Patrick MacDonald is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and also Director of the Alberta Diabetes Institute IsletCore human research islet program. He obtained his PhD in Physiology from the University of Toronto in 2003, then pursued post-doctoral fellowship training in Lund and Oxford before establishing his independent research laboratory at the Alberta Diabetes Institute in Edmonton in 2006. His research focuses on pancreatic islet function in health and diabetes, particularly the interplay between receptor- and metabolism-mediated signalling and their impacts on secretory granule trafficking and plasma membrane function. A focus on human islet biology results in part from the establishment of a human islet biobanking program that now supplies research islets around the world. He has received new investigator awards from the American Physiological Society, the Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Diabetes Canada. He has recently held a Killam Annual Professorship at the University of Alberta, and was elected as a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. Patrick has served on numerous panels and boards. These include Diabetes Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research granting and personnel awards committees; the editorial boards of Endocrinology and Diabetes; and as associate editor of Islets and AJP – Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Research in the MacDonald lab is focused on understanding the cellular mechanisms controlling insulin and glucagon secretion in health and diabetes. We use electrophysiological and live cell imaging approaches to investigate the metabolic and receptor mediated mechanisms controlling cellular excitability, secretory granule trafficking, and membrane fusion. While the group uses transgenic animal and cellular models, we have a strong focus on studying human islets and islet cells and a research interest in the isolation, banking, and quality control of research islets from human organ donor pancreas. Recent work has also focused on connecting the functional and molecular profiling of human islets and islet cells to understand cellular heterogeneity and dysfunction.Back to Editorial Board