Our History

The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry has been a leader in health care since the 1920s.

The first classes in medicine were offered at the U of A in 1913, followed by the addition of dental courses in 1917. Dr. Allan C. Rankin became first dean of the medical school in 1920 when the Faculty of Medicine was created. Since then we have been educating some of the country's top doctors, dentists, dental hygienists and medical lab sciences graduates, and making headlines with groundbreaking discoveries and procedures in world-class facilities:

  • 1922 – Faculty biochemist Dr. J.B. Collip plays central role in the development of insulin.
  • 1956 – Faculty member Dr. John C. Callaghan performs first successful open-heart surgery in Canada.
  • 1967 – First kidney transplant performed at University Hospital, paving the way for the hospital to become a major multi-organ transplant centre in Canada.
  • 1977 – Faculty creates Canada's first division of oncology.
  • 1989 – Diabetes research team reports first successful combination islet cell and kidney transplantation in patients with end-stage diabetic kidney disease.
  • 2000 – Islet transplantation is named Edmonton Protocol and becomes known worldwide.
  • 2007 – Alberta Diabetes Institute opens, bringing together one of the world's largest and most elite groups of diabetes researchers.
  • 2009 – Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute opens as a state-of-the-art facility that solidifies Edmonton as a cardiovascular centre for excellence.
  • 2010 – Largest single monetary donation in university history leads to establishment of Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology, establishing U of A among top international centres for study of viruses.