Printer Friendly


Prior to the establishment of its first medical education institution at the University of Alberta in 1913, (1) clinical neurology and neurosurgery was practiced sparingly throughout the province and with little regulation. According to historian Elise Corbet, this was because of the lack of incentive for highly trained physicians from eastern Canada or abroad to come to the new province, while much of Alberta saw the spread of physicians many of whom were unlicensed or had questionable credentials. (2) A handful of so-called neuropaths (3) were included in this group of "charlatans and other fakers," possessing "a modicum of medical knowledge" in what was called natural healing or holistic health at the time. Despite the regulations imposed by the 1906 Medical Professional Act, which required physicians to pass an examination by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, many continued their unlicensed practice nonetheless. (4) Standardized practice in Alberta hence only began to take form with the establishment of the first Medical School in Edmonton shortly before World War One. (5)

Although some unregistered physicians continued to practice after the war and through the 1920s, the creation of Alberta's first medical school also allowed for the training of more neurology physicians and neurosurgeons in the province, particularly enhanced through structural innovation grants received from the American Rockefeller Foundation. (6) The 1920s saw about the creation of a Medical Building and the Rockefeller Foundation provided a $500,000 grant that enabled the university to offer a full training for becoming a Doctor of Medicine. (7) In tandem with the creation of the medical school in Edmonton, university president Henry Marshall Tory (1864-1947) negotiated to have the Strathcona city council lease land on the university site to begin construction of a new hospital that could also be used for teaching. (8) Despite the optimism for the new medical school, socioeconomic circumstances proved unpromising for immediate growth of the budding medical school. The outbreak of World War One in 1914 diverted much of the University's resources away from teaching and research. (9) Nevertheless, enrolment in the medical school remained consistent with more than forty students enrolled throughout the war years, and admission rose thereafter.

The new concentration of medical education and research in Edmonton also resulted in a little incentive for skilled physicians to work in other parts of the province. Most towns and counties did not see a single psychiatrist or neurologist settling in private practice. With the exception of southern Alberta especially, where an association of neurologically trained physicians and one neurosurgeon formed a collaborative consortium that became known as a "group practice." (10) In such group practices, three or more physicians formally agreed to share an office, pool both their income and expenses, and share the patient records with one another. This was a highly western phenomenon, in which by 1975 nearly half of the total group practices throughout Canada existed in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. The system, meant for mutual support in sparsely populated areas, likewise allowed for more specialized care and diagnostics--and even some research--, when applied to urban contexts such as Calgary. (11)

However, despite not incubating very much in the way of somatic neurological research--for example on conditions of stroke, epilepsy, or traumatic injuries (12)--throughout the province a wave of public health hysteria took aim at the specific social problems of mental health. Beginning with the inauguration of the so-called "Sexual Sterilization Act" in 1928, the Alberta government attempted to remove mental health related issues from the gene pool of its population by sterilizing patients believed to be "mentally defective" and "insane." (13) This movement was much more prominent and continued over many more decades in Alberta than anywhere else in Canada. Whereas most provinces began to repeal this practice by the end of World War Two, Alberta continued its forced sterilization program up until it rescinded it in 1972 under the Peter Lougheed (1828-1912) Progressive Conservative administration. (14)

Such socio political implications for the administration and practice especially in psychiatry and neurology also had constraining effects for the scientific and research side of the field. Furthermore, the existence of only one medical faculty in Edmonton until 1967, when the first dean of medicine William Arthur ("Bill") Cochrane (1926-2017) was hired to build a second provincial medical school at the newly inaugurated University of Calgary (UofC), (15) also limited the number of basic and clinical scientists, research infrastructure, and funding support, along with opportunities for practical interactions with more distant hospitals from the Alberta capital. Although physicians were now capable of training and operating in Alberta, medical research, especially neurological research, remained rather sparse in the province up until the 1980s, when a new and highly impactful foundation was created to increase the biomedical research output and its technological and pharmaceutical implications, known as the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR): (16)

Recalled a senior neuroscientist:
So, I looked at several places and ultimately, I decided to come back
to Calgary largely because there was the promise of the Alberta
Heritage Foundation on the horizon and at that time the medical school
had really been over-built--you know, 'big hat, no cattle' -and
probably half this building, this Health Sciences Centre, was empty, so
it was built to grow so all that was required was faculty salaries and
this place had the space to accommodate them. So, I thought it was
better to be in on the growth phase than in other places where the
prospects for growth and development were far less optimistic. So, I
came to Calgary in 1980 and I've seen some phenomenal growth since that
time. I've seen the medical school change from probably being ranked in
the lowest quarter of Canadian medical schools to much more comfortably
in the middle. (17)

The high demands of teaching, particularly at the young medical school in Calgary with its primary mandate to create family physicians rather than biomedical researchers, (18) kept many skilled investigators away from research and a lack of enticing funding compared to eastern Canada ensured that the bulk of medical research occurred in Ontario and Quebec. (19) Neuroscience research in Alberta was thus rather limited to local investigator's laboratories and individual groups, which sometimes crossed department boundaries, or interdisciplinary teams around rather specific diagnostic or therapeutic research questions.

Among these exceptions, were the contributions made by the London-trained neurosurgeon, Dr. Vance MacDonald (d. 1956?), who at the University of Alberta Hospital and the Edmonton General Hospital treated acute neurosurgical conditions.

Edmonton had academically trained neurologists and psychiatrists yet Calgary saw only a late (self-)organization among internists--from the Calgary General Hospital,--to collaborate together with the neurosurgeon Dr. Charles W. Taylor (1916-1999) to care for many patients with neurological pathologies, comprising of multiple sclerosis (MS), epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and neurodegenerative conditions. Since 1956, another "neurological surgeon," Dr. Ralph Arthur Bailey (d. 1964) appeared in the city, who had been a McGill-graduate and came to Calgary following to his neurosurgical fellowship training at Manchester University in England. Another neurosurgeon, Dr. Allan Hepburn (1924-2010), arrived in Calgary from Alberta's capital, where his father Howard Havelock Hepburn (1885-1972) had worked as the first Chief of the Neurosurgical Division in the University of Alberta Hospital. His son joined Calgary's legacy hospital, the Holy Cross, pursuing many research investigations in the neurosurgical and neurological field and as well headed the Calgary Medical Society as its president for many years. Moreover, Dr. Hepburn, Jr. also created the "Central EEG Laboratory" at the Academy Medical Building and also the Calgary General Hospital's EEG laboratory. Both innovative facilities provided ample diagnostic services to the whole medical community in southern Alberta. Between the 1960s and the 1980s, the number of neurosurgeons in Calgary gradually amounted to one dozen. (20)

The 1960s had already marked further turning points in Alberta up until the 1980s, with some important and exceptional contributions to the province's neuroscience history. In the 1970s, for example, in Edmonton work had begun to study spinal cord regeneration, the genetics of neuromuscular diseases, and vascular pathophysiology of bleeding around the brain. (21) While Edmonton had traditionally organized its research predominantly in department structures of anatomy, physiology, neurology, and neurosurgery, Calgary's medical school took a different approach.

Emerging from its clinical "divisions" since the late 1960s, with the inauguration of its new Health Sciences Centre in 1979, physical structure was created and purposefully designed to house the education programs and allow for active collaboration across department boarders to ensue, while relying instead on its clinical services, unit divisions, and later interdisciplinary research groups: (22)

As a senior neuroscientist recalled,
So, I think from the point of view of the ground roots [...] like,
we're happy if UofA recruits a really good neuroscientist, that's good
for us. Most people here feel comfortable with UofA. They suffered for
a long time, not so much suffered, they had difficulty understanding
Calgary because it's so different. UofA was a traditional school. If
you're in physiology and you walk into the pharmacology floor they'll
likely put a tail on you to make sure you don't take something or
contaminate them. There is a very strong departmental identity there at
UofA that has never existed here. They really just didn't understand
this research group type of approach we had, where we all had this
touchy lovely dovely get a long [...] it was very foreign to them and I
think that slowly but surely, it's starting to change, they're
establishing a cardiovascular centre [...], there are some things like
that departmental structure. (23)

A modest interdisciplinary neuroscience interest group was emerging in Calgary since the creation of its medical school in 1967. In Calgary, the heads of neurology and neurosurgery at the Foothills Medical Centre and the Calgary General Hospital in their famous "corkscrew club" meetings foresaw the formation of a combined Department of Clinical Neuroscience in 1981. (24)

It was a unique academic unit in Canada as seen from at least two perspectives; first, it put a separate "knowledge translation" spin on its organization as a "clinical" department that also comprised physiologists, radiologists, and technological experts. Second, by default, it brought these into interaction as an autonomous department that was internally so much broader in scope and depth of clinical work and research programs, that it reflected instead the (although larger) structures of the eastern Canadian institutes with their strong university decision autonomy, such as neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield's (1891-1976) Montreal Neurological Institute. (25)

It is then in a sense a stair wit of history, that due to the Quebec political crisis of 1970/71, many neurologists and neurosurgeons from Montreal left the political quarrels east and settled in Calgary with their private practices or as staff physicians and researchers at the Calgary General Hospital and the new Foothills Medical Centre. Among these was eminent neurosurgeon and Penfield-pupil Dr. Francis E. Leblanc, who kick-started the UofC's neurosurgical group, excelling in tumour-, epilepsy-movement disorder-, and traumatic surgeries.

A former chief of services recalled,
Well, in 1971 I was on the consulting staff at the Montreal
Neurological Institute and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, and
in - well from 1967 till '71 I was on that staff. And there was the
October Revolution in Quebec in October of 1970. I had three small
children and they were developing at that stage. I was 36 years old and
so I had a young family to look forward to educating in a safer
environment than existed there. So, several opportunities seemed to
come my way, including Queens University, UBC [University of British
Columbia], and Calgary. And I interviewed for all of them, and I chose
Calgary because it was fresh, brand new. No politics-type of ascendancy
positions, or anything like that! [...] had visited Calgary before. I
had visited Calgary in 1958, when I was the President of CAMSI
[Canadian Association of Medical Students and Interns. And] I knew
Harley [Hotchkiss, 1927-2011] a long time before the Brain Institute
was established and, in fact, I worked with him in terms of trying to
get improved diagnostic facilities at the Foothills Hospital years
before the institute was [created]. Anyways we were good friends. We
hunted together, and stuff like that. (26)

Nevertheless, both medical schools in Calgary and Edmonton lacked the proper funding to provide adequate laboratory equipment and attract considerable talent. A major shift to this dilemma took place because of the creation of the AHFMR in 1981. As part of the Alberta Heritage Trust Fund, the provincial government-created funding agency took advantage of a recent boom in the economy from natural gas and oil and diverted considerable funds to medical research, in an attempt at diversifying the post-secondary research area, provide stimuli for economic creation of start-ups in pharmaceutic and medico-technological industries, as well as enhancing Alberta's level of clinical medical care through active research. (27) This "mini Rockefeller Foundation's" (28) effect on stimulating neuroscience research in Alberta and attracting skilled researchers and physicians to the province can hardly be understated. Speaking about the impact the provincial funding had on the medical schools in the province, a senior neuroscientist in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, stated:
I think that the AHFMR brought neuroscience research and in fact the
Faculty of Medicine as a whole from being in the bottom twenty to
twenty-fifth percentile of medical research in Canada to someplace
comfortably in the middle in a very short period of time. And I think
that you can't overstate how critical that was to the growth of the
neuroscience and medical research enterprise in Calgary. (29)

The aforementioned economic stimulus became a critical catalyst in igniting Alberta brain science research, while also representing an important cause for the growth of the two medical schools and their ability to hire new faculty and highly qualified personnel to the province. (30)

This period also saw increased investigative activities and contributions from the research intensive University of Lethbridge, which had been created as the third Albertan university one year after the UofC, in 1967, (31) with its expanding laboratories in psychology and the emerging renown of its foundational program in behavioural research contributing to its growing health sciences program. (32) The historical landmark events certainly included the creation of the UofL's Faculty of Health Sciences in 1980. In its Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Nursing, and Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation programs, the Lethbridge Faculty strived to attract students who wanted a non-standard educational experience, other than those programs that offered a more traditional health sciences approach (including problem based learning, community outreach, and collaborative activities with Indigenous communities). (33) The concentration of psychology research and behavioural neuroscience thereby led to the creation of the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience in 2001--with funding from Ottawa -through the UofL's core faculty in experimental psychology, Dr. Bryan Kolb and Dr. Ian Whishaw. (34) Traditionally, there have existed very strong ties between the UofC departments and institutes and those at the UofL, which became further enhanced through co-teaching opportunities and mutual workshops emerging from the UofC's 2008 creation of a specialized undergraduate honours program in the Bachelor of Neurosciences as well as the launch of a province-wide research and teaching network through Campus Alberta Neuroscience the following year. (35)

Another crucial step in the history of neuroscience in Alberta was the creation of Calgary's own brain research institute, as it was first known. In 2004 the dean of medicine, D. Grant Gall, (1940-2007) took advantage of the recent boom in the economy to acquire the support for creating six medical research institutes. The attempt at concentrated interdisciplinary research endeavours however also had the potential to marginalize some of the existing research groups. Several investigators from the pre-existing interdisciplinary research groups were highly critical of the contemporary decisions, as it appeared random to them how "winners and losers were picked." (36) Some of these groups were apparently strong enough to push themselves back into the faculty conversation. (37) Likewise, not all the department heads in the faculty applauded this development either, as it led to the closure of several of the existing and successful interdisciplinary groups, such as the mucosal inflammation one in 2006. (38) Department heads questioned the idea of the institutes since they made faculty recruitment more complicated. While they controlled the budget for salaries, institute directors held the purse strings for start-up funding and allocated laboratory space. Neuroscience, which had one of the strongest interest groups, was chosen as one of those institutes launched in January 2004 as the "Calgary Brain Institute" under Dr. Samuel Weiss's directorship. (39) In order to prevent the institute from being restricted geographically to Calgary, the institute was renamed the "Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI)," after its founding patron Harley Hotchkiss, by the end of the year. (40)

The new windfall in medical research funding provided a sound foundation for an explosion of brain science over the next decade. Popularly known as the American "Decade of the Brain," (41) the time around the turn to the new millennium saw about a remarkable rise in interest about neuroscience. At the University of Calgary, Dr. Weiss' discovery of neural stem cells in the brain of adult mammals in 1992 became synonymous with pivotal discoveries in brain science of the decade. The ensuing article was an example of important work being done in this research area, which won him a first Gairdner Award in the faculty in 2008. A critical mass of investigators plus a substantial body of important work contributed to the identification of neuroscience and mental health as an area of local research strength and the eventual creation of the HBI once a patron was identified in the person of Dr. Weiss. (42) Through his and his group's first discovery of neuronal stem cells in the adult human brain they solved a major problem in the history of neuroanatomy regarding the existence and mechanism of structural plasticity in the human brain. (43) The resulting research article in the prestigious journal Science also became the single most-cited paper in the history of the UofC Department of Pathology. However, with the restructuring that had occurred from regionalization (the dissolution of the Calgary Health Region and creation of the central body Alberta Health Services), as well as the formation of the HBI, Sam Weiss and most of the basic scientists needed to move out of the Pathology Department. Dr. Weiss' achievement nevertheless helped put a national spotlight on the growing neuroscience research group at Calgary. Scientists across Canada followed Dr. Weiss' work, as Dr. Gregory Cairncross later recalled after becoming the head of Clinical Neurosciences at Calgary. Cairncross was particularly attracted to work together on cancer research targeting glioblastomas: (44)
Well I think one of its [HBI's] major achievements was a recent one.
This incredible work done by the Stroke Program, which was really
members of clinical neuroscience with the support of the institute
doing [a] remarkable piece of clinical investigation to prevent the
stroke, emergency, [...], various sorts of things to open up clogged
arteries, to mitigate the damage done by strokes, sometimes reverse the
symptoms altogether. So, I think an important piece of work in medicine
in general, reflected in publication of the Journal of Medicine. And
the way in which this group is held in such high regard around the
world. So, I think that's a tangible example of work of the institute
working together. Together and, you know there are other basic
scientists who are doing really outstanding work as well. So, the
quality of the work, being practical. [...] And it's that stuff I would
say, it's those kinds of things that put institutes on the world stage.
It's the work that they do and the impact they have on scientific
thinking or healthcare ... [Though] at the beginning change was a
challenge. Probably sustaining success. Like to do it over and over and
over and over again. It's a challenge. (45)

Such sustainable success has also been noticeable in the clinical translation activities of the multiple sclerosis program and the invention of the "NeuroArm" by Dr. Garnette Sutherland in 2007, an image-guided magnetic resonance-compatible robotic neurosurgery system able to make precise and less invasive incisions. The device successfully removed a brain tumour from its first human patient, Paige Nickason, in 2008, and its subsequent advances and implications in neurosurgery have been lauded by the international scientific community. (46) The research institute model anticipated to find the best fit for addressing research questions with up-to-date interdisciplinary methods and, because the existing research institutes were primarily set up to control research space and find start-up funds for newly recruited faculty, pre-existing departments were following in their decisions. However, despite there being no quantitative organizational study, anecdotal evidence suggests that it has been successful, although not all institutes have been equally so in the past. (47)

In the period after its creation in October, 2004, the HBI has become a recognized centre for neuroscience in Canada and been supported by extended research funding since its inception. Four particular areas of successful clinical and research collaboration have effectively transformed the ways of neuroscience research, viz. new forms of communication, infrastructure, shared vision, and organizational leadership. (48) The HBI thereby saw to enhance communication among its members through regular meetings, received substantial donations and funding support, and augmenting its research infrastructure and funding environment through a shared vision and regular external reviews, which helped determining its three thematic research areas--brain and behaviour, neural injury and repair, health brain aging-across all the professional relationships.

Thus far, it has been apparent that enterprising Albertans would look out for innovative opportunities to join the international level of biomedical research in their laboratories, clinics, and academic offices in the new and emerging field of neuroscience as well. The universities in Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge came up with the necessary space, human resources, and platforms for ensuring (not ensuring) investigative collaboration, and they have since been joined by other colleges and research institutions. When opportunity presented itself during the economic boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was particularly during the deanship of D. Grant Gall that a new form of university structures emerged to address neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery, and experimental biological questions from innovative angles. Some critics of the research institute model stated in the past that the concept would be too "top down" and constrained the freedom of research, while its advocates saw both the research diversity and opportunity for advancing concerted actions for fund raising and philanthropy when making their case. That and the scientific relation of Calgary's HBI to pre-existing models, such as the Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada, Harvard's Department of Neurobiology in Cambridge, MA, or the Brain Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles in the United States, were among the paths, which helped paving the way to the increasing national and international recognition of neuroscience in Alberta at the beginning of this century.


(1) Walter Hugh Johns, A History of the University of Alberta, 1908-1969 (Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta Press. 1981), 49-51.

(2) Elise Corbet, Frontiers of Medicine: A History of Medical Education and Research at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta Press, 1990), xvi-ii.

(3) Susan E. Cayleff, A History of Neuropathic Healing in America (Baltimore. MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), 185-190.

(4) On the introduction and scope of the "1906 Medical Professional Act," see for example: Historical Society of Alberta, History Now: The Membership Newsletter of the Historical Society of Alberta, October, 2006, 50f.

(5) Corbet, xviii.

(6) Roger J. Hollingsworth, "Institutionalizing Excellence in Biomedical Research," in: Darwin H. Stapleton. Creating a Tradition of Biomedical Research (New York City: Rockefeller University Press, 2004), 15-18.

(7) Rob Macleod, The History of the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta Press, 2004), 9.

(8) Robert Lampard, Alberta's Medical History: Young and Lusty and Full of Life (Red Deer, AB: Lampard. 2008), 245f.

(9) Corbet, 13-14.

(10) Doris H. Annear, Audrey M. Cerkvenac, and Moira E. Hogg, eds., Neurosurgery in Calgary. The First Fifty Years (Calgary. AB: Blitzprint, 2004), 6.

(11) Gerald Millward and Fiona C. Harris, Medical Clinics and Physicians of Southern Alberta (Calgary, AB: University of Calgary Press. 1991), 3.

(12) See, for example, in: Jock T. Murray, Garth Bray, Morris Freedman, and A. Jon Stoessl, Neurology in Canada: History of the Canadian Neurological Society (New York City: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013), 406f.

(13) Ian Dowbiggin, Keeping America Sane: Psychiatry and Eugenics in the United States and Canada. 1880-1940 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), 179-190.

(14) Jane Harris-Zsovan, Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada's Nasty Little Secret (Winnipeg, MB: J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing, 2010). 5-6.

(15) William Arthur Cochrane, "Philosophy and Program for Medical Education at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine," Canadian Medical Association Journal 98, no. 10 (1968). 500-505.

(16) Jennifer Zwicker and J. C. Herb Emery, "How is Funding Medical Research better for Patients? Valuing the Impact of Alberta's Health Research," The School of Public Policy Discussion Paper, 21 August 2015, 8.

(17) A senior neuroscientist [Q.P.], who since the 1990s had been a directing committee member of AHFMR (August 28, 2015), Personal Interview with Connor Sweazev at the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB [3:45].

(18) University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, Administrative History (Calgary, AB: Faculty of Medicine Fonds, 1963-2000), Fond No. 249426, n. pag., University of Calgary Archives.

(19) Elise Corbet, Frontiers of Medicine: A History of Medical Education and Research at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta Press, 1990), 173.

(20) Frank W. Stahnisch, "Some Milestones from a Century of Brain Research in the Province of Alberta, 1910 to 2010," in: ISHN and Cheiron, eds., First Joint Conference of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences and the International Society for the History of Behavioral & Social Sciences (Calgary, AB: University of Calgary, 2011), 24-30; esp.25f.

(21) Corbet, 182.

(22) Annear, Cerkvenac, and Hogg, 158-159.

(23) A senior neuroscientist [Q.P.], who since the 1990s had been a directing committee member of AHFMR (August 28, 2015), Personal Interview with Connor Sweazey at the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB [43:40].

(24) Dr. Robert Lee, "History of the Department," Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, AB: retrieved from the internet, at:; <acccssed 23 January, 2018>; see, also in: Stahnisch, 27.

(25) Cf. William Feindel and Richard Leblanc, The Wounded Brain Healed: The Golden Age of the Montreal Neurological Institute, 1934-1984 (Montreal, PQ: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016),

(26) A former chief of service [F.L.], who helped building the Calgary neurosurgical facilities since the 1970 (August 28, 2015), Personal Interview with Connor Sweazey at the Ranchmen's Club, Calgary, AB [4:05].

(27) Lampard, 663-664.

(28) An external, high-profile examiner from an American Ivy League university, during one of the early triennial review boards of the AHMFR. See, also in: Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Moving Forward: the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Strategic Planning Report (Edmonton, AB: Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, 1992).

(29) A senior neuroscientist [Q.P.], who since the 1990s had been a directing committee member of AHFMR (August 28, 2015), Personal Interview with Connor Sweazey at the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB [40:35]

(30) This even took a critical turn, after the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine had hired circa two hundred faculty without contingency plans in place - as a new medical school it did not have the traditional large endowments in the background, which other older universities had. and thought that it would receive increased funds from the Alberta government to retain these researchers and clinicians should there be no external AHFMR support. To U of C leaders that funding seemed to be secured in perpetuity by way of the AHFMR endowment, yet came to an abrupt end, when the conservative government of Alberta, through a decision by Advanced Education Minister Douglas Alan Horner, mandated to dissolve the foundation and discontinue Peter Lougheed's plan for secure investments and economic diversification. Horner publicly announced the end of the foundation's salary grants in 2010, a decision endorsed by the Progressive Conservatives that had themselves supported the creation of the foundation three decades before: Robynne Rogers Healey, Carolee Pollock, and Julian Martin. Shaping Research Frontiers: The Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, 1980-2005 (S.I.: s.n., 2005), n. pag.

(31) Anthony Rasporieh, Make No Small Plans. The University of Calgary at Forty (Calgary, AB: University of Calgary Press, 2007), 1.

(32) Stahnisch, 24.

(33) Marion McKay. "Public Health Nursing," in: Christina Bates. Dianne Dodds and Nicole Rouseau, eds., On All Frontiers: Four Centuries of Canadian Nursing (Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa Press and Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2005). 107-124.

(34) Brian Kolb, "The Twentieth Century belongs to Neuropsychology," Brain Research Bulletin 50, no. 4 (1999), 409-410.

(35) This collaboration also became a foundation for province-wide interactions, when the HBI led the effort to coordinate neuroscience and mental health research in the province. In doing so, the institute brought together the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Lethbridge into collaborating in research programs, networks, and workshops throughout the "Campus Alberta Neuroscience" in 2012. "We believe that neuroscience in Alberta is much stronger if we work together than if we compete," said a senior neuro-physiologist and interim director of the HBI [K.S.] (September 16, 2017), Personal Interview with Connor Sweazey at the Foothills Medical Campus, Calgary, AB [33:05].

(36) A senior internist of the UofC Faculty of Medicine, Personal Conversation (September 7. 2018) with F.W.S.

(37) At one point, for example, it was not even clear that there would be a cardiovascular research institute. Yet the cardiologists emerged as a large and powerful group who found sufficient private donor support. Stahnisch. 26f.

(38) UofC Faculty of Medicine Council Meeting Minutes (13 December, 2006). n. pag.

(39) Calgary Brain Institute, Executive Committee Meeting. January 27, 2004. Minutes.

(40) Harley Hotchkiss, Hat Trick: A Life in the Hockey Rink, Oil Patch and Community (Calgary. AB: Dundurn Press), 286-287.

(41) Thomas D. Albright, Eric R. Kandel, and Michael I. Posner, "Cognitive Neuroscience," Current Opinion in Neurobiology 10, no. 6(2000), 612-624.

(42) Brendt A. Reynolds and Samuel Weiss, "Generation of Neurons and Astrocytes from Isolated Cells from the Adult Mammalian Central Nervous System," Science 255, no. 5052 (1992), 1707-1710.

(43) Frank W. Stahnisch, "Making the Brain Plastic: Early Neuroanatomical Staining Techniques and the Pursuit of Structural Plasticity, 1910-1970," Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 12, no. 4 (2003), 413-435.

(44) Michelle Lindstrom, "Weiss Guy," Leap (2012): retrieved from the internet, at:; <accessed 20 August, 20 18>; see, also in: Stahnisch, 27.

(45) A senior clinical neuroscientist [G.C.], who headed Calgary's neuro-oncotogy research group since the 1970s (August 7, 2015), Personal Interview with Connor Sweazey at the Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, AB [2:57].

(46) Garnette Sutherland, Stefan Wolfsberger, Sanju Lama, Kourosh Zareinia, "The evolution of neuroArm," Neurosurgery 72, no. 1 (2013), 27-32.; Allan Maki, "Medical Machinery," The Globe and Mail, 1 April, 2016.

(47) Jenny Godley, Keith A. Sharkey, and Samuel Weiss, "Networks of Neuroscientists: Professional Interactions within an Interdisciplinary Brain Research Institute," Journal of Research Administration 44, no. 2 (2013), 94-115,

(48) Godley, Sharkey, and Weiss, 11 If.

(49) Provenance information regarding the four figures shown in this article can be retrieved from the authors.


The authors wish to thank the HBI and the archives of the UofA in Edmonton and Uof C in Calgary for their support.

by Connor Sweazey & Frank W. Stahnisch

Connor Sweazey has a Master's degree in Canadian and Media History. He has been a Research Assistant with the Calgary History of Medicine and Health Care Program since 2015.

Dr. Frank W. Stahnisch is the AMF/Hannah Professor in the History of Medicine and Health Care at the University of Calgary. He has written on western Canadian history of medicine, eugenics, psychiatry, and public health, and is involved in a multi-authored book project on the history of the Cumming School of Medicine, which celebrates the first fifty years of its existence.
COPYRIGHT 2019 Historical Society of Alberta
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Sweazey, Connor; Stahnisch, Frank W.
Publication:Alberta History
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jun 22, 2019
Next Article:NATURAL GAS, 1906.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters