Schulich school of Medicine and Dentistry logo Physiology and Pharmacology Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Research Areas

Physiology and Pharmacology Research

Clinical and Basic Pharmacology

Research ranges from mechanisms involved in the regulation of drug disposition, pharmokinetics, drug metabolism and drug interactions, which will impact many diseases ranging from fibrosis and cancer to kidney disease.

Faculty Involved

Peter Chidiac

Regulation of G protein signaling by receptors and RGS proteins

Lina Dagnino 

Epithelial biology and microenvironment signaling during tissue development, regeneration and cancer 

Richard Kim

Clinical pharmacology and mechanisms involved in regulation of drug disposition

Gideon Koren

Development of new therapeutic approaches for prevention and treatment of human disease; prevention of toxic effects of drugs in susceptible individuals

Andrew Leask 

Targeting the microenvironment and mechanosignaling in fibrosis and cancers 

Edmund Lui

Mechanisms of action of herbal medicines and herb-drug interactions

Michael Rieder

Immunopharmacology and toxicity of reactive drug metabolites

Peter Stathopulos

Structural biology, molecular pharmacology and biochemistry of calcium signaling proteins

Rommel Tirona

Pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism & drug interactions

Brad Urquhart

Pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism in the setting of kidney disease

Cardiovascular Sciences

Includes research on a range of topics such as embryonic heart development, cellular and molecular basis for arrhythmias and heart failure, regulation of G-protein signaling, diabetes, and regulation of inflammation and tissue injury/repair following direct (acid aspiration, pneumonia, etc.) and indirect (i.e. sepsis) lung injury. Stem cells and their roles in the disease processes such as cardiac repair and remodeling are also intense areas of investigation.

Faculty Involved

Donglin Bai

Role of gap junctions in cardiac arrhythmias

Nica Borradaile 

Complications of obesity and type 2 diabetes 

Peter Chidiac

Regulation of G protein signaling by receptors and RGS proteins

John Ciriello

Gender differences in peripheral and central neural mechanisms in experimental hypertension

Thomas Drysdale

Heart Development

Ross Feldman

Adrenergic receptors, adenylyl cyclase, G-proteins, and hypertension

Qingping Feng

Heart development, myocardial infarction and sepsis

Stephen Ferguson

Molecular pharmacology and imaging of G Protein-coupled receptor regulation and signal transduction

Douglas Fraser 

Cellular mechanisms of brain injury 

Sean Gill 

Resolution of inflammation and fibrosis following lung injury 

Robert Gros

G-protein coupled receptors and control of blood pressure

Douglas Jones

Experimental cardiac physiology; cardiac arrhythmias; heart failure

Morris Karmazyn

Cellular and molecular basis for cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure

James Lewis

Pulmonary surfactant system

Wei-Yang Lu

Role of GABA receptors in stroke

Peter Stathopulos

Structural biology, molecular pharmacology and biochemistry of calcium signaling proteins

Njanoor Narayanan

Regulation of transmembrane calcium fluxes and heart function in health, aging and disease

Karel Tyml

Local blood flow control in health and disease

Ruud Veldhuizen

Pulmonary surfactant in experimental lung pathology

Cory Yamashita 

Respiration in experimental models of lung pathology 

Cell, Development and Cancer

Includes researchers with expertise in cellular physiology of bone and cartilage as well as bone and joint development, homeostasis and disease. Fundamental research into stem cell function and the role of stem cells during tissue development and regeneration are also intense areas of investigation. Other colleagues are using cellular and molecular approaches in combination with preclinical and clinical models to study mechanisms underlying pathological changes in cells that cause cancer and stimulate metastasis.

Faculty Involved

Bone and Joint Research 

 

Frank Beier 

Skeletal development, homeostasis and disease

Jeff Dixon 

Cellular physiology of bone and cartilage

Andrew Leask 

Role of the cellular microenvironment in fibrotic tissue and tumor stroma

Cheryle Seguin

Invertebral disc development and disease 

Stephen Sims 

Control of ionic channels in connective tissue

Cancer Research 

 

Moshmi Bhattacharya

Molecular regulation of G protein-coupled receptor signaling in breast cancer

Lina Dagnino

Epithelial biology and microenvironment signaling during tissue development, regeneration and cancer

John Di Guglielmo

Growth factors in carcinogenesis and cellular differentiation

James Koropatnick 

Metals and treatment resistance in human tumours

Dale Laird 

Gap junctions in health, cancer and inherited diseases

Andrew Leask 

Role of the cellular microenvironment in fibrotic tissue and tumor stroma

Stem Cells 

 

Dean Betts

Epigenetic and redox control of cell differentiation and development

Lina Dagnino

Epithelial biology and microenvironment signaling during tissue development, regeneration and cancer  

Qingping Feng 

Stem cells and cardiac repair post-myocardial infarction 

David Hess

Stem cell biology and roles in diabetes

Andrew Leask 

Role of stem cells in wound healing and fibrosis 

Cheryle Seguin 

Transcriptional regulation of Stem Cell Fate

Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology

Encompasses research into reproductive, maternal and fetal health and developmental biology. Another major area of research interest involves the molecular and cellular aspects of liver and pancreatic growth and function in diabetes.

Faculty Involved

Andy Babwah

Molecular and cellular endocrinology

Nica Borradaile 

Complications of obesity and type 2 diabetes 

Daniel Hardy

Metabolic syndrome and fetal development

David Hess 

Stem cell biology and roles in diabetes

David Hill

Pancreatic islet cell growth and differentiation, and diabetes

Gerald Kidder

Reproductive physiology: mechanisms of gametogenesis and embryogenesis

Christopher Pin

Molecular events leading to pancreatic development and disease

Timothy Regnault

Altered fetal development, adaptation and later life diseases 

Bryan Richardson

Development of the brain and it's circulation 

Rennian Wang

Development of human pancreas, beta-cell regeneration and islet transplantation

Andrew Watson

Gene expression underlying mammalian preimplantation embryogenesis

Kaipang Yang

Molecular mechanisms of fetal growth restriction and fetal origins of central obesity

Neuroscience

Is a broad area with emphases on complex neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. These questions are tackled at many different levels. For example, researchers are employing molecular and cellular techniques to better understand the regulation and activity of membrane receptors, synaptic communication, or the operation of neural circuits in health and disease. Colleagues studying systems and cognitive neuroscience seek to understand the neural underpinnings of our sensory, motor, and behavioural abilities, and what happens when such abilities are compromised by disease or injury. Neuroscience efforts in the department are aided by some of the best imaging facilities in Canada.

Faculty Involved

Donglin Bai

Synaptic transmission in hippocampus

Arthur Brown

Developmental neurobiology; wiring the mammalian nervous system

John Ciriello

Gender differences in peripheral and central neural mechanisms in experimental hypertension

Brian Corneil

Neural control of orienting movements

Sean Cregan

Neurodegeneration and stem cell regeneration

Stefan Everling

Neural correlates of cognitive control

Stephen Ferguson

Molecular pharmacology and imaging of G Protein-coupled receptor regulation and signal transduction

Douglas Fraser

Cellular mechanisms of brain injury

Mel Goodale

Neuropsychology; visually guided behaviour in human beings 

Paul Gribble

Human sensory-motor control; motor learning; computational mode

Wataru Inoue

Mechanisms of stress on brain function

Mandar Jog

Clinical Patient Research in Parkinson's and Movement Disorders

Stephen Karlik

Clinical and experimental applications of MRI and spectroscopy

Stan Leung

Epilepsy, neural plasticity and neural oscillations

Stephen Lomber

Neural control of hearing and vision

Wei-Yang Lu

Function of GABA receptors in neural and non-neural tissues

Ruth Martin

Control of swallowing in normal humans and in patients with speech disorders

Adrian Owen 

Diagnosis and treatment of brain injury and disease 

Stephen Pasternak

Amyloid protein processing in neurodegenerative disorders

Michael Poulter

GABAergic neurotransmission in epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases

Marco Prado

Neurobiology of cognitive disorders and prion protein functions

Vania Prado

Neurobiology and development of animal models of neurological disorders

Andrew Pruszynski

Sensorimotor neuroscience; peripheral and central neural mechanisms underlying reaching and grasping

Jane Rylett

Neurochemical communication in the nervous system in health, aging and disease

Stephen Sims

Control of ionic channels in connective tissue

Tutis Vilis

Interactions and transformations for perception and action