Department of Physiology

July 22, 2016 Summer Edition


  • Message from the Chair
  • CIHR News & Updates
  • GASP Election Results
  • Annual BBQ



I hope everyone is enjoying the summer thus far.  I wasn't planning another PhysioLINK until the Fall, but I was so delighted with the outcome of the latest CIHR funding round that I wanted to share this with you.  The Department has been very successful this time around, as described in Scott’s report.

Best wishes,

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


CIHR News & Update

The Department would like to congratulate its faculty members who were successful in the latest round of Foundation Scheme and Project Scheme Grants from CIHR.  As you know, this was a highly competitive round of funding and we are grateful to all our faculty members who participated in the internal peer review of applications this round.

Congratulations to the following faculty members for their successful applications:

Foundation Scheme

Stephen Matthews “Developmental Pathways to Health and Disease: Fetal Programming and Protection” (7 yrs -$4,175,000).

Catherine O’Brien (UHN) “Colorectal cancer stem cell plasticity: A novel therapeutic target” (5 yrs - $1,220,659)

Norman Rosenblum (HSC) “Investigating the contribution of stoma to kidney health and disease” (7 yrs- $2,436,900)

Overall, the Faculty of Medicine had a 26% success rate on Foundation Scheme Grants in this competition.

Project Scheme

Patricia Brubaker “Mechanisms dictating the actions of glucagon-like peptide-2, a unique therapeutic for intestinal disorders” (5 yrs- $764,500)

Brian Cox “Functions of miRs in the nucleus during cell fate development” (5 yrs- $880,000)

Herbert Gaisano “Alpha-cell glucagon secretion: regulated exocytosis, dysregulation & rescue of type-1 diabetes” (5 yrs - $783,615)

Sheena Josselyn (HSC) “Examining the neural basis by which environmental stimuli acquire biological significance” (5 yrs - $1,051,189)

Mingyao Liu (UHN) “Prevention of primary graft dysfunction after lung transplantation, a bench to bedside approach” (5 yrs - $787,435)

Min Zhuo ”Insular cortex in chronic pain and its related anxiety” (5 yrs- $707,164)

Overall, the national success rate for the Project Scheme was 13% (491 funded grants out of 3819) with the Faculty of Medicine having a 20% success rate.

As we prepare for the next round of applications in the fall, the Department will be holding a number of information sessions for our faculty to help them prepare their applications. This will be an opportunity for our faculty to share their experiences as grantees, reviewers and virtual chairs with the goal of increasing the chances for success for our faculty in future competitions.  Please watch for e-mail announcements with the times and locations for these sessions.   The department is in the process of revising its internal peer review process to align with changes in grant format and review. These changes will be rolled out over the next several months.  Finally, as grant deadline season approaches, please stay tuned for updates on submission deadlines as they become available from CIHR. 

Good luck to all of our faculty in the next round of applications!

Scott Heximer
Vice-Chair Research
Department of Physiology

GASP Executive Council Results  

We are delighted to introduce you to the new GASP Executive for the coming academic term:

President:   Melanie Markovic (Brubaker lab)
VPs:             Ankur Bodalia ( Lu Yang Wang/Trimble labs); Kiru Kaneshwaran (Orser lab); Hanna Kim (Wheeler/Belsham labs)
Secretary:   Farigol Hakemzadeh (Gramolini lab)
Treasurer:   Frank Lee (Gramolini lab)

We look forward to an exciting year!

A very BIG Thank you to all the members of the outgoing GASP Council who really represented Physiology proudly and organized many exciting events for our graduate trainees.  

President:    Frances Wong (Cox lab)
VPs:               Diana Buchsbaum (Gramolini lab); Colleen Gillon (Josselyn lab); Lin Tran (Frankland lab)
Secretary:    Sammen Huang (Feng lab)
Treasurer:    Celeste Leung (Jia lab)


Annual BBQ – September 2016


Keeping in line with the 2016 Graduate Orientation for New Students, Physiology’s Annual GASP BBQ will be held on the afternoon of Thursday September 8th.   

Further details will be announced closer to the date. 



We want to hear about the great things happening in Physiology.  Please share your accomplishments, awards….   Send news items to the Chair’s Office c/o