About our Current Chair

Researcher, teacher, award winner, student, partner, volunteer, mother, mentor, mentee, and now chair - Dr Denise Hemmings is as diverse as WISEST itself!

Since becomming Chair, Denise has facilitated the expansion of WISEST to include two new hands-on programs that we take out into the community called IlluminateIT, a program designed to encourage interest in information technology and Tales from the Science Buffalo, an Aboriginal outreach program to northern Alberta communities.

Denise is also an Associate Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta. She is an active member of the Women and Children’s Research Institute (WCHRI), Cardiovascular Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing Virology Institute. Her research program focuses around the vascular role of a bioactive lipid called sphingosine 1-phosphate in normal pregnancy and also in pregnancies complicated by reduced growth of the fetus and/or high blood pressure. Denise is currently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and WCHRI. She serves on several student advisory committees and is a reviewer for many scientific journals and funding agencies.

Denise has a passion for training students and since her appointment in 2005 has trained more than 40 students from the high school to post-doctoral fellow level. She also encourages students and staff in the basic sciences to step outside of their comfortable scientific boundaries to forge interdisciplinary links with clinicians.

Chairs of the Past

Founding Chair

Margaret-Ann Armour

Past Chairs

Gaylene Fasenko

Gail Powley