Our Faculty

 

W. McIntyre Burnham, PhD  -  Dr. McIntyre Burnham received his BA in Experimental Psychology from Cornell University and his PhD in Physiological Psychology from McGill University.  Following post-doctoral studies in electrophysiology with Pierre Gloor at the Montreal Neurological Institute, he joined the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus. His research career has centred on epilepsy and the anti-convulsant drugs.  He was the first recipient of the Bahen Chair of Epilepsy Research, and is currently the Director of the University of Toronto Epilepsy Research Program.  He is also a Co-Director of EpLink, the Ontario Brain Institute’s Epilepsy Research Program.  He is a Past President of Epilepsy Ontario and the current President of Epilepsy Canada.

 

Susan R. George, MD, FRCP(C), FACP -  Dr. Susan R. George earned her M.D. from the University of Toronto and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine followed by subspecialty training in Endocrinology & Metabolism. As a Medical Research Council of Canada Fellow she completed postdoctoral training in neuroscience. She joined the U of T faculty in 1984 and is currently a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, a Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and a clinical endocrinologist at Toronto General Hospital. Since 2002 she has held  the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Neuroscience. Dr. George studies G Protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Her innovative and leading edge research includes the discovery and study GPCR oligomerization, the genes encoding many of the GPCRs and recently the identification of a novel dopamine receptor signalling mechanism with relevance for schizophrenia and drug addiction.

 

Denis M. Grant, PhD  -  Dr. Grant is Professor and former Chair (2002-2012) of the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at the University of Toronto. He obtained his BSc degree in Biochemistry from McMaster University and his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Basel, Switzerland, he joined the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in 1989 to develop an independent research program, with faculty appointments in Pharmacology and Pharmacy at the University of Toronto.  In 1999 he took a senior management position with a US biotechnology company, and in 2002 he returned to Toronto to assume the position of Professor and Chair of Pharmacology & Toxicology. Dr. Grant's research and teaching activities are in drug pharmacokinetics, metabolism and pharmacogenetics – the study of the causes and consequences of person-to-person differences in drug response and chemical toxicity.

 

Ruth A. Ross, PhD  -  Dr.  Ross obtained her BSc and PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Edinburgh. She held drug discovery research posts in Discovery Biology at both Pfizer Central Research in Kent and at Allergan Inc. California. Following a career break, she obtained a Wellcome Trust Career Re-entry Fellowship in Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Aberdeen in 1996. Whilst at the University of Aberdeen she became Chair in Molecular Pharmacology in 2008 and was appointed as Director of the Kosterlitz Centre for Therapeutics. In 2013 she was appointed Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto. Her research is focused on the molecular pharmacology of the endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids and small molecules targeting the cannabinoid system. Her ultimate research goal is to exploit the endocannabinoid system for development of novel therapeutics and to gain greater understanding the pharmacology of cannabis constituents.

 

Michelle Arnot, PhD – Dr. Arnot obtained her BSc (Hons) in Life Sciences from Queen's University, and her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Alberta. Following post-doctoral work at the University of Calgary and George Washington University, she held a teaching position at the University of Maryland (College Park) before joining the University of Toronto in 2007. She is currently the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology Undergraduate Education Coordinator where she coordinates and teaches in numerous courses offered by the Department. Dr Arnot believes in applying concepts and knowledge to real life scenarios using clinical and societal examples. She has extensive experience in curriculum development and is interested in how different methods of teaching play a role in student learning.

 

Neil H. Shear, MD, FRCPC, FACP  -  Dr. Shear is Professor & Chief of Dermatology. He graduated Engineering Science (U of T: 1973) and Medicine (McMaster: 1976). Residencies in Internal Medicine, Dermatology and Clinical Pharmacology followed. Dr Shear founded the Drug Safety Clinic at Sunnybrook Hospital (1985). He was founding chair of the Canadian Adverse Drug Reaction Advisory Committee (Health Canada). He conducted many clinical trials (first-in-human studies to randomized trials). He served on or chaired international Data Safety Boards. Research was funded by peer-reviewed and pharmaceutical sources. His main interest is idiosyncratic drug reactions. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, chapters and abstracts. He is a past president of the Canadian Society for Clinical Pharmacology and a recipient of the society’s Distinguished Service Award.

 

Rebecca Laposa, PhD  -  Dr. Laposa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto.  She obtained her BSc degree in Toxicology and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toronto.  She completed post-doctoral training at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, San Francisco and established her laboratory at the University of Toronto in 2008.  Dr. Laposa’s research focuses on molecular toxicology in the developing nervous system, with the goal of preventing side effects of drugs in the brain. Additional projects relate to the contribution of mitochondria and cellular energy to drug toxicity.  Several of her projects involve utilizing stem cells as emerging models for drug screening.