Welcome to the Division of Medical Sciences
The Division of Medical Sciences was established to promote scholarship and innovation in medical education at the University of Victoria and to support the university's ongoing commitment to an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to health research. It is the academic and research structure that underpins the Island Medical Program, part of the UBC MD Undergraduate Program.
Faculty, clinicians and students in the Division are working with other UVic departments and research centres and contributing to breakthroughs in medical sciences that will impact the prevention and treatment of cancer, neurological disorders and diseases, genetic disorders and other medical conditions. Plans are underway to develop the university's first interdisciplinary graduate program in neuroscience based in the Division.
Please explore our site and learn what the Division of Medical Sciences has to offer.
Message from Dr. Oscar Casiro, Head of the Division of Medical Sciences
Two students from Dr. Leigh Anne Swayne's lab received awards during Honours Fest held on February 28, 2014. Scott Bell received Top Presenter award for his poster entitled "Effects of Probenecid on the Neural Precursor Response to Stroke" and a one year membership in a professional membership of his choice.
Ross Prager received Best Overall Honours Poster for all faculties with his poster entitled "Characterization of a novel Pannexin 1 channel internalization stimulus" and the "Boehm Family Award for Excellence in Science" plus $2000.
Scott (top) is pictured with Dean Lipson from the Faculty of Sciences. Ross (bottom) is pictured with Dean Lipson and Associate Dean Kathryn Gillis both from the Faculty of Science. Congratulations to both of you for a job well done!
Co-op Student of the Year
Congratulations to Ross Prager being named Co-op Student of the year.
Several Neuroscience graduates successfully defended 2013 Summer term. Please join us in congratulating the following students on a job well done!
Anna Patten PhD: Replenishing what is Lost: Using Supplementation to Enhance Hippocampal Function in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Supervisor: Dr. Brian Christie (DMSC)
Angela Seto MSc: Role of the a4B2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in stroke recovery
Supervisor: Dr. Craig Brown (DMSC)
Andrew Sweetnam Holmes MSc: Diabetes exacerbates the loss of dendritic spines after ischemic stroke
Supervisor: Dr. Craig Brown (DMSC)
Kara Ronellenfitch MSc: Investigating the possibility of Notch signalling in the adult retina
Supervisor: Dr. Robert Chow (Biology)
Anthony Renda MSc: Chronic Pretreatment with Nicotine is sufficient to Upregulate a4nAChRs and Increase Self-Administration of Nicotine in a Two Bottle-Choice Paradigm in Mice
Supervisor: Dr. Raad Nashmi (Biology)
Dr. Brian Christie's work, part of a collaborative effort with researchers across Canada to improve diagnosis and treatment of concussion, particularyly in youth atheltes, received extensive coverage on local and BC-wide TV. Read more. CBC CTV-VI
Teaching Award in Medical Sciences 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Bruce Crawford, this year's recipient of the Teaching Award in Medical Sciences. Dr. Crawford and other award recipients from faculties across UVic will be celebrated at the annual Learning and Teaching Centre's recognition event in February 2014.
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Dr. Leigh Anne Swayne is creator and co-editor of a research topic published in Frontiers of Cellular Neuroscience. To read more, click here.
New Publication for Swayne Lab
Dr. Leigh Anne Swayne and two of her graduate students, Leigh Wicki-Stordeur and Andrew Boyce recently published; Analysis of a pannexin 2-pannexin 1 chimeric protein supports divergent roles for pannexin C-termini in cellular localization. To learn more, click here.
Team Grant - CIHR
Dr. Brian Christie is part of a new Team Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to study mild traumatic brain injuries in children. The incidence of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) in North America is alarmingly high, and studies suggest that mild TBI (mTBI), also know as concussion, make-up 70-80% of all cases reported. Of particular concern is that there is very little consensus among clinicians and researchers on how to diagnose and treat mTBI. Furthermore, there is a dearth of research examining the long-lasting effects of sustaining multiple mTBIs. One factor that contributes to this lack of consensus is that many clinicians and researchers use different tools or methods to collect data, thus making comparisons across sites challenging.
The goal of the mTBI Team Grant is to create a culture of national collaboration, data collection and rapid clinical uptake of innovation in discovery. The overall goal is to enhance the ability to conduct multi-centre research and provide evidence-based care across Canada that will assist in diagnoses and treatment of pediatric mTBI.
To learn more about this project, go to the CIHR website.
For past articles take a look at our News Archive
2011 NSERC RTI Grant (17K) for stereology equipment
2010 Opportunities Initiative Award (Principal Investigator) Project title: Using cardiovascular exercise to elevate levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor and enhance cognition in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
- Heart & Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery National Expansion ($98,000, 2013-2015) Preclinical testing of probencid for stroke recovery, PI: Swayne
- CFI - LOF/BCKDF:($30,000) Live and fixed cell neuro-imaging facility, PI: Swayne - funded confocal microscope (install April 2013)
- Victoria Heritage Foundation: Fellowships for graduate students in the area of biomedical and neuroscience. Amount awarded:$6K (January 2012-June 2012)
- NSERC Early Career Supplement (2012-2013, $10,000) Pannexin signalling in neural progenitor cells, PI: Swayne
- NSERC Engage Grant ($25,000, 2013) in partnership with StressMarq - Generation of novel Pannexin antibodies, PI: Swayne
2011 NSERC Discovery Grant (2011-2016, $180K) Project Title: Pannexin signalling in neural progenitor cells,PI: Swayne
- Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon - Peripheral nerve stimulation to enhance recovery from ischemic cerebral stroke.
- Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) - CIHR New Investigator Award - Imaging the impact of diabetes on brain function and recovery from stroke.
- NSERC Discovery Grant - Imaging rapid, use-dependent plasticity in adult somatosensory cortex.
- NSERC Equipment Grant - Equipment for imaging functional domains in the cerebral cortex.
- Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) - Two-photon microscope for imging neuronal and vascular circuit assembly and remodeling in the living brain.
- Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research - Career Investigator Award - Research focus on understanding the mechanisms of experience and injury based cortical plasticity.
- Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Operating Grant - 5 year operating grant 2013-2018 - Impact of diabetes on brain function and recovery from ischemic stroke.
- NSERC Early Career Supplement: Tissue engineeered scaffolds for controlling induced pluripotent stem cell behaviour. Amount awarded: $5K per year (April 2011 - March 2015)
- Victoria Heritage Foundation: Fellowships for graduate students in the area of biomedical and neuroscience. Amount awarded: $6K (January 2012 - June 2012)
- Centre for Advanced Materials and Technology Collaborative Research Stipend (with Dr. Martin Jun): Graduate student support. Amount awarded: $5K (December 2012 - April 2013)
- Canadian Foundation for Innovation Leader Opportunity Fund: Laboratory for stem cell based tissue engineering. Amount awarded: $121,909 (November 2012 -present)
- British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund: Laboratory for stem cell based tissue engineering. Amount awarded: $121,909 (September 2012 - present)
- NSERC Engage Grant: Engineering reproducible neural tissue from embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Amount awarded: $25K (April 2012 - November 2012)
- NSERC Engage Grant: Formulations for controlled release of glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). Amount awarded: $25K (October 2011 - March 2012)
- 2011 NSERC Discovery Grant (Individual) ($25K per year for 5 years) Project Title: Tissue engineered scaffolds for controlling induced pluripotent stem cell behaviour
- 2011 NSERC RTI Grant ($127.6K) for quantitative stem cell analysis facility
Teaching Award in Medical Sciences 2014
The purpose of this award is to recognize and reward excellence in teaching and education in the Division of Medical Sciences at UVic.
Congratulations to Dr. Bruce Crawford this year's recipient of the Teaching Award in Medical Sciences 2013.
The purpose of this award is to recognize and reward excellence in teaching and education in the Division of Medical Sciences at UVic. Nominees are full-time faculty who have completed at least three consecutive years of teaching at the Island Medical Program or the Division of Medical Sciences. The award is adjudicated by the Teaching Award in Medical Sciences Committee, chaired by Dr. Darlene Hammell.
Dr. Crawford has received this award based on his long standing committment to the medical education of students and his contribution to developing an exceptionally strong undergraduate program at the University of Victoria for the Island Medical Program. Additionally, the committee was impressed with the extra time and review sessions he provides to enhance the student experience.
Dr. Crawford will be recognized for this award, along with other award recipients from faculties across UVic, at the UVic Learning and Teaching Centre's annual recognition event in February 2014.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Crawford on this achievement.
Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) are meant to stimulate interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage students to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields.
Science Undergraduate Research Awards (SURA) are for both Canadian and international students registered in a science undergraduate program. SURA recipients will engage in 16 weeks of full-time research and development activity under the supervision of a science professor holding grand funding, and will gain research experience in an exciting academic setting, while receiving financial support.