” Biophys. J. 67, 1562-1573.
  • Fenske, D. B., & Jarrell, H. C. (1991) “Phosphorus-31 two-dimensional solid-state exchange NMR. Application to model membrane and biological systems.” Biophys. J. 59, 55-69.
  • Fenske, D. B., Chana, R. S., Parmar, Y. I., Treleaven, W. D., & Cushley, R. J. (1990) “Structure and motion of phospholipids in human plasma lipoproteins. A 31P NMR study.” Biochemistry 29, 3973-3981.

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