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Derek M. McKay, PhD

Dr. Derek McKayProfessor
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

University of Calgary
3330 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta  T2N 4N1
Office:  (403) 220-7362    Lab: (403) 210-8999    Fax:  (403) 210-8119

BSc, Hons - 1st. class (The Queen's University of Belfast, N. Ireland) 1987
PhD (The Queen's University of Belfast, N. Ireland) 1990
  •  Immune interactions in the regulation of intestinal physiology (e.g. epithelial function).  Use of animal models and cell culture to determine if, and then how immune cells (i.e. T cells or monocytes/macrophages) and immune mediators affect epithelial function, particularly active ion transport, barrier properties and cytokine/chemokine production.
  • Analysis of direct signal transduction events mobilized in  human gut epithelia in response to cytokines, principally interferon-γ(IFNγ) and transforming a growth factor-β (TGFβ) and how the mobilized pathways cross talk to regulate epithelial function.
  • Assessment of the impact of pathogenic and non-pathogenic (i.e. commensal or non-noxious) bacteria and bacterial products (e.g. superantigens, CpG-rich DNA) on epithelial physiology, and the role of these agents in modifying gut form and function in rodents.
  • Use of animal models of colitis to examine neuronal control of epithelial ion transport.
  • Parasitisms as models of gut dysfunction.  Examination of how the tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta, can prevent or treat a chemically-induced colitis in non-permissive hosts (i.e. helminth is spontaneously expelled) and the permissive rat host where the worm establishes and lives to maturity.


  • Intestinal form and function; epithelial physiology and immunobiology
  • T cell biology
  • Host response to infection (also parasitism)

Click here to view PubMed entries for Derek M. McKay.

Administrative Assistant
Jennifer McCarty
Phone: (403) 220-3719