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Welcome to the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Our department is the largest basic science department in the Cumming School of Medicine, with 42 primary and emeritus members, plus numerous secondary and adjunct appointees.  Our primary members represent five of the Cumming School of Medicine's seven research institutes - the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.  New recruitment activities at the Assistant Professor level will involve partnerships with these and other research institutes in our Faculty, building on the existing strengths identified in the University’s and Faculty’s strategic research plans:  brain and mental health, chronic disease (including inflammation/immunology research) and cardiovascular health.  In addition, the department leads the development of a Faculty-wide program in the area of therapeutics, involving several partners and stakeholders.  We continue to develop strength in translational research, joining with clinical colleagues in bringing our discoveries from the bench to the patient.

The strength of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology lies in our outstanding faculty, staff and students, all of whom take pride in a strong commitment to excellence in research and education. Over half of our primary department members hold external salary awards from agencies such as the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Canada Research Chair program, and the vast majority are funded through CIHR operating grants.  Several of our members hold endowed chairs within the Faculty.

The department is actively engaged in a range of educational activities, including both classroom teaching across the campus, as well as the training of high quality graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Graduate student training is conducted under the umbrella of the Faculty of Graduate studies in one of the many systems-based graduate programs.  We continually strive to provide innovative platforms from which to provide engaging education in physiology and pharmacology.

On behalf of our department, you are invited to explore our website.  You may contact us if you wish more information.


Wallace K. MacNaugton, PhD

Professor and Head, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology


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