Dr. Vivian McAlister on deployment in a tent hospital.

Military research, in particular medical research, has played an important role in Canada's growth, leading to the founding of the National Research Council and the Medical Research Council. The Schulich School of Medicine & dentistry Western University has a long association with military medicine research.

Frederick Banting is remembered for the discovery of insulin, a project he conceived while preparing a lecture for Western medical students.

James Collip, who isolated insulin for Banting, later became Dean of the medical school at Western.

In the First World War, Banting served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps winning the Military Cross for care of victims of gas poisoning. In 1938, Banting joined Royal Canadian Air Force to research treatments for mustard gas injury and anti-gravity suits for pilots.

George Edward Hall, later dean of the Medical School and president of the University, studied the effects of high altitude and worked with Dr. Banting to develop the anti-gravity suit and oxygen delivery to pilots. In 2013, Capt/ (N) Ray Kao was appointed to theGroup Captain G. Edward Hall Chair in Military Critical Care Research.

Recent publications:

Miller, M. R., DiBattista, A., Patel, M. A., Daley, M., Tenn, C., Nakashima, A., Rhind, S. G., Vartanian, O., Shiu, M. Y., Caddy, N., Garrett, M., Saunders, D., Smith, I., Jetly, R., & Fraser, D. D. (2022). A distinct metabolite signature in military personnel exposed to repetitive low-level blasts. Frontiers in Neurology, 13, 831792.

McPherson J, Kennedy C, Slobogean G, Hilsden R, Talbot M. Augmented-reality telementoring for leg fasciotomy: a proof-of-concept study. BMJ Mil Health. 2022;e001975. doi:10.1136/bmjmilitary-2021-001975

Smith SA, McAlister VC, Dubois L, Beckett A, Hilsden R. Managing junctional haemorrhage in the combat environment. BMJ Mil Health. 2021;167(2):114-117. doi:10.1136/bmjmilitary-2019-001336

Hilsden, Richard MD, MBA; McPherson, John MD; Power, Daniel MD; Taylor, Allan MD; Colley, Dee BSN; Parkinson, Laura LPN; Smith, Shane A. MD, MSC Development of a combat surgical safety checklist, Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: December 2020 - Volume 89 - Issue 6 - p e182-e186 doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000002921

Smith S, McAlister V, Parry N, Power A, Vogt K. Vascular trauma: Does experience in the United States apply to a Canadian centre?. Can J Surg. 2019;62(6):499-501. doi:10.1503/cjs.002317

Smith S, White J, Wanis KN, Beckett A, McAlister VC, Hilsden R. The effectiveness of junctional tourniquets: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2019 Mar;86(3):532-539. doi:10.1097/TA.0000000000002159. PubMed PMID: 30507857.

Hyatt AMJ, Beckett A, McAlister VC. After the war is over: the role of General Sir Arthur Currie in the development of academic medicine in Canada. Can J Surg. 2018 Dec 1;61(6):367-369. PubMed PMID: 30468370; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC6281458.

Smith SA, DaCambra MP, McAlister VC. Impact of traumatic upper-extremity amputation on the outcome of injury caused by an antipersonnel improvised explosive device. Can J Surg. 2018 Dec 1;61(6):S203-S207. PubMed PMID: 30418007; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6281463.

DaCambra MP, Kao RL, Berger C, McAlister VC. Utilization profile of the Canadian-led coalition Role 2 Medical Treatment Facility in Iraq: the growing requirement for multinational interoperability. Can J Surg. 2018 Dec 1;61(6):S195-S202. PubMed PMID: 30418004; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6281465.


Kao RL, McAlister VC. Care of victims of suicide bombing. Can J Surg. 2018 Dec 1;61(6):S184-S187. PubMed PMID: 30417639; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6281468.

Leasiolagi J, Holton T, Doyle K, Parkinson L, Kao R, McAlister VC. Proposed specifications of a mobile operating room for far-forward surgery. Can J Surg. 2018 Dec 1;61(6):S180-S183. PubMed PMID: 30417638; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC6281464.

Doucet J, Haley G, McAlister V. Massacre of Canadian Army Medical Corps personnel after the sinking of HMHS Llandovery Castle and the evolution of modern war crime jurisprudence. Can J Surg. 2018 Jun;61(3):155-157. PubMed PMID: 29806812; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5973902.

Istl AC, McAlister VC. Medical response to the declaration of the First World War: The case of Edwin Seaborn. J Med Biogr. 2018 Nov;26(4):234-242. doi: 10.1177/0967772017752897. Epub 2018 May 4. PubMed PMID: 29724148.

Bernier JR, McAlister VC. The Canadian Army Medical Corps affair of 1916 and Surgeon General Guy Carleton Jones. Can J Surg. 2018 Apr;61(2):85-87. PubMed PMID: 29582742; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5866141.

Da Cambra MP, McAlister VC. Calgary, Edmonton and the University of Alberta: the extraordinary medical mobilization by Canada's newest province. Can J Surg. 2017 Sep;60(5):296-299. PubMed PMID: 28930035; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5608576.

Smith S, Devine M, Taddeo J, McAlister VC. Injury profile suffered by targets of antipersonnel improvised explosive devices: prospective cohort study. BMJ Open. 2017 Aug 7;7(7):e014697. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014697. PubMed PMID: 28835410; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5691184.

Smith SA, Hilsden R, Beckett A, McAlister VC. The future of resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion in combat operations. J R Army Med Corps. 2017 Aug 9. pii: jramc-2017-000788. doi: 10.1136/jramc-2017-000788. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28794007.

McAlister V. Somewhere in France (9 April 17): a centenary review of medical >arrangements at Vimy Ridge. Can J Surg. 2017 Apr;60(2):83-85. PubMed PMID: 28338467; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5373720.

Istl AC, McAlister VC. Western University (No. 10 Canadian Stationary Hospital and No. 14 Canadian General Hospital): a study of medical volunteerism in the First World War. Can J Surg. 2016 Dec;59(6):371-373. PubMed PMID: 27827791; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5125918.

Smith SA, Livingston MH, Merritt NH. Early coagulopathy and metabolic acidosis predict transfusion of packed red blood cells in pediatric trauma patients. J Pediatr Surg. 2016 May;51(5):848-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2016.02.034. Epub 2016 Feb 13. PubMed PMID: 26960738.

Shrum B, Church B, McArthur E, Burns KE, Znajda T, McAlister V. Hypertonic salt solution for peri-operative fluid management. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Jun 6;(6):CD005576. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005576.pub3. Review. PubMed PMID: 27271480.

Taddeo J, Devine M, McAlister VC. Cervical spine injury in dismounted improvised explosive device trauma. Can J Surg. 2015 Jun;58(3 Suppl 3):S104-7. PubMed PMID: 26100769; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4467503.

McAlister V. Surgery in patients with Ebola virus disease. Can J Surg. 2014 Dec;57(6):364-5. doi: 10.1503/cjs.015514. PubMed PMID: 25354163; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4245263.

van Waes OJ, Halm JA, Vermeulen J, McAlister VC. Treatment of rectal war wounds. J R Army Med Corps.
2014 Sep;160(3):255-7. doi: 10.1136/jramc-2013-000144. Epub 2013 Aug 6. PubMed PMID: 24109119.

Sabalbal M, Johnson M, McAlister V. Absence of the genicular arterial anastomosis as generally depicted in textbooks. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2013 Sep;95(6):405-9. doi: 10.1308/003588413X13629960046831.
PubMed PMID: 24025288; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4188287.

McAlister VC, Trottier V. Role of persistent processus vaginalis in hydroceles found in a tropical population. Can J Surg. 2013 Jun;56(3):E29-31.doi: 10.1503/cjs.000112. PubMed PMID: 23706855; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3672441.

Talbot M, Meunier B, Trottier V, Christian M, Hillier T, Berger C, McAlister V, Taylor S. 1 Canadian Field Hospital in Haiti: surgical experience in earthquake relief. Can J Surg. 2012 Aug;55(4):271-4. doi: 10.1503/cjs.001411. Review. PubMed PMID: 22854149; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3404149.

Rui T, Zhang J, Xu X, Yao Y, Kao R, Martin CM. Reduction in IL-33 expression exaggerates ischaemia/reperfusion-induced myocardial injury in mice with diabetes mellitus. Cardiovasc Res. 2012 May 1;94(2):370-8. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvs015. Epub 2012 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 22258632.

Kao RL, Martin CM, Xenocostas A, Huang W, Rui T. Erythropoietin improves skeletal muscle microcirculation through the activation of eNOS in a mouse sepsis model. J Trauma. 2011 Nov;71(5 Suppl 1):S462-7. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318232e7a2. PubMed PMID: 22072004.

Xu H, Yao Y, Su Z, Yang Y, Kao R, Martin CM, Rui T. Endogenous HMGB1 contributes to ischemia-reperfusion-induced myocardial apoptosis by potentiating the effect of TNF-α/JNK. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol.
2011 Mar;300(3):H913-21. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00703.2010. Epub 2010 Dec 24. PubMed PMID: 21186276; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3302194.

Mickleborough MJ, Daniels JK, Coupland NJ, Kao R, Williamson PC, Lanius UF, Hegadoren K, Schore A, Densmore M, Stevens T, Lanius RA. Effects of trauma-related cues on pain processing in posttraumatic stress disorder: an fMRI investigation. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2011 Jan;36(1):6-14. doi:10.1503/jpn.080188. PubMed PMID: 20964954; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3004970.

Kao RL, Xenocostas A, Rui T, Huang W, Martin CM. The effect of erythropoietin on microcirculation perfusion and tissue bioenergetics of the small intestine in a hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation rat model. J Trauma. 2010 Jun;68(6):1342-8. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181d27dbe. PubMed PMID: 20539178.

Pannell D, Brisebois R, Talbot M, Trottier V, Clement J, Garraway N, McAlister V, Tien HC. Causes of death in Canadian Forces members deployed to Afghanistan and implications on tactical combat casualty care provision. J Trauma. 2011 Nov;71(5 Suppl 1):S401-7. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318232e53f. PubMed PMID: 22071995.

Shah K, Pirie S, Compton L, McAlister V, Church B, Kao R. Utilization profile of the trauma intensive care unit at the Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield between May 1 and Oct. 15, 2009. Can J Surg. 2011 Dec;54(6):S130-4. doi: 10.1503/cjs.006611. PubMed PMID: 22099326; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3322654.

Brisebois R, Hennecke P, Kao R, McAlister V, Po J, Stiegelmar R, Tien H; Canadian Forces Health Services Research Consortium. The Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield 2005-2010. Can J Surg. 2011 Dec;54(6):S124-9. doi: 10.1503/cjs.024811. PubMed PMID: 22099325; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3322658.

McAlister VC. Drills and exercises: the way to disaster preparedness. Can J Surg. 2011 Feb;54(1):7-8. PubMed PMID: 21251426; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC3038369.

Pina JS, Moghadam S, Cushner HM, Beilman GJ, McAlister VC. In-theater peritoneal dialysis for combat-related renal failure. J Trauma. 2010 May;68(5):1253-6. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181d99089. PubMed PMID: 20453775.

McAlister VC. Catastrophe surgery: response to multiple casualties or individual patients with devastating injuries. Can J Surg. 2009 Jun;52(3):175-6. PubMed PMID: 19503659; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2689756.

McAlister VC. Origins of the Canadian school of surgery. Can J Surg. 2007 Oct;50(5):357-63. Review. PubMed PMID: 18031633; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2386184.

Lanius R, Frewen PA, Tursich M, Jetly, R., McKinnon MC, (2015). Restoring large scale brain networks in PTSD and related disorders: a proposal for neuroscientifically-informed treatment interventions. Eur J Psychotraumatol Mar 31;6:27313. Doi: 10.3402/ejpt.v6.27313. eCollection 2015 (PMID: 25854674)

Lanius RA, Rabellino D, Boyd JE, Harricharan S, Frewen PA, McKinnon MC (2017). The innate alarm system in PTSD: conscious and subconscious processing of threat. Curr Opin Psychol. 2017 Apr; 14:109-115 doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.11.006. Epub 2016 Nov 26. PMID: 28813307

Nicholson AA, Friston KJ, Zeidman P, Harricharan S, McKinnon MC, Densmore M, Neufeld RWJ, Theberge J, Corrigan F, Jetly R, Spiegel D, Lanius RA (2017). Dynamic causal modeling in PTSD and its dissociative subtype: bottom-up versus top-down processing within fear and emotion regulation circuitry. Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Nov;38(11):5551-5561 doi: 10.1002/hbm.23748. Epub 2017 Aug 24 (#HBM-17-0334) (PMID 28836726)

Nicholson AA, Rabellino D, Densmore M, Frewen PA, Paret C, Kluetsch R, Schmahl C, Theberge J, Ros T, Neufeld RWJ, McKinnon MC, Reiss JP, Jetly R, Lanius RA (2018). Intrinsic connectivity network dynamics in PTSD during amygdala downregulation using real-time fMRI neurofeedback: A preliminary anaylsis. Hum Brain Mapp, 2018 2018 Nov;39(11):4258-4275. Doi: 10.1002/hbm.24244 (Epub ahead of print Jul 13 2018) PMID: 30004602

Nicholson AA, Densmore M, McKinnon MA, Neufeld RWJ, Frewen PA, Theberge J, Jetly R, Richardson JD, Lanius RA (2019). Machine Learning Multivariate Pattern Analysis Predicts Classification of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and its Dissociative Subtype: A Multimodal Neuroimaging Approach. Psychological Medicine 2019 Sep;49(12):2049-2059. Doi: 10.1017/S0033291718002866. Epub 2018 Oct 11 PMID: 30306886

Lanius RA, Boyd J, McKinnon MC, Nicholson AA, Frewen P, Vermetten E, Jetly R, Spiegel D (2018). A review of the neurobiological basis of trauma-related dissociation and its relation to cannabinoid- and opioid-mediated stress response: A transdiagnostic, translational approach. Current Psychiatry Reports 2018 Nov 7;20(12):118. Doi: 10.1007/s11920-018-0983-y Review PMID: 30402683