Nahirney, Patrick

Assistant Professor


Phone number: (250) 853-3659
Department: Medical Sciences

Research description:

- Electron microscopy
- Brain development and function from a structural perspective
- Ultrastructure of brain synapses
- Muscle and nerve tissue engineering
- Regeneration of injured tissues
Expertise Profile
Across the globe, scientists are working at mapping the human brain.

Dr. Patrick Nahirney, assistant professor in the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Victoria, is contributing a piece to that puzzle with his work on synapses in the memory centre of the brain.

Synapses are connections between cells in the brain through which "information" flows from one cell to another. Dr. Nahirney studies how synapses and cell structure are affected by damage and disease such as fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual developmental disorders and stroke.

Dr. Nahirney uses an electron microscope, accurate up to 500,000 times magnification, to study the structure of the brain and its functions. His lab is one of the few on campus with such technology and he frequently collaborates with researchers across disciplines.

The protocol for tissue preparation before it's even put under the microscope is complex. Dr. Nahirney offers his own expertise, having prepared almost every kind of tissue imaginable from viruses to human brain tissue.

His other research interests include the development of novel strategies for muscle and nerve tissue engineering and regeneration of injured tissues.

Along with University of British Columbia colleague William Ovalle, Dr. Nahirney has just finished the second edition of his textbook on microscopic anatomy, Netter's Essential Histology. The book received the British Medical Association's Best Illustrated Book Award for 2008 and features images from Dr. Nahirney's own work.

In the Island Medical School, Dr. Nahirney can often teach up to four classrooms at once. He lectures on his research specialties using video conferencing and novel learning strategies, including a "Who Wants to be a Practitioner?" game modelled after "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?".

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