University of Calgary

Wayne Giles

  • Professor Emeritus of Pshysiology and Pharmacology

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Dr. Wayne Giles is a Professor both in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Calgary School of Medicine.

He was appointed Dean of Kinesiology from  2006 - 2012.  Most recently Giles was a Professor in Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Giles returns to Calgary where he was a Faculty member for almost 20 years. Giles was previously the Head of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Calgary where he held an Endowed Chair from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta. Giles serves on the editorial boards of Circulation Research and the journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, Experimental Physiology and  the American Journal of Physiology. He received his Ph.D. in Physiology from Yale University in 1974.


Dr. Giles is an internationally recognized researcher in the electrical activity of cells – looking to understand cell function by detecting and in some cases controlling the cell’s electrical activity

The majority of Giles’ research has been on the electrophysiology of the heart and that work has greatly contributed to our present understanding of the electrical impulses that initiate and modulate the heart beat. This work has provided insight into the design of cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, and drugs that control dangerous heart rhythms.

Giles is continuing his research at the University of Calgary by examining the electrical activity in bone cells and chondrocytes which are critical to articulate joint functions. The theme is always understanding cell function by detecting and in some cases controlling the cell’s electrical activity.



Areas of Interest and Expertise

 Electrophysiology and pathology of the human atrium

  • Ionic basis of the action potential with emphasis on mechanisms for repolarization and postrepolarization refractorines
  • Ionic mechanisms of autonomic transmitter and co-transmitter effects in the atrium at baseline and in the setting of chronic atrial 
  • Effects of physiological changes in plasma electrolytes with emphasis on external potassium levels in the dialysis patient and in atrial fibrillation
  • Electrophysiological consequences of sterile inflammation in the human atrium
  • Atrial fibrosis with emphasis on the paracrine effects of myofibroblast invasion

 Electrophysiological mechanisms and sequelae in chronic diseases of the mammalian ventricle

  • The diabetic myocardium
  • Leukocyte-induced changes in myocyte electrophysiology and EC coupling
  • Adrenergic regulation of ventricular function including inotropic and dromotropic mechanisms
  • Electrolyte dependence of EAD generation and propagation
  • The reprogrammed ventricular fibroblast as a model for antiarrhythmic drug assessment and tailoring for personalized medicine
  • insights into conditions in which Purkinje cells as opposed to ventricular myocytes are significant proarrhythmic foci

 Platform technologies and optimized preparations

  • Planar patch clamp methods integrated with microfluidics for medium throughput drug discovery - Cytopatch compared with Nanion or Sophion automated patch clamp platform
  • Theory and practice of ensuring valid recordings of membrane potentials and action potential waveforms in small high resistance cells such as those from embryonic heart, alpha and beta cells from the pancreas and commercially available human pluripotent stem cell preparations                                
  • Integration of selected wavelengths of light for stimulation of targeted cellular preparations, intracellular organelles or caged second messengers

 Systems Biology

  • Current knowledge and ready access to mathematical models of human atrial and ventricular myocytes together with the capabilities for scaling up to multicellular  preparations including ventricular trabeculae, ventricular slice preparations and selected regions of the left or right atrium of mammalian hearts
  • Integration and evaluation of disease- or stressed-induced alterations of cardiac ion channels in defined pathophysiological settings as summarized above

 Knowledge translation

  • Both breadth and depth as it relates to strategies for optimal publication based upon  current and long standing membership on five international Editorial Board
  • Current working knowledge of North American and World wide training environments as these relate to resources for recruitment of staff scientists or placement of external contracts
  • Broad and current experience with manuscript preparation and tailoring for a wide variety of scientific Journals





Curriculum Vitae


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