Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn joined the University of Alberta as dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry on Jan. 1, 2020. Previously, at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, she was a professor in the Department of Medicine and head of the Department of Community Health Sciences.
She earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a master of nursing degree from the University of Saskatchewan, before going on to earn a PhD in epidemiology and biostatistics from McGill University and then an MD from McMaster University. Dr. Hemmelgarn went on to obtain subspecialty training in nephrology from the University of Calgary, and continues to practise clinically to maintain front-line experience in health care and an in-depth perspective on health-care issues.
For more than 35 years, Dr. Hemmelgarn has served in a variety of roles across health care, academics and administration, including in her current role as vice-chair of the Alberta Health Services board of directors.
Her research expertise focuses on using administrative data to improve care and outcomes for patients with kidney disease and other chronic conditions. She is also a strong advocate for patient-oriented research, patient engagement and integrated knowledge translation. She has an international reputation for her research excellence, with more than $20 million in funding as principal investigator and more than 500 peer-reviewed publications. She holds the Roy and Vi Baay Chair in Kidney Research and is co-lead for the Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration.
Among her many awards and honours, Dr. Hemmelgarn recently received the Alberta Science and Technology Leadership (ASTech) Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Innovation and is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
In her free time, Dr. Hemmelgarn is an avid reader, and enjoys hiking and travelling.