Science & Research

Dr. Andrew Halayko

Dr. Andrew Halayko is Professor of Physiology and Medicine, Canada Research Chair in Airway Cell and Molecular Biology, and Leader of the Biology of Breathing Group. Born and raised in Winnipeg, his research is built upon training in cell and molecular biology from fields as diverse as plant science and agriculture.

Today, his focus is on the biology of lung disease, and since completing his PhD at University of Manitoba he has built fundamental concepts concerning the functional role of airway smooth muscle in asthma pathogenesis. His training has led to him to operate a broad research program using cell biology and physiology, and mouse models for drug testing and investigating airway inflammation, wound healing and function. A current focus is on mediators called alarmins and their contribution to development of severe asthma, a condition that is refractory to typical steroid therapies.

His research has a translational character, focusing on avenues for new treatments for obstructive airway disease, and testing these in pre-clinical models: presently he is assessing whether statins (widely used to lower serum cholesterol) and associated pharmacological inhibitors may prevent and reverse allergic asthma.

His work has pointed out shortcomings in drug development and delivery to the bedside, thus in the past two years he has worked within the Biology of Breathing Group to establish a research and development unit that will generate bio-engineered human airways and blood vessels to bridge the gap between studies in mice and "men."

He has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles and holds significant provincial, national and international administrative responsibilities, serving as Board Member and Research Chair for both the Manitoba Lung Association and the Canadian Thoracic Society, and is a Board Member of the American Thoracic Society.

Career profile

1996: Ph.D. in Physiology from University of Manitoba

1996 to 1999: Post-doctoral Fellow, Pulmonary and Critical Care, University of Chicago

1999: Assistant Professor, Departments of Physiology and Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba

2003 to present: Leader, Biology of Breathing Group, Manitoba Institute of Child Health

2004: Associate Professor, Physiology, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics & Child Health, University of Manitoba

2011: Professor, Physiology, Internal Medicine, Pediatric and Child Health, University of Manitoba

Awards/achievements

2006: Awarded Canada Research Chair in Airway Cell and Molecular Biology (renewed for a five-year term in 2011)

2001 to 2007: Board Member, Manitoba Health Research Council

2006 to present: Executive Member, CIHR Integrated and Mentored Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Training (IMPACT) Program

2008 to present: Board of Directors, Manitoba Lung Association (Chair, Research Committee)

2009 to present: Board of Directors of Canadian Thoracic Society (Chair, Research Committee)

2010 to present: Board of Directors of American Thoracic Society (Elected Chair, Respiratory Structure & Function Assembly)

Wave: January / February 2012

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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