Department of Physiology

January 5, 2017

Inside This Issue


Welcome to the first issue of 2017!  I hope everyone had a relaxing holiday. 

I look forward to working with you over the coming weeks and months.

Best wishes.

Graham L. Collingridge, FRS, FMedSci, FRSB, FBPhS
Ernest B. and Leonard B. Smith Chair 
Department of Physiology



Congratulations to Dr. Sheena Josselyn and Dr. Paul Frankland, two of 25 new Canada Research Chairs announced last month at U of T.  Read more



~ Eligible for PSL1000H/PSL2000H Course Seminar Attendance ~



A warm welcome to Dr. Cathy Barr who joined Physiology as a status-only faculty member on January 1st, 2017.   

Dr. Barr is a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute, UHN; a Senior Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids); and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Physiology and Institute of Medical Science.

The focus of Dr. Barr’s research is on gene identification for complex traits and the determination of how DNA changes influence gene function and contribute to risk. Her early work focused on determining how specific genes in the immune system were regulated. However, for the past 23 years, her work has been on the genetics of behaviour, specific aspects of cognition, and psychiatric and neurological disorders including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), childhood-onset anxiety disorders, childhood-onset depression, reading disabilities (developmental dyslexia), and Tourette syndrome.  Email:



GASP hopes everyone had a great holiday!

To start the year off right, join us for our January pub night TONIGHT (Thursday January 5), 7pm at the Village Idiot Pub (126 McCaul St.)

GASP is looking for graduate students to act as mentors to undergraduates who are interested in research, but have never been in a lab. Show them what research has to offer, why you enjoy it, and why they should consider it. Give them a tour of your lab, and let them watch you do a little lab work! Help us spread the passion for research. Contact Sammy ( by Friday, January 6th if interested.

Here is a little recap of December with GASP:

Remember, GASP hosts weekly coffee breaks, Wednesdays at 2pm, MSB lunchroom. We provide free coffee/tea/hot chocolate and Timbits! Join us.

Melanie Markovic
GASP President

IN THE NEWS – Dr. Evelyn Lambe

University of Toronto Researchers May Have Found The Reason Loneliness Leads To Depression

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”
-Mother Teresa

At one time or another, everyone experiences moments of social isolation, when there is no one around and the world is confined to one’s own existence. In short bursts these moments of solitude can be therapeutic and may lead to moments of emotional regeneration or creativity. Yet when loneliness becomes chronic, the effects may be deleterious to one’s emotional health. 

Humans have a fundamental desire to be needed. The absence of this can lead to a variety of mental health conditions, including addiction, antisocial behaviour and depression. While from a purely psychological perspective, this consequence of isolation is well-defined, at the physiological level, the mechanisms have remained only vaguely understood.

But that may now change thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Toronto, led by Dr. Evelyn Lambe. The group published a study examining the effects on social isolation on the mouse brain. The results, published by Sargin et al. in the journal, eLife,  point to a specific mechanism and more importantly, a possible route for treatment.

The article is profiled by the Canadian Association of Neuroscience. Read more


IN THE NEWS – Dr. Graham Collingridge

“Memory in computers may get bigger and better all the time, but the same can't be said for the human computer. Memory in people is finite, fickle and perhaps fleeting”.

Steve Paikin from TVO’s The Agenda recently interviewed Graham Collingridge on memory.  View video to see the segment on “10 Questions on Human Memory”.


CPIN Distinguished Lecture

Speaker | Dr. Robert Froemke, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Neuroscience & Physiology, Skirball Institute, NYU School of Medicine; Center for Neural Science, NYU
Title | Maternal behavior, oxytocin, and synaptic plasticity
Date | Thursday, January 12, 2017
Time | 3:00 pm
Location | Rm. 2170, Medical Sciences Building, 1 King's College Circle, U of T
Hosts | 1) Dr. Blake Richards, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, UTSC;2) Dr. Melanie Woodin, Associate Professor, Cell and Systems Biology, U of T
Co-sponsor | Biological Sciences Department, UTSC
Note: CPIN Trainees should fill the online lecture report form following the lecture



Two faculty positions are currently posted at the University of Guelph in Biomedical Science in the areas of Neuroscience, Neuropharmacology and Toxicology.  Please see links below for position descriptions and application deadlines.


Thank you again to everyone who attended Physiology’s Holiday Luncheon on December 8th, 2016 at The Faculty Club.  A special shout out to the Schlichter and Stanley labs - two of the 'best dressed labs at the party'!

Schlichter lab


Stanley lab



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