Faculty Members

Dr. Dean Befus

Professor Emeritus

Department of Medicine

Division of Pulmonary Medicine
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me


My research focuses in three areas of lung disease:

Cooperation between mast cells and airway epithelial cells in host defence against influenza A: We have extensive expertise in the study of mast cell activation and novel pathways that may be targets for new anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory agents. Our current studies are focused on the anti-viral activities of mast cells in cooperation with airway epithelial cells in influenza infection.  In particular, we are investigating a mast cell-derived factor that increases the resistance of epithelial cells to viral infection.

The neuro-endocrine-immunologic network in inflammation and stress: In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Calgary, we defined novel peptides derived from a rodent prohormone induced by stress and the sympathetic nervous system and that can regulate inflammatory responses, such as in asthma. Novel anti-inflammatory drugs have been developed and completed phase I and phase 2a clinical testing on asthma.  In translating this work from animal models to humans we have identified a novel human protein, CABS1, that is a biomarker of stress and that has anti-inflammatory activity. Molecular processing of CABS1 appears to yield fragments that are markers of resilience to stress in some individuals.  

As Director of the Alberta Respiratory Centre, I also have broad interests in asthma; ranging from its management to the development, implementation and evaluation of education programs for adults and children, their families and health care professionals.

Team Members

Kurtis Ng, MSc (2015 - present)

Eduardo Reyes-Serratos, MSc (2016 - present)