Carin Wittnich, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Carin Wittnich

Excellence in Undergraduate Life Sciences Laboratory Teaching Award

Departments of Physiology and Surgery
Hospital for Sick Children & UHN, Cardiac Surgery
Director CSCP/Northrop Frye Scholar

Context(s) for Award:
Field Courses in Physiology including Comparative Applied Field Marine Mammal Physiology PSL379

Carin Wittnich is a Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Surgery and Founding Director of the Cardiovascular Sciences Collaborative Specialization, an inter-departmental graduate training initiative that won the prestigious University of Toronto Northrop Frye Divisional Award in 2004. Dr. Wittnich has established research programs in the impact of sex in heart disease and aquatic contaminants in marine mammal and human health, which have resulted in over 100 publications. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology (JMATE). While being actively engaged in research supervision and teaching of both undergraduate and graduate students for over 25 years, she created ten new specialized cardiovascular or comparative physiology courses. Recognition for her educational efforts have included the Order of Ontario (2001); Queen's Jubilee Medal (Golden 2002, Diamond 2012); Faculty of Medicine - Sustained Contribution to Excellence in Graduate Teaching (2005) & Excellence in Life Science Teaching (2008); Department of Physiology's Excellence in Course Design (2008) for PSL 378 & Excellence in Teaching (2012) & Innovative Course design (2012) for PSL 379.

My approach to teaching has always been to simplify complex knowledge and apply it to real life situations. One example is through laboratory style field application of physiology, where students are exposed to the diversity of physiologic adaptations that exist and how these aid in specialized and efficient survival. The goal is to encourage ‘outside the box’ thinking in whatever field these students will pursue.