Sept. 14, 2020

Dr. Derek McKay appointed director of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases

Appointment effective Sept. 1, 2020
Derek McKay
Derek McKay

The Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Derek McKay, PhD, as director of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, effective Sept. 1, 2020.

Dr. McKay will replace Dr. Paul Kubes, PhD, who has been director of the Snyder Institute since its inception in 2008. In 2011, Dr. Kubes was named Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for his work in examining the role that white blood cells play in preventing and reversing sepsis — a potentially fatal condition in which the blood becomes infected by harmful bacteria. His leadership has enabled the opening of the Live Cell Imaging facility and the International Microbiome Centre.

Dr. Kubes has been critical in shaping the Snyder Institute and I thank him for being an instrumental leader throughout the years. He will continue to lead the University of Calgary’s research strategy for Infections, Inflammation and Chronic Diseases in the Changing Environment.

Dr. McKay has been an influential member of the Snyder Institute and the CSM over the past several years and is an excellent fit for this new role. He was recruited to UCalgary in 2006 for a Canada Research Chair in Intestinal Immunophysiology and was concurrently awarded an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scientist Award (2006-2013). He is currently a professor in the CSM’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.

Dr. McKay is well-known within the Snyder Institute and is highly regarded for his work on unraveling communication pathways in the gut that control normal physiology and disease, both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. He is the chair of UCalgary’s Gastrointestinal Research Group and the former president of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology. Dr. McKay holds research grants from the CIHR, Crohn’s Colitis Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He has published more than 170 original research and review articles, and book chapters.

Dr. McKay is a visionary leader who plans to maintain the established reputation of the Snyder Institute while fostering innovative chronic disease research, connecting with the university community and leading education endeavours.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. McKay on his new appointment.


Jon Meddings, MD
Dean, Cumming School of Medicine
University of Calgary