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About MMI

History

1907 The Provincial Laboratory of Public Health (Provincial Lab) was established as a branch of the Alberta Department of Agriculture, one year before the founding of the University of Alberta (UA). The Provincial Lab undertook bacteriological, chemical, biochemical and pathological investigations.

1914 The Provincial Lab moved to the University of Alberta and began providing the facilities and staff for the teaching of bacteriology and pathology.

1920 - 1932 The Department of Bacteriology was responsible for microbiology teaching for medical, nursing and agriculture students.

1932 Teaching to students of agriculture was dropped. Courses in soil microbiology and dairy bacteriology were developed by the Faculty of Agriculture.

1950 - 1967 The Department of Bacteriology and the Provincial Lab were given distinct and separate staff and budgets. During this period, the Department of Bacteriology was reorganized into two divisions -- the Division of Microbiology, which addressed applied aspects of microbiology and the Division of Bacteriology, which addressed bacteriology as a science.

By 1963 The Division of Microbiology had become the Department of Microbiology under the umbrella of the Faculty of Science. The Division of Bacteriology had become the Department of Medical Bacteriology under the umbrella of the Faculty of Medicine but was still very closely linked to the Provincial Lab. The University of Alberta Hospitals (UAH) Diagnostic Microbiology Service was regarded as the primary responsibility of the Department of Bacteriology.

By 1966 The Department of Bacteriology gained greater autonomy from the Provincial Lab. Senior staff members of the Provincial Lab continued to have cross-appointments with the Department of Medical Bacteriology.

1969 The UAH Microbiology service was formally separated from the UAH Clinical Labs to form the new UAH Department of Microbiology.

1972 The UA Department of Medical Bacteriology moved to the first floor of the new Medical Sciences Building so there would be access to the Provincial Lab building. By then, the department was teaching medical microbiology courses for medical, nursing, dentistry, dental hygiene, medical laboratory science and science students. Teaching and the clinical service were the major activities of the department, but research was actively encouraged and developed. Research funding came primarily from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and (for cross-appointees) the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

1973 The Department of Immunology was founded as a product of the establishment of the MRC Group in Transplantation Immunology in 1969 in the Department of Pathology. This department had a strong commitment to research excellence and was run more like a research institute than an academic department, given the strong emphasis on research without undergraduate teaching responsibilities.

1974 The Department of Immunology moved to the 8th floor of the Medical Sciences Building.

1982 The UA Department of Medical Bacteriology was renamed the Department of Medical Microbiology to better represent the interests in parasitology, mycology and virology as well as bacteriology.

1983 The UAH Department of Microbiology moved from the Provincial Lab premises to the new Walter Mackenzie Centre. The UA Mold Herbarium, which had been part of the department, moved to the Devonian Botanic Garden and became the UA Microfungus Collection.

By 1985 The UAH Department of Microbiology became a Division of UAH Department of Laboratory Medicine. This ended the direct involvement of the University department in the administration and organization of the UAH clinical microbiology service.

1985 The department underwent a review by the UA Presidential Advisory Committee on Campus Reviews (PACCR). Among the recommendations from this review were: (1) strengthening of ties between the University Department, the Division of Infectious Diseases, UAH Clinical Microbiology and the Provincial Lab and (2) strengthening the department’s research and graduate programs.

1987 The UA Department of Medical Microbiology was renamed The Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (MMID). Funding through research contract with industry started with the establishment of a contractual arrangement with GLAXO for hepatitis research.

By 1990 The department was organized informally as three synergistic units: (1) Basic Science - core departmental staff sited on the 1st floor Medical Sciences Building, (2) Clinical Microbiology - cross-appointed staff from UAH Clinical Microbiology and Provincial Lab, and (3) Infectious Diseases - cross-appointed staff from the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Department of Pediatrics.

The University Hospital Board recognized the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (MMID) as a clinical department while it remained as a basic science department in the eyes of the greater university. The MMID Program was revitalized, and a highly successful dual certification program in both Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases was established with the Division of Infectious Diseases. The MMID PhD Program was approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Prior to this, the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases participated in the PHD in Medical Sciences Program.

By 1993 The GLAXO Heritage Research Institute, which includes a Biosafety Level 3 Bio-containment Facility on the 6th floor of the Heritage Medical Research Centre, became a reality. This provided the department with much-needed research space for its growing research staff.

1993 The operations of the Provincial Lab and the UAH Microbiology Service were combined and became quite distinct from the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

1995 The Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology was formed with the merger of The Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and the Department of Immunology.

1996 The Immunology Network was established.

2010 The Li Ka-Shing Institute of Virology is created, supported by gifts of $25 million from the Li Ka-Shing Foundation and $5 million from GlaxoSmithKline, and by funding from the Province of Alberta.  Dr. Lorne Tyrrell is appointed the first Director of the Institute.  Dr. M. Houghton is recruited to the Department as a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Virology.  The School of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences is created with MMI as one of the four divisions of the School.

2011 The Department moves from its old laboratories in the Medical Sciences Building to new office and laboratory space on the 6th floor of the adjacent Katz building.



Directors and Chairpersons

1907 Shortly after the establishment of the Province of Alberta, The Provincial Laboratory is constituted by Order-in-Council on December 2, 1907 as a branch of the Provincial Department of Agriculture. Dr. D.G. Revell is appointed Director and Provincial Bacteriologist.

1919 - 1945 A.C. Rankin became Dean of Medicine, Director of the Provincial Lab and Chair of the U of A Department of Bacteriology until 1945. The Rankin award is presented annually to the medical student who achieves the highest standing in the microbiology course (DMED 502 since 1998).

1945 -1950 R. M. Shaw succeeded A. C. Rankin as Provincial Bacteriologist and Director of the Provincial Lab.

1950 -1967 R. D. Stuart accepted the Directorship of the Provincial Lab on the principle that the University Department of Bacteriology and the Provincial Lab become distinct in both staff and budget and that the University department work towards promoting bacteriology as a science. Stuart reorganized the university department into two divisions: the Division of Microbiology and the Division of Bacteriology.

1966 F. L. Jackson was appointed Chair of the Department of Medical Bacteriology.

1967 - 1988 J. M. S. Dixon succeeded R. D. Stuart as Director of the Provincial Lab Upon Dr. Dixon’s retirement in 1986, D.L.J. Tyrrell became Acting Director of the Provincial Lab and R. Marusyk was appointed Associate Director of the Provincial Lab.

1969 -1986 F. L. Jackson appointed Chair of the UAH Department of Microbiology. He also remained Chair of the Department of Medical Bacteriology.

1973 - 1988 E. Diener appointed Chair of the Department of Immunology.

1986 - 1994 L. Tyrrell appointed Chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

1988 - 1990 B. Singh was Acting Chair of the Dept. of Immunology.

1990 - 1995 T. Mosmann appointed chair of the Dept. of Immunology.

1990 - 1994 W.L. Albritton appointed Director of the Provincial Lab, Microbiologist-in-Chief of the UAH and Professor of MMID.

1994 J. Talbot appointed Acting Director of the Provincial Lab.

1994 -1997 Following Lorne Tyrrell’s departure from the Chair of the department, D.E. Taylor, R.G. Marusyk and J.A. Robertson filled the interim as Acting Chair.

1997 - 2002 J.R. Smiley, Appointed Chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology.

2002-2003 J.A. Robertson served as Acting Chair after Jim Smiley's term as Chair ended.

2003-2013 D.H. Evans, appointed Chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology.

2013-2014 M. Barry, served as Interim Chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology since D.H Evans took on the role of the VP Research in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

2014-present M. Götte, Appointed Chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology.