Name: Jeff Dunn
Job: Professor of Radiology at the University of Calgary
Source: Dr Dunn’s blog [original post from November 2014]
I wasn’t actively looking. There was a job at the University of British Columbia I was trying to get that had been simmering for a few years. It was a random act that led to my learning about the University of Calgary position. I was coming through Calgary for a conference and contacted some colleagues to ask if I could give a talk. They set up a job interview as well. In the end, I was offered a position at UBC and Calgary in the same week. That warranted a nice bottle of wine—but required a significant life decision to be made. We decided on Calgary. Here I am.
My lab in Calgary has similar goals as to the one I ran at Dartmouth. We have very high end MRI tools and capabilities. This is the first 9.4T horizontal bore animal system in Canada. I’ve developed an additional imaging capability in near-infrared spectroscopy to study tissue oxygen levels in disease. The University has many exceptional people that can use imaging for their work. As a result, I have many excellent collaborators. I’ve been fortunate to have continuous funding and so I’m still actively doing research. Much of what I do uses animal models. We also translate new ideas to human use. A few weeks ago we had a paper published on brain MRI in an animal model of Multiple Sclerosis. Last week, I had a paper published where we developed a new optical imaging method for assessing concussion in children.
My affiliations reflect the broad work I do. I’m a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health — all at the University of Calgary.
My work touches many disorders and, unlike medical doctors, I’m not limited to one species! My “science” and life decisions were sometimes spontaneous, and sometimes took months of soul searching. For much of the time, money was tight. At no time did I think I had a cushy job for life where I could sit back and just drink beer with the students. I believe my job is to teach as well as to do research, and so many of my supervisory decisions involve identifying what is good for the student as well as for my lab. I hope my blogs will entertain as well as provide interesting information on how research is useful to your life, to our culture, our species and our planet.