Human and animal health

Explore 50 years of Innovation


Creating the Future of Health

It may sound lofty, but UCalgary's Cumming School of Medicine exists to better the human condition through improved health care. Today’s Calgarians (and the world) can attest to the impact of its leading-edge research in brain and mental health, inflammation and chronic diseases and cardiovascular health.

A Co-operative Approach

Scientific inquiry meets real-world needs. Our Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was created to meet Alberta’s need for highly-skilled veterinary graduates supporting rural areas, the production animal and equine industries, animal and human health research and public health.

1952

ANIMAL RESEARCH HAS POSSIBLE HUMAN BENEFITS

Calgary Herald writes about researcher Dr. William F. Allen, a Calgary branch chemist and his work on preventing anemia in cattle and sheep. Dr. Allen's work has possible implications for multiple sclerosis research.



1954

FIRST-YEAR NURSING COURSES BEGIN

The program is available at both University of Alberta campuses in Edmonton and Calgary. The clinical portion of the degree can be completed at University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton or at the Calgary General Hospital. At the Calgary General’s request, the agreement ends in 1959.


1955

HANDS-ON MEDICAL TRAINING PROPOSED

Calgary University Committee recommends medical and nursing schools in coordination with proposed new hospital. The hospital is the Foothills General Hospital, and it eventually opens in 1966.

1960

STUDENT HEALTH SERVICE ESTABLISHED

Situated in two small rooms in the Arts and Education building, the service had a director and one nurse, who provided first aid and health advice to the students.


1964

ALBERTA ASSOCIATION OF REGISTERED NURSES NEGOTIATES DEGREE PROGRAM

These negotiations occur at the same time as the Foothills School of Nursing negotiations with the GFC and result in the recommendation of a nursing degree program in 1968.


1967

MEDICAL SCHOOL CREATED

Created in 1967, the Faculty of Medicine is the youngest medical school in Canada. Primarily conceived as a higher learning institution to train family physicians, at a time when there was a perceived shortage.


1969

SCHOOL OF NURSING ESTABLISHED

The first class of students enter the Bachelor of Nursing program in the School of Nursing.

1973

DEAN OF MEDICINE RECEIVES CEREMONIAL HEADDRESS

Dr. W.A. Cochrane receives a headdress, as honorary medicine chief of the Stoney Nakoda First Nations, from Chief Ray Baptiste.

FIRST UCALGARY MDS GRADUATE

Health Sciences facility opens simultaneously. Dean Cochrane calls it "a very proud day for us all."


1975

HEALTH SCIENCES BUILDING OPENS

Medical students in the class of 1975 were the first to start their program in the newly constructed Health Sciences Building, built adjacent to the Foothills Hospital.


1985

PROF STAYS UP LATE IN FIGHT AGAINST SLEEP APNEA

Breathing and sleep specialist John Remmers invents the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to help sleep apnea sufferers.


1987

HERITAGE MEDICAL RESEARCH BUILDING IS CONSTRUCTED

In the early '80s the medical faculty aggressively recruited more than 100 well-trained biomedical and health care researchers. In order to house these researchers, the Heritage Medical Research Building was built in November of 1987 with funding made available by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.

1992

GROUNDBREAKING DISCOVER IN NEURAL STEM CELLS

Samuel Weiss, PhD, discovers neural stem cells in the brains of adult mammals. The groundbreaking discovery has led to new approaches for brain cell replacement and repair.


1993

MCCAIG CENTRE FOR JOINT INJURY AND ARTHRITIS RESEARCH OPENS

Research at the McCaig Institute (name changed in 2007) focuses on understanding the basis for loss of bone and joint health and how these chronic diseases and conditions develop, in partnership with several related Alberta Health Services programs.


1995

ALL-ENCOMPASSING CARDIAC DATA REGISTRIES ESTABLISHED

Dr. Merril Knudtson spearheads the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH) database — now one of the world’s most all-encompassing cardiac data registries — giving health care providers and patients a clearer picture of how effective certain cardiac procedures or treatments are over time.


1997

PHARMACEUTICALS PRODUCED FROM CANOLA

Biological Sciences professor Maurice Moloney establishes SemBioSys Genetics Inc. (with the help of University Technologies International Inc.) to produce pharmaceuticals from canola.

2003

STUDY OF PREGNANCY HORMONE AND NEW BRAIN CELLS PRODUCTION

Samuel Weiss, PhD, shows how the pregnancy hormone prolactin increases production of new brain cells and that new stem cell-generated brain cells can be redirected to a damaged part of a brain. This has led to experimental therapeutic research in stroke and Multiple Sclerosis.


2007

THE POTENTIAL OF ACNE MEDICINE IN MS PATIENTS

V. Wee Yong, PhD, and Dr. Luanne Metz lead a clinical study into a common acne medication that has the potential to delay the progress of Multiple Sclerosis. They continue to create new medicines for repairing damage and recovering function in people with progressive MS.


2010

CALGARY HAS LOWEST DEATH RATE FROM HEART ATTACKS

Calgary has the lowest death rate in Canada from heart attacks thanks to the ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction program. It provides the communications link between EMS and the hospital; saving time, streamlining resources and improving patient outcomes.

2011

BACTERIAL INFECTIONS AND BRAIN INJURIES

Paul Kubes, PhD, and his team discover how the injured brain suppresses the immune system, which could give doctors a new tool to help fight potentially deadly bacterial invasions in people with brain injuries.


2012

FIRST VET MED CLASS GETS 100%

The first class of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) received a 100 per cent pass rate on their first attempt at the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE).

CLOT-BUSTING HELP FOR STROKE PATIENTS DISCOVERED

A team of Canadian scientists and physicians led by Dr. Michael Hill conduct a landmark clinical trial showing that a drug can protect the brain from stroke damage. The team pioneers the introduction of clot-busting, transforming clinical care for stroke patients.


2014

DANCING/PARKINSON’S: THE CALGARY PROJECT

The multi-disciplinary dance study, in partnership with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and Parkinson Alberta, examines both the quantitative and qualitative effects of dancing, integrating a series of tasks usually applied in clinical and research settings.