Office of the Dean


Deborah Burshtyn


Title & Department:

  • Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology 


  • Postdoctoral Fellow NIAID, National Institutes of Health, USA
  • PhD, Immunology, University of Toronto
  • BSc, Immunology, McGill University

Career Highlights & Recognitions:

  • Centennial Fellow, Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC)
  • Senior Scholar, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR)
  • New Investigator, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Lougheed Fellow, CIHR
  • Leader, Human Immunology at UAlberta Node
  • Section Editor, The Journal of Immunology Editorial Board
  • Graduate Coordinator, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology
  • Member, Partners in Research National Board

Teaching & Research Interests:

  • Genetic influences on innate immune response to chronic viral infection, regulation of innate lymphoid cells

Responsibilities as Vice-Dean:

  • Quality assurance of programs - work with the Deputy-Provost in regular review of programs
  • New program development and changes - work in conjunction with the Vice-Provost Programs with leads from the Faculties in development and approval of new graduate programs through the governance process
  • As Vice-Chair of Policy Review Committee - take the lead on FGSR policy changes
  • Guide Associate Deans in dealing with student-related issues
  • Work with senior executive team to develop and implement strategic directions of the Faculty
  • Represent FGSR with internal partners on committees and ad hoc for a variety of activities

Personal Interests & Hobbies:

  • Food (history, recipes, restaurants, cooking, and eating), watching my kids dance and play soccer, long walks in the wilderness, running with the dog

Fondest graduate school memory:

  • Going to a conference in Taos, New Mexico; mixing it up with great minds in the field and seeing their interest in my research, getting to know faculty from my own department as people and then skiing down the hardest run I ever did with three feet of pow pow.

Favourite thing about the University of Alberta:

  • I am always amazed by the diversity of the people I meet, their passion, and what they have contributed.

If you could tell graduate students to read one book, what would it be:

  • Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

Advice to graduate students:

  • Ignore the rhetoric about surviving in graduate school - this puts you in the wrong mindset and you will see obstacles and setbacks at every turn. Graduate school is a time you can explore your ideas and put your stamp on your products. I would advise a new student to embrace the experiences that stretch you as might as a fitness challenge, followed by ask questions and then listen hard for the answers; you will learn as much (probably more) from your peers as you will from the faculty.

Click here to go to Vice-Dean Burshtyn's faculty page at the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology.