Dr. Donald Welsh
University of Calgary
Dr. Donald Welsh, from the University of Calgary's Department of Physiology and Biophysics, is this year's recipient of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada's prestigious McDonald Scholarship Award. Dr. Welsh received his PhD in Biophysics at the University of Guelph in 1994 and went on to do his postdoctoral training at Yale University and the University of Vermont. Dr. Welsh is continuing his research on pyrimidyne-induced vasoconstriction and how depolarizing inward currents within the membrane potential (Em), regulates vascular tone of coronary arteries. With this research, he foresees the establishment of a vascular biology lab where a combination of approaches such as the patch clamp electrophysiology and various molecular strategies, will be used to provide a broader insight into smooth muscle cell contraction. These findings should, in turn, aid in the development of treatments for coronary and cerebral vasospasm.
The McDonald Scholarship is awarded each year to the highest rated applicant in the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) Research Scholarship competition. The award is valued at over $300,000 over a period of five years. The McDonald Scholarship award is named in honour of Mr. Ewing (Mac) McDonald, Executive Director of the HSFC from 1968-1987.
Research scholarships, such as the McDonald Scholarship Award, support new investigators in establishing their independent research careers. This award is supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and has been awarded to the highest rated applicant since 1989. Other recipients have included: Dr. Terence Hébert (2000/2001), Dr. Eric Thorin (1999/2000), and Dr. Stephen Ferguson (1998/1999).