Schulich school of Medicine and Dentistry logo Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Department Chairs

Dr. Davy C. H. Cheng
Department Chair and Chief (2001 - Present)

dr_davy_chengDr. Davy Cheng is the Professor & Chair / Chief of the Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine, London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph's Health Care London, and The University of Western Ontario (UWO). As well, he is the Medical Director of the Cardiac Surgery Recovery Unit at LHSC. Dr. Cheng graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada where he completed his internal medicine internship and anesthesia residency. He furthered his Cardiovascular Anesthesia Fellowship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He engages in an active career involving research, clinical and academic activities and held the position of Professor at the University of Toronto and as Medical Director, Cardiovascular Surgery, Cardiac Program, University Health Network (UHN), Toronto.

Dr. Cheng is recognized as a world expert in perioperative outcomes and resource utilization in cardiac surgery, blood management, off-pump beating heart surgery and robotic cardiac surgery, and perioperative evidence-based medicine. Recently, Dr. Cheng and his colleagues have implemented the Evidence-Based Perioperative Clinical Outcomes Research Group (EPiCOR) at the London Health Sciences Centre, UWO, and have released a number of pivotal publications to direct evidence-based clinical and surgical practice. He has published over 95 peer-reviewed scientific papers in high impact journals and 36 book / chapters. He has led international multi-centers clinical trials. Dr. Cheng has been invited as a Visiting Professor to over 70 Universities and Cardiac Centers nationally and internationally.

Dr. Cheng is elected in 2007 to serve on the Board of Trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), which is the oldest and prestigious anesthesia society founded since 1925. He also serves on the Executive Committee, and was the Past-President of the Cardiovascular & Thoracic Section, Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society (CAS). He was a member of the Advisory and Scientific Committee, of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) and the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA). Dr. Cheng also serves on the Board of Directors for the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management (SABM), Anemia Institute for Research & Education (AIRE), and the Physicians & Nurses for Blood Conservation (PNBC). Dr. Cheng has participated on the National Liaison Committee (NLC) for Canadian Blood Services (CBS), and at the provincial level for the Ontario Blood Coordinating Office. Dr. Cheng holds positions on several Editorial Boards in anesthesia (CJA), cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia (JCTVA) and cardiac surgery (INNOVATIONS).

Department Chair (1990 - 2001) | Dr. Adrian W. Gelb

dr_adrian_gelbDr. Gelb received his M.B.Ch.B. from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and then trained in anaesthesia in the United Kingdom, Canada and USA. He was appointed Professor of the Department of Anaesthesia, University of Western Ontario in 1980 and was later appointed Professor of Clinical Neurological Sciences, University of Western Ontario (1994 - 2004), and Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Western Ontario (1995 - 2004). He is currently appointed as Professor of the Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Gelb completed a Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and has been an active Board Member of numerous anesthesia societies such as: The International Anesthesia Research Society, the Society of Neuroanesthesia and Critical Care, and the International Society for Anesthetic Pharmacology.

Dr. Gelb is a renowned leader and expert in teaching of healthcare professionals in the areas of neuroscience, neurosurgical anesthesiology, and neuro-critical care. He has published 200 papers and book chapters and was the editor of 5 books. He has been listed as one of the Best Doctors in America , one of the Best Doctors in Canada , and named in the International Who's Who in Medicine. He received the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society Research Recognition Award and the Dean's Award of Excellence in Research & Teaching, University of Western Ontario in 2000. Dr. Gelb was elected to Fellowship at The Royal College of Anaesthetists, UK in 2001. He was also awarded the Society of Neuroanesthesia & Critical Care Distinguished Teacher Award (2003) and the Teacher of the Year from UCSF, Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care (2005). Dr. Gelb visits both national and international academic health care centres, which recently included a visit to Bejing, China were he was appointed as an Honorary Professor for the Peking Union Medical College (2005).

Department Chair (1990) | Dr. Gordon Sellery

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Dr. Sellery undertook specialty training in anaesthesia first in Watford, Herts, England and then at the University of Toronto. He started to practice in London in 1968 as a member of the Department of Anaesthesia. Taking a particular interest in education, he served as coordinator of various Undergraduate and Continuing Medical Education Programmes in both the Department of Anaesthesia and the Faculty of Medicine at Western. He was also an Examiner for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. From 1971 to 1986 he held the post of Chief of Anaesthesia at Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario. In that position he not only led a busy teaching department but also took an interest in community anaesthetic practice, frequently visiting and advising anaesthetists in various non- teaching hospitals throughout Ontario and organizing regional refresher programmes for them.

As Chairman of the Standards of Practice Committee, he helped forge a vital link with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). As Honorary Treasurer of the Society, he recognized the need for new sources of support for anaesthesia research and became the principal force behind the establishment and growth of the CAS Research Fund and its successor, the Canadian Anaesthesia Research Foundation (CARF). As a Canadian delegate to the World Federation Societies of Anesthesiologists (WFSA), he succeeded in being elected to the position of Federation Vice-President. He also led a successful bid to host the World Congress of the Federation in Canada in the year 2000 and was appointed Co-Chairman of its Organizing Committee. Dr. Sellery was awarded the Canadian Anaesthetists’ Society Gold Medal in 1993. Dr. Sellery retired from the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine in 2006 after 38 years of service.

Excerpt from: Canadian Anaesthetists' Society Gold Medal: Dr. Gordon Sellery. Can J Anaesth 1993;40(11):1107-8.

Department Chair (1983 - 1989) | Dr. W. Arnold Tweed

Dr. Tweed graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1964 and interned at what was then the Winnipeg General Hospital. After this time he completed a Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) for three years in the Royal Canadian Navy. This service included time spent at the Naval Diving School in Dartmouth, and two years at The National Defence Medical Center (NDMC, Ottawa). It was here that Dr. Tweed was introduced to anesthesia by George Alan Van Vliet. In 1971 Dr. Tweed completed anesthesia training in the Winnipeg Teaching Hospitals where he was greatly influenced by Jim Parkhouse and John
Wade. After completing exams he searched for an interesting venue to pursue physiologic research. Fortunately, he was awarded one of the first MRC Centennial Fellowships to study cerebrovascular physiology with Nils Lassen in Denmark for a year.

Upon returning to Canada in 1973 Dr. Tweed joined the University of Manitoba faculty in anesthesia and intensive care and continued research in what became known as the infamous 'sheep lab' of the Medical College. Infamous mainly because of the odours generated by the process of desiccating specimens for radioactive analysis. In 1983, Dr. Tweed was offered the Chairmanship of Anesthesia at Western and took over a department that had been well launched on the path to research and clinical excellence by Wolfgang Spoerel. The work of Wolfgang and Jim Bain with the Bain circuit had already made the department well known and subsequently Dr. Tweed was very fortunate to be able to continue that spirit of excellence with Dick Knill, Adrian Gelb, Pirjo Manninen, Arthur Lam, David Chung, John Murkin and many others.

Dr. Tweed left on sabbatical in 1989 as Visiting Professor to the National University of Singapore and subsequent opportunities in Asia and the Middle East. This drew him away from Western permanently. After two years in Singapore he accepted a post in Oman as the first Professor and Chairman of Anesthesia at the new Sultan Qaboos University. In Oman he led a very talented team of expatriates and Omanis to establish anesthesia teaching rotations for medical students, and the beginnings of a postgraduate training program. In 1995, he took on a similar position as first Professor and Chairman at the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain. Dr. Tweed's major interests were in the Problem Based Learning curriculum and OSCE examinations. His last Middle East move was in 1998 when he accepted an invitation from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Chair their Department of Anesthesia. In 2003, Dr. Tweed returned to Canada, to the UHN, primarily at the Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals where he was fortunate to work with a very collegial group until retiring in 2007. Since January 2007 he has been involved in a locum in New Zealand at a community hospital on the North Island. He plans to continue to travel and carry out locums, or part time work as a clinical anesthetist for another year or two.

Department Chair (1958 - 1983) | Dr. Wolfgang E. Spoerel

dr_spoerelDr. Wolfgang E. Spoerel gradated from the University of Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany in 1949. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Frankfurt Medical Clinic and then immigrated to Canada in 1951. He completed an internship at the Oshawa General Hospital, and was appointed to junior positions in the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology at UWO in 1953. He then completed his residency training in 1955 at Victoria Hospital and then spent a year at the Mayo Clinic. In 1958 he was made Head of the UWO Department and Chief of Anesthesia at Victoria Hospital and was a clinical professor of Anaesthesia by 1963. In 1972 he became Chief of Anesthesia at University Hospital. In 1986 he received the Canadian Anaesthetists' Society Medal.

Dr. Spoerel exhibited a keen mind in looking at issues from a different perspective. This was demonstrated by his interest and study of acupuncture following his visit to China. His many visits to other centres as a visiting professor raised the profile of the department and stimulated visits to UWO by anesthetists from other countries. One of Dr. Spoerel's major contributions was in bringing together the anesthetists in London to form the Anaesthesia Associates of London.

Excerpts from: Dr. Sellery. Life member 1988. and Barr ML. A century of medicine at Western: a centennial history of the faculty of medicine, University of Western Ontario. London (ON): The University of Western Ontario, 1977.

Department Chair (1949 - 1958) | Dr. John A. Blezard

dr_blezzardDr. John A. Blezard, Professor of Anaesthesia, was born in 1888 on a farm near the village of Warkworth, Ontario. He attended primary school in Warkworth and high school in the nearby town of Campbellford, studied medicine at Queen's University, and graduated in 1914. A year of internship in St. John's Hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y. was followed by a year of rural practice in northern Alberta. During his service with the Canadian Army Medical Corps from 1916 to 1919 Dr. Blezard spent much of the time as an anaesthetist in military hospitals in England and France, and was awarded the Canadian Efficiency Decoration. He conducted a general practice, continuing with anaesthesia as well, in Edmonton after the war. In 1922 Dr. Blezard became head of a subdepartment of Anaesthesia in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, and after some years limited his practice to that specialty in several Edmonton hospitals.

In 1937 Dr. Blezard moved to London, where he was the first physician to practise anaesthesia exclusively. He was appointed as an assistant in anaesthesia in the Faculty of Medicine and became Professor of Anaesthesia and chief of service at Victoria Hospital in 1949. Also in 1949 Dr. Blezard became the first Chairman of the section of Anaesthesia of the Ontario Medical Association. Dr. Blezard retired from these appointments in 1958 and lived in London until his death in 1971.

Excerpt from: Barr ML. A century of medicine at Western: a centennial history of the faculty of medicine, University of Western Ontario. London (ON): The University of Western Ontario, 1977.