Walter Swardfager, PhD

Walter Swardfager

Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Excellence in Linking Undergraduate Teaching to Research in Life Sciences
Undergraduate Teaching Awards in Life Sciences


Since Dr. Walter Swardfager began his independent research as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, and as a Scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute, in 2015, his lab has supported 63 undergraduate research projects. Undergraduate learners are fully integrated into the pursuit of knowledge in the lab’s main areas of focus - to understand contributions of cerebrovascular disease to mood and cognitive outcomes in aging, particularly the roles of cardiometabolic risk factors and the medications used to treat them. Trainees work on clinical and epidemiological studies, including neuropsychological, neuroimaging and metabolomics data, with aims to identify novel inflammatory, metabolic and neuroendocrine biomarkers that inform disease processes, mechanisms of drug action, and potential new targets for pharmacotherapy.

Quote from the Winner

“Walter has been a great role model – he always leads by example in demonstrating what it means to do science with honesty, integrity, and rigour.”

About the Award

This award recognizes sustained excellence, mentorship and innovative methods that link undergraduate teaching to experiential research opportunities such as research project courses, summer student research projects or equivalent programs.