Building on research strengths

A collaborative, creative community

A collegial environment and free flow of ideas

Dalhousie Medical School is part of an exceptionally open and collaborative research community, where investigators share information and ideas freely and work closely together – often in sophisticated shared facilities – to pursue their common aims. Researchers work across disciplines, faculties and institutions to bring a broad range of perspectives to solving important health problems.

Close clinic-to-lab connections

Close connections between clinicians and scientists ensure research is focused on real problems patients and doctors face every day. That’s why it’s so significant that Dalhousie Medical School’s main research labs are located across the street from its largest teaching hospitals. This proximity enables close collaboration between clinical faculty – who work as doctors and surgeons at the hospitals – and their basic science colleagues in labs. In fact, many clinical faculty who practice and teach at the hospitals are also trained scientists who run laboratory research programs that use basic science to answer clinical questions. The net result is that research findings can be translated more quickly into better patient care.

Strong local supports for researchers

Researchers at Dalhousie Medical School have access to a wide range of supports for their research endeavours – from peer review and mentorship programs to a host of local funding opportunities provided by Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation and the IWK, QEII and Saint John Regional Hospital foundations.

Location, location, location

Its location in the Maritimes is a tremendous asset to Dalhousie Medical School’s research programs. Not only is the region’s population extraordinarily willing to participate in research studies, but the relatively small size, stability and old age of the population, coupled with its above-average rates of chronic disease, make the Maritimes an ideal location for clinical research and population health studies.

Four solid cornerstones

Dalhousie Medical School has built four key areas of research strength that reflect urgent health priorities of the Atlantic region. Every year, Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation’s Molly Appeal raises funds for one of these four research areas:


Many cancers are age related, and hence cancer is a growing burden in the Atlantic Provinces, home to Canada’s oldest and fastest-aging population. Dalhousie cancer researchers are working with colleagues and stakeholders across the region, through the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute, to meet the cancer challenge from many angles. Learn more about cancer research at Dalhousie Medical School.

Cardiovascular disease

Atlantic Canada has the nation’s highest rates of cardiovascular deaths and of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Dalhousie medical researchers have formed the multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Group and are learning how the heart works, how it ages, how it becomes diseased and how it can best be protected, repaired and, ultimately, replaced. Learn more about cardiovascular research at Dalhousie Medical School.


Neuroscience is a vast field that encompasses fundamental neuroscience, neurodegenerative diseases, brain and spinal cord injury, psychiatric illness and vision. Neuroscience researchers at Dalhousie are learning how the brain and nervous system work and finding new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent neurological injury and disease. Many are members of the Brain Repair Centre, a renowned hub for neuroscience research, collaboration, innovation and commercialization. Learn more about neuroscience research at Dalhousie Medical School.

Inflammation, immunity and infectious disease

Inflammation is the root of countless chronic diseases, while infectious diseases are steadily on the rise around the world. Dalhousie medical researchers are unlocking the secrets of the immune system and finding solutions to inflammatory and infectious diseases. The Dalhousie Inflammation Group and Canadian Center for Vaccinology are leading coordinated efforts in these crucial research areas. Learn more about inflammation, immunity and infectious diseases research at Dalhousie Medical School.


Emerging pillars of strength

Dalhousie medical researchers are committed to solving serious health challenges in the Maritimes. To do so, they’re building and strengthening research programs in health services and primary care research, as well as in maternal and childhood obesity, aging and frailty, pain, inherited diseases that are most common in the Maritimes, mental health and workplace health.