Douglas Zochodne was born in Oshawa, Ontario Canada, attended the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in London Ontario and majored in undergraduate Chemistry. He graduated from medical school in 1980 at UWO where he also completed a rotating internship, a year of internal medicine and an FRCPC in Neurology in 1985. He completed a Neuromuscular Fellowship at UWO supported by the McLaughlin Foundation under the supervision of Dr. Charles Bolton and from 1986-1988, he trained in the Peripheral Nerve Research laboratory with Drs. Phillip Low and Peter Dyck, at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota as an MRC fellow. In 1988, he established a Peripheral Nerve research laboratory and Neuromuscular Clinic at Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario where he served as Associate Professor. He was invited to continue his work at the University of Calgary in 1992. The Zochodne lab has had continuous external funding since its inception at Queen’s through to its move to the University of Calgary. His research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR, the current lab is supported by three ongoing CIHR awards), the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada (MDAC), National Institutes of Health (NIH USA, in collaboration with Dr. Chris Power), the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC, in collaboration with Dr. David Cramb), and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRFI, in conjunction with Drs. Danielle Pacaud, Jean Mah, Rayaz Malik, William Astle and Ken Romanchuk). Dr. Zochodne is recognized as a Scientist of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR). He is a consultant Neurologist of the Calgary Health Region and serves as the Director of the Neuromuscular Clinic (Adult), University of Calgary and as Director of Clinical Neurophysiology (Adult EMG), Calgary Health Region. Dr. Zochodne served as Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences from 1999-2007. He has served as a member of the Institute Advisory Board of the Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction of CIHR. He is President-elect of the Peripheral Nerve Society.
Dr. Zochodne has worked and published in several areas of basic and Clinical Neurosciences. One of his first major papers coauthored with Charles Bolton, “Critical Illness Polyneuropathy, A Complication of Sepsis and Multiple Organ Failure”, has become the definitive description of this common and debilitating complication of patients admitted to intensive care units. Dr. Zochodne has participated in major clinical trials involving Guillain-Barre syndrome, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, ALS and Diabetic Polyneuropathy.
The Zochodne lab has published over 200 original articles and book chapters (excluding abstracts). A new book entitled, “The Neurobiology of Peripheral Nerve Regeneration”, Cambridge Press, was published in the fall of 2008. The laboratory has made contributions to the field of experimental diabetic neuropathy and peripheral nerve regeneration. In particular, its findings have emphasized the role of neurodegeneration in diabetic peripheral nerves, its features and signals including the role of insulin as a neurotrophic, or neuronal growth factor. The Zochodne lab has published a series of innovative articles on cellular partnerships and molecules involved in nerve regeneration. Dr. Zochodne is the team leader of a major ($2.25M) CIHR Regenerative Medicine and Nanotechnology team grant with collaborators at the University of Calgary in Neurosciences and Engineering (Rajiv Midha, Naweed Syed, Graham Jullien), the University of Alberta (Tessa Gordon, Ming Chan) and the University of Saskatchewan (Valerie Verge), entitled “An Electronic Axon Interface”, a novel approach toward the problem of nerve regeneration using electronic chips.