October 27, 2016

Inside This Issue

  • Message from the Chair
  • Honours & Awards
  • Royal Society of Canada
  • Physiology Seminar Series
  • In the News – Dr. A. Gramolini
  • GASP Council 2016-17
  • Success After Graduate School



A special thanks to everyone who was able to attend the Physiology Departmental Retreat.  I found it an extremely helpful and enjoyable occasion, I hope you did too. 

Once again, lots of exciting things are happening this semester.  I hope you enjoy reading this issue.




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



Many congratulations to all of our trainees who will be convocating in November.   Well done everyone! 


Congratulations to Dr. Wolfgang Kuebler who has been named to the RSC’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.  He is amongst 80 incoming members who represent “the emerging generation of scholarly, scientific and artistic leadership in Canada”.

KUEBLER, Wolfgang – Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto An international leader in cardiovascular and respiration physiology, Wolfgang Kuebler focuses on translational research in health and disease. His work on alveolar ventilation, gas exchange, and hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction has led to important paradigm shifts in our understanding of lung function; his studies in acute lung injury, pulmonary edema and pulmonary hypertension have identified new disease mechanisms and resulted in innovative therapies for improved patient care in cardiology and respirology.



~ Eligible for PSL1000H/PSL2000H Course Seminar Attendance ~

Speaker:       Dr. Brian Chen, Associate Professor, Canadian Research Chair in Neural Circuit Formation, Centre for Research in Neuroscience, McGill University Health Centre

Institution:    McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital

Title:   “Measuring Protein Synthesis in Single Cells In Vivo”

Date:     Thursday, November 3, 2016

Time:         4 p.m.

Location:       Medical Sciences Building, Room 2170,  St. George Campus, University of Toronto

Host:              Neuroscience Platform



~ Eligible for PSL1000H/PSL2000H Course Seminar Attendance ~

Speaker:       Elek Molnar, MD, PhD, FHEA, International Director, Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Professor of Neuroscience, Centre for Synaptic Plasticity, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Institution:    University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Title:  “Kainate receptors in the central nervous system and in the endocrine pancreas”

Date:   Thursday, November 17, 2016

Time:       4 p.m.

Location:    Medical Sciences Building, Room 2170 , St. George Campus, University of Toronto

Host:         Collaborative Program in Neuroscience (CPIN), EDRG, & Neuroscience Platform

IN THE NEWS – Dr. A. Gramolini

Protein Signaling Map Sheds Light on the Molecular Roots of Heart Disease

Author:  Jovana Drinjakovic

New study paves the way for future research that could improve diagnosis and drug discovery for heart failure

Having a big heart is not always a virtue and, from a physiologist’s point of view, it can be deadly. An enlarged heart is a hallmark of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and, despite being the most common inherited disease of the heart muscle, doctors don’t really know why it occurs. But that could now change as a new University of Toronto study begins to shine light on the molecular causes behind DCM.

Published in mid-October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A., the study reveals widespread differences in protein biochemistry between healthy and diseased hearts. This expands our understanding of heart physiology and opens the door for future research that could improve detection and treatment of DCM.

Affecting all ages, the disease begins usually in adolescence and strikes one in five Canadians, with huge healthcare, economic and social costs. It occurs when a normal-looking heart begins to dilate, or stretch, for no apparent reason. This enlarged heart can no longer maintain the normal rhythm and pump the blood around the body, which leads to heart failure. Although we know that DCM is rooted in genetics, its molecular culprits remain poorly understood.

Led by Professors Andrew Emili and Anthony Gramolini, the researchers mapped changes in protein signalling pathways in heart cells that lead to DCM.  Keep reading…..


GASP Council 2016-17

GASP would like to welcome its new general council members. We had a successful and competitive election held back in September. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported GASP. Along with the new executives voted back in July, I would like to introduce the new GASP council for 2016-2017:

  • President: Melanie
  • Co-VPs: Ankur, Hanna, & Kirusanthy
  • Treasurer: Frank
  • Secretary: Farigol
  • Social Coordinators: Kenny & Scott
  • Sports Coordinator: John
  • Academic Coordinator: Sammy
  • Outreach Coordinator: Ashkan
  • Off-campus Representative: Sina
  • Science Rendezvous Representative: Farwah
  • GSU Representative: Susmita
  • CUPE Representative: Shahin
  • Webmaster: Lina

We are looking forward to a fantastic year ahead!

-Melanie Markovic
GASP President


GASP Pub Night

GASP’s first monthly pub night was held Thursday, Oct 6th at O’Gradys. We had a great time and are looking forward to the next one, Nov. 3rd, 2016, stay tuned for more details. Pub nights happen the first Thursday of every month, location and time TBT.

GASP Volleyball League

It is not too late to join our volleyball league, Spike Train. Beginners are welcome.  Please visit our website for more information.

You can keep up-to-date with GASP news and events through our facebook page, website, and android app. If you have any questions or comments, email us: gasp.physiology@utoronto.ca



Dr. Nana Lee and Dr. Reinhart Reithmeir have recently published a book on career options for PhDs in the Life Sciences.   It is a great resource for all graduate students.  Those who have read it have commented that,

“It is a must read for all graduate students. The earlier in their career the better, as it would serve as a guide to enjoy the journey of life both in finding a career and living it.” Martin Alphonse, PhD 2016 Immunology

Written by an experienced Professor and an Industry Scientist transitioned back into the academy, this book brings practical, insider tips to succeed during and after graduate school in any career.

The book is available at the U of T’s Book Store.



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 e.katsoulakos@utoronto.ca