Drs. Chris Ellis, Karel Tyml, and Michael Sharpe Help Patients Survive Sepsis

Microcirculation & Cellular Biophysics

The Microcirculation Research Group in the Department of Medical Biophysics is one of the largest in North America
. The group is dedicated to studying the microvasculature, the network of the smallest vessels in the cardiovascular system that are responsible for maintaining the health and function of every organ of the body.

The microcirculation supplies oxygen and nutrients to every cell and then removes the excess heat and waste products that are produced. The microcirculation provides the access for the immune system to defend the body against invasion by infectious agents and foreign substances.

But the microcirculation also provides the route by which cells from a primary tumor are distributed throughout the body and establish new metastatic sites. And it is the growth of a new microvasculature into the tumor that enables the tumor to grow and endanger the life of the individual. The microcirculation plays a vital role in both health and disease. 

Members of the Microcirculation Research Group have an established record of developing new technologies for studying the microcirculation in animal models; of studying fundamental physiological question of microvascular function and of applying these technologies and the knowledge they have gained to investigate the role of the microvasculature in inflammatory diseases and tumor growth and metastases. Individual members are funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, The United States Army Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, the National Cancer Institute of Canada and other national and regional granting agencies. Members are also involved in several collaborative grants including a CIHR Group Grant studying Systemic Inflammation, a $2.1M CFI grant for developing a new research facility for investigating the microvasculature and a CIHR Training Grant for Vascular and Cerebrovascular Disease. 


Our faculty and their graduate students conduct research in partnership with globally recognized faculty supervisors and clinicians at state-of-the-art facilities located at The University of Western Ontario, London Regional Cancer Program, Lawson Health Research Institute, Robarts Research Institute, and the London Health Sciences Centre. After graduation, students find rewarding careers in the healthcare sector, biomedical industry, and academia; others pursue further training in professional schools such as medicine, dentistry, or business. 

If you have a 4 year Honours Degree (or M.Sc.) in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Biology, Medical Sciences or a related field, and are interested in biomedical research, you are invited to apply to our graduate program.

                                   Apply to Our Graduate Program On-line

Successful graduate applicants who choose Microcirculation and Cellular Biophysics as their area of graduate study are eligible to apply for traineeships in the CIHR Strategic Training Program in Cancer Research and Technology Transfer (CIHR-STP) and the Translational Breast Cancer Research Studentships and Fellowships.

View the Medical Biophysics Graduate Supervisors' Websites
whose microcirculation and cellular biophysics research groups
are at the
Lawson Health Research Institute
London Health Sciences Centre
London Regional Cancer Program
Western main campus

Microcirculation and Cellular Biophysics Video Gallery 

Dr. Geoffrey Pickering
Dr. Geoffrey Pickering, Medical Biophysics faculty member and Co-Director of The Vascular Biology Group at Western's Robarts Research Institute, discusses this world class vascular biology group. The team approach, involving scientists, clinicians, and graduate students, works to better understand and treat cardiovascular disease with the goal of creating a healthier future.
A Tour of the TBCRU
A Tour of the
Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier
Translation Breast Cancer Research Unit
at the
London Regional Cancer Centre 

Dr. Ann Chambers
Dr. Dwayne Jackson
Dr. Dwayne Jackson
Assistant Professor
Medical Biophysics

It's a common belief that there's a link between chronic stress and an increased risk of cancer. In new research published online by the International Journal of Cancer, scientists at The University of Western Ontario identified a particular neurotransmitter released in response to stress, that stimulates both cancer cell growth and migration in breast cancer. The research was led by Dr. Dwayne Jackson.

Dr. Ann Chambers, Director of  the Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translation Breast Cancer Research Unit at the London Regional Cancer Centre and a Lawson Health Research Institute scientist, speaks to how donor dollars support research work she is doing in the area of breast cancer.  

Breast Cancer Society of Canada

and the  
London Health Sciences Foundation

Dr. Ann Chambers, Director of the Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier
Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit at London Health Sciences Centre, speaks about the breast cancer research being conducted because of funding from the Breast Cancer Society of Canada.

Video courtesy of
London Health Sciences Foundation
www.bcsc.ca and www.lhsf.ca 

Dr. Ann Chambers

of the 2011 Hellmuth Prize
for Achievment in Research

 Western University has many faculty members with outstanding international reputations for their contributions in research. The Hellmuth Prizes for Achievement in Research provide a way for all members of the Western community to appreciate and celebrate research achievement of our most distinguished faculty members.
There are two such prizes offered annually, one in the area broadly defined as the natural sciences and engineering (research that would be supported by NSERC or CIHR) and one in the social sciences and humanities (research that would in general fall under the mandate of SSHRC).
Cardiologist and Medical Biophysics faculty member,
Dr. Geoffrey Pickering,
describes a new strategy for stimulating the formation of highly functional new
blood vessels in
damaged tissue.
Dr. Geoffrey Pickering
Dr. Geoffrey Pickering's Hypothesis to
Tame Tumour Cells Is Circulating at Western. READ MORE ......

Faculty Member
(click on name to view his/her website)

The term 'Graduate Supervisory Privileges' infers that the faculty member has an active research program which may include
graduate recruitment for admission during the  
Fall Term of any given academic year

Keywords Describing
Research Expertise


Geographical Location
in London

Medical Biophysics in London

Phone No.
519 Area Code
E-Mail Address
(last updated November 15th, 2013)
Ann F. Chambers

Director of  the Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translation Breast Cancer Research Unit

Graduate Supervisory Privileges

Experimental Oncology
(cell/molecular biology
of metastasis)
London Regional Cancer Program


Dormant cancer cells,
intravital video microscopy,
cancer cell extravasation/intravasation

Gediminas Cepinskas
Assistant Professor

Graduate Supervisory Privileges

Critical Illness Research
Victoria Reearch Laboratory
6th Floor - Rm. A6-136


Systemic inflammatory response syndrome, molecular
mechanisms behind sepsis
not available
Christopher G. Ellis 

Graduate Supervisory Privileges
& Cellular Biophysics
4th floor - Rm 407
Medical Sciences Bldg., UWO 


Intravital video microscopy on animal models for studying oxygen delivery
to skeletal muscle tissue
via microvasculature, role
of the red blood cell
in regulation of oxygen delivery
and hemodynamics
in the capillary network,
computational flow modeling
of vascular networks
x 83100 or 85867 
Paula Foster
Associate Professor

joint researcher
with Dr. Ann Chambers

Graduate Supervisory Privileges

Imaging Research
Robarts Research Institute
UWO Campus

Cellular imaging using
iron-labeled cells and
magnetic resonance imaging,
imaging tissue inflammation,
traumatic spinal cord injury,
tissue histology
x 34040
Dwayne Jackson
Assistant Professor

Graduate Supervisory Privileges

Medical Biophysics
Room 407
Medical Sciences Bldg.

Animal disease models,
skeletal muscle blood flow,
hemodynamics, sympathetic
nervous system effects
on diabetes, and breast
cancer tumor progression
x 85867
GH (Barry) Janssen
Adjunct Professor

(web page not available) 

Medical Biophysics

Room 407

Medical Sciences Bldg. 


Intravital video microscopy;
regulation of oxygen delivery; hemodynamics of
red blood cells;
pulse oximetry and microfluidics
x 86476


J. Geoffrey Pickering

Graduate Supervisory Privileges

Cardiovascular Research
Robarts Research Institute
UWO Campus


Slowing vascular cell aging,
characterizing communication pathways between vascular
cells and extracellular matrix,
how endothelial cells
and vascular smooth
muscle cells interact
to regenerate new blood
vessels in diseased hearts
x 34214 or 34415 
Karel Tyml


London Health Sciences Centre
Rm A6-144
Victoria Research Laboratory


Intravital video microscopy
and laser Doppler flowmetry
to measure blood flow responses
to drugs applied locally to
capillaries/arterioles in
skeletal muscles,
investigating the disruption in
cell-to-cell communication
under systemic inflammation
and the protective role of
Vitamin C in
microvascular dysfunction
x 55076



Important News for 2014 Graduate Applicants

In Your Statement of Intent, 
please indicate in which area(s) of graduate research you are interested & why your academic and research background has attributes relevant to your intention to pursue a graduate degree in Medical Biophysics.

If you are a domestic applicant - START HERE - to submit your application.

If you are applying to the PhD Med Biop Clin MSc CAMPEP Accredited stream of the Medical Biophysics graduate program - START HERE

If you are an international applicant - START HERE - to submit your application.

MUST READ: Graduate Chair's Notes for All MBP Students

The Top 10 Things A MBP Graduate Student Needs To Know (presented by Baraa Al-Khazraji, senior PhD student)

Above presentations best viewed using Google Chrome

Western's Learning Skills Services for Graduate Students offers excellent advice and counselling about balancing the challenges of conducting research, writing your dissertation, and maintaining a personal life. An effective example of their services is tips on time management

View the Slide Show from the 2013 A. C. Burton Lecture

Best viewed using Google Chrome

In Memory of Dr. Alan C. Groom, Professor Emeritius, the Alan C. Groom Memorial Fund Has Been Established. See Presentation  ...
Best viewed using Google Chrome


Founder, Medical Biophysics, UWO, and
Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Inductee


View UWO Libraries video seminars presented by globally recognized scientists covering all biomedical topics



Medical Biophysics Graduate Supervisors Directory

Also of interest:

Department of Medical Biophysics - Learning through Research