Anxiety and Pain: Two Sides of the Same Synapse?

Dr. Min ZhuoResearchers have known for a decade what patients have suspected much longer: chronic pain produces anxiety, and anxiety makes the pain worse. But why? Scientists have found tantalizing clues, including intense activity in the same part of the brain during both sensations. But an answer has been elusive.

Dr. Min Zhuo and his lab recently published a paper in the journal Neuron that showed how neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to physically re-organize itself in response to experience — can spur the interplay between chronic pain and anxiety. Read full story

Physiology's Holiday Luncheon Photos: December 10, 2014 lunch pictures

Paula Smellie
I am delighted to announce that Paula Smellie was the recipient of the 2014 David Keeling Award for Administrative Excellence, Faculty of Medicine. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a sustained contribution of excellence over a period of at least five years and displays the core values of the Faculty of Medicine. As you all know, Paula is our Business Manager in the Department of Physiology. In addition to providing outstanding financial and business management, Paula has played a major role in co-ordination of the Department renovations in MSB, which are now approaching completion. Very many congratulations!

Stephen G. Matthews
Ernest B. and Leonard B. Smith Professor and Chair

Physiology Alumni Event - CAN Montreal

Dr. John F. MacDonaldOur first University of Toronto, Department of Physiology Alumni reception was held in Montreal at the 2014 meeting of the Canadian Association of Neuroscience. The event welcomed current former and current members of our department, students, and faculty. It also provided an opportunity to remember our friend and colleague, Dr. John MacDonald, the previous Chair of the Department (obituary). 

It was wonderful gathering of over 100 people. Thank you to everyone who attended and to those who were unable, we hope to see you soon. What a wonderful tribute to our friend, colleague, teacher and collaborator.  Alumni Event Photos

As we mentioned, the Department has created the Dr. John MacDonald fund in support of our students. We welcome all contributions and look forward to awarding the inaugural award next year

As a neuroscience family we have enjoyed reconnecting with everyone over the course of this conference. Neurotree is a great way we can continue to track our linkages and maintain networks. Please take a minute to add your profile

Thank you to our alumni, trainees and friends for a successful inaugural event!


Beverley Orser and Stephen Matthews


Congratulations to Dr. Stephen Matthews on his appointment as the Director of Research, Fraser Musard Institute for Human Development, University of Toronto.  Read full details.  February 2014



You may have noticed banners on lamp-posts across campus featuring various University Professors. These faculty members were chosen to be among the faces of the Boundless Campaign – “an unprecedented $500-million campaign to support our transformative health agenda” - as they are leading researchers and educators who are making a difference in the health of people and communities across the globe. We are proud to announce that Professors Stephen Matthews, Stephen Lye, Freda Miller, Gary Lewis and Mansoor Husain are among those featured. Next time you are walking around the campus, have a look!

Please click on the link to read about the five key focus areas of the Faculty of Medicine’s Campaign and to watch a video of the Campaign Launch.  


Dr. Stephen Matthews Dr. Stephen Lye Dr. Freda Miller
Dr. Gary Lewis Dr. Mansoor Husain

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