Research Assistants

Stephen Pow

Stephen Pow

Stephen Pow obtained his MA in history at the University of Calgary. While the focus of his research was on the medieval period, his other interests include philosophy and modern Germany. Recently he has had the opportunity to research the life and works of Kurt Goldstein while assisting Dr. Frank Stahnisch with a number of publications.

Investigating Important Cultural Influences of Modern Brain Research

Although it is often assumed that the necessary ingredients of science (education, institutions, human and material resources) are universal, there is growing evidence from scholarly publications in cultural studies, sociology and history, that medical research and health care are also grounded in important local and cultural differences. By applying a cultural view to neuroscience history, Dr. Stahnisch's research project will give new insights into both the forms of research organization and the development of institutional models in relation to their impact on modern neuroscience. Specifically, it will be an examination of the role of German-speaking émigré neurologists and psychiatrists who fled from ominous developments in Central Europe in the 1930s. Such individuals, often coerced into fleeing their homelands, can be shown to have exerted an enormous influence on North America's neurosciences and contributed to emergence of interdisciplinarity in a variety of fields.

This project will contribute to the advancement of knowledge in medicine as well as provide historical insights for use among respective stakeholders in the Canadian and international neurosciences.

Mikkel Dack

Mikkel Dack is a PhD Candidate in the University of Calgary’s Department of History, working as a researcher for the history of the Cumming School of Medicine book project. He has conducted primary source research at the UofC archives, the Glenbow Archives, and the Local History Collection at the Calgary Public Library, as well as extensive study of the Cumming School of Medicine’s administrative records. He is also conducting oral interviews and newspaper research.

Although Mikkel’s dissertation is concerned with modern European history, he has undertaken considerable research on topics in Western Canadian medicine and science. He has presented papers and published articles on the Alberta eugenics movement in the 1920s and 1930s and on provincial legislation surrounding non-consensual sterilization. A native of Calgary, Mikkel is also involved in a number of community based public history initiatives that seek to preserve and commemorate Calgary and Alberta historical sites.

Will Pratt

Will Pratt is a PhD Candidate at the University of Calgary's Department of History, and works as a research assistant with the Cumming School of Medicine book project. He updates the project's website [] and compiles research from books, articles and archives. He completed his master's degree in 2010 at the University of New Brunswick and took a double major in history and philosophy for his baccalaureate from the University of Victoria.

His own research is on Canadian Army morale in the Second World War. The project involves several medical themes, and he has presented conference papers on battle exhaustion, psychiatry and venereal disease in the army. He publishes his own historical blog "Dustbin Epitaph" at