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Department of Physiology & Pharmacology


As the largest basic science department in the Cumming School of Medicine, Physiology and Pharmacology members represent five of the School's seven research institutes - the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health.

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.

On behalf of our department, you are invited to explore our website. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you wish more information.


Wallace MacNaughton, PhD

Professor and Head, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Upcoming Events

Nipgit 2016
Banff Centre
30 September - 2 October 
For more information, please visit the website at

Department of Physiology & Pharmacology Holiday Party
9 December 2016

Department of Physiology & Pharmacology Annual Retreat
13 January 2017
Legacy Suite, University of Calgary

Banff Inflammation Workshop
26-29 January 2017
Banff, AB

Canadian Digestive Diseases Week
3-6 March 2017
Banff, Alberta

Experimental Biology 2017
22-26 April 2017
Chicago Illinois

Digestive Diseases Week 2017
6-9 May 2017
Chicago Illinois

Department News

Welcoming New Faculty...

The department would like to give a warm welcome to two new faculty members: Dr. Kathy McCoy and Dr. Marie-Claire Arreita. Dr. McCoy joins us from the University of Bern, Swizerland where she was the academic director of their Clean Mouse Facility. She has come to the University to run our own germ-free facility. Dr. Arrieta has come from the University of British Columbia and will be focusing her research on the gut microbiome.


Their offices are located at HSC 1883 and HRIC 4AC66 respectively. If you have the chance, please drop by to say hello and give them a warm welcome!


Congratulations to Dr. Jaideep Bains who was elected president of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience!

Congratulations to Dr. Wallace MacNaughton who received the CCC Research Leadership Award this past summer!

Congrats to Dr. Simon Hirota who received the New Investigator Award from Crohn’s Colitis Canada.

The department would also like to recognize those who were successful in the last CIHR grant competition. Dr. Keith Sharkey received the CIHR Foundation Grant. Dr. Jong Rho received a CIHR Project Scheme grant – congratulations Dr. Rho! Congratulations to Dr. Grant Gordon who received a CIHR New Investigator Foundation Scheme grant. 

Congrats to Fernando Lopes for receiving the CIHR.GAC post-doctoral fellowship award.

Dr. John Wallace successfully completed the first phase 2 human study of ATB-346, an H2S-releasing anti-inflammatory drug, in patients with osteoarthritis. A low dose of the drug given once daily produced superior pain relief to that achieved with market-leading drugs like celecoxib and naproxen. Congratulations Dr. Wallace!

Congratulations to Megan Lewis who received a studentship from the Branch Out Foundation.

Congratulations to Carlos Daniel Gomez Martinez who received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT)

Congrats to Dr. Francine Smith for the publication of an invited chapter titled “Development of the Renin Angiotensin System” in Fetal and Neonatal Physiology, released July 2016!

Congratulations to Dr. Robert French for the publication of “Na Channels from Phyla to Function” in Current Topics in Membranes, scheduled for release September 7th!

A huge congratulations to Dr. Marie-Claire Arreita for the publication of her book Let Them Eat Dirt, a lay book about the microbiome set for release September 10th!