Jan. 23, 2003, Gazette
welcomes new research talent
profiles are the latest in the Gazettes ongoing series featuring
the universitys newest faculty members. Memorial welcomes its latest
faculty, whose varied research interests are represented by a broad spectrum
of issues including genetics, the biological mechanisms underlying feeding,
growth and development in fish, emergency medicine, researching pre-contact
Inuit whaling economies in northern Labrador, Tay-Sachs disease, and childhood
gastroenterology diseases in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Dr. Jeff Critch
Faculty of Medicine
|Dr. Jeff Critch
Dr. Jeff Critch is the only pediatric gastroenterologist in the province,
and he is looking forward to researching childhood gastroenterology diseases
in Newfoundland and Labrador. He returned to St. Johns in September,
and is still busy setting up his clinical practice and meeting teaching
commitments. But in future he hopes to continue the research he was doing
on a fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto on bowel
diseases in children, particularly Crohns disease. The particular
focus of his research will depend on what gastroenterology diseases predominate
in the pediatric population of the province.
Dr. Critch recently completed a three-year gastrointestinal fellowship
under the supervision of Dr. Anne Griffiths. He said about 20 to 25 per
cent of Crohns disease is diagnosed in the childhood age range.
It can be frightening for parents at first, but its a chronic
disease and most families do well in learning to manage it.
Dr. Critch is from St. Johns and attended medical school at Memorial
following undergraduate training in engineering and biochemistry. He graduated
in 1995 and pursued residency training at the Janeway until 1999 when
he took up a gastroenterology fellowship at the Sick Childrens Hospital
Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Andrew Latus
As a medical ethicist, Dr. Latus is particularly interested in the area
of genetics. He has been working with colleague Dr. Daryl Pullman on a
project to provide recommendations to the provincial government on how
commercial genetic research should be regulated in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Their report draws the conclusions that human DNA does not fit neatly
into any of the usual categories: in some ways it resembles a personal
possession, in others a natural resource, and in others the common heritage
During his doctoral studies, Dr. Latus became interested in a fledgling
movement in epistemology which views knowledge in terms of the absence
of certain kinds of luck. In pursuing this question, Dr. Latus found himself
becoming interested in the problem of moral luck the extent to
which how good or bad a person you are is a matter of luck. Following
his doctorate, Dr. Latus taught philosophy at University College of Cape
Breton, followed by stints at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, St. Francis
Xavier University, and Memorials philosophy department. Before accepting
a faculty position in medical ethics, he worked with Dr. Daryl Pullman
on a postdoctoral fellowship.
Dr. Latus graduated from Dalhousie in 1989 with a B.Sc. and BA and then
attended St. Francis Xavier University for three years as a music student
in the jazz program, specializing in trumpet. He finished St. Xaviers
with a diploma in jazz studies plus an honours year in philosophy and
then returned to Dalhousie for a masters in philosophy followed
by a doctorate at the University of Toronto.
Dr. David Morgan
Faculty of Medicine
Dr. David Morgan
Dr. David Morgan has joined the Discipline of Family Medicine to spearhead
a new program in emergency medicine. The normal family medicine residency
program is two years, but the emergency medicine component will add an
extra 18 months to the program. The idea is to get physicians comfortable
working in emergency situations so they can go into rural areas with these
new skills. Our program is 12 months of emergency medicine and six months
of enhanced rural skills and we hope at the end of the program we will
have physicians who will feel comfortable working in an emergency department
but will also feel comfortable working in rural areas. Dr. Morgan
said the target date to start the new program is July 2003. Initially
two or three full-time residents will be accepted, and room will also
be made for some re-entry physicians currently working in rural areas
who want to pick up some additional skills.
Dr. Morgan has worked in emergency medicine for the past 16 years and
is enthusiastic about the potential for the new emergency medicine program.
In addition to him, family medicine faculty members Drs. Bob Miller and
Scott Moffatt are involved in setting up the new program, which will also
depend on input from Royal College of Canada certified emergatologists
Drs. Doug Baggs and Mike Hatcher. The program will also include geographic-full-time
faculty members Drs. Tia Renouf and Greg Brown.
Born in Corner Brook, Dr. Morgan graduated from Memorials medical
school in 1982 and following a rotating internship he worked for several
years in Come-by-Chance. He returned to St. Johns to do an internal
medicine residency and ended up working in emergency medicine in 1986.
It wasnt as much a career choice as a position opened up,
and since then Ive worked in all of the adult emergency sites in
Assistant professor, Biology
Faculty of Science
The study of fish has been a passion of Dr. Volkoffs since her days
as an undergraduate. From sharks to rays, goldfish to cod, she focuses
her research on determining the structure and function of peptides in
fish that serve to regulate appetite, influence reproductive events, and
respond to environmental cues. Dr. Volkoff employs an integrative approach
to her research, using a number of techniques from behavioural studies
to molecular biology. While in Newfoundland, she will use goldfish as
a model for freshwater fish, and cod and flatfish as a model for marine
The physiology and endocrinology of fish have been the primary focus of
Dr. Volkoffs research. During her masters and PhD, she examined
the role of the thyroid gland in controlling the reproduction of elasmobranch
fishes (sharks and rays). Using light and electron microscopy, as well
as hormone assays, Dr. Volkoff carried out comparative studies on the
structure of the thyroid gland between sexes and reproductive stages within
one species. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, she
examined the effects of neuropeptides on goldfish appetite, employing
such techniques as stereotaxic brain injections of the peptides, followed
by behavioural observations, cloning of DNA encoding for these hormones,
and gene expression studies.
Dr. Volkoff earned a B.Sc. in marine biology/physiology from the Université
Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France, followed by a M.Sc. in marine
biology from the Université dAix-Marseille III in Marseille.
At Clemson University in South Carolina, she received her PhD in zoology,
and then completed five years of post-doctoral studies at the University
of Alberta. Dr. Volkoff accepted a position as assistant professor at
Memorial University in September of this year.
Dr. Peter Whitridge
Department of Anthropology
Dr. Peter Whitridge
Dr. Whitridge is currently interested in researching pre-contact Inuit
whaling economies in northern Labrador. This region was colonized relatively
late by the Thule ancestors of modern Inuit, around the time that large
whaling communities in the Central Canadian Arctic were abandoned. He
plans to initially focus on sites around Nachvak Fjord and in future years
work his way north. This northern part of the Labrador coast was surveyed
in the late 1970s but is still relatively unstudied archaeologically.
Written sources, such as the Moravian diaries, indicate there were several
important whaling locales in the region in the eighteenth century, so
the potential for locating pre-contact whaling communities is good. Dr.
Whitridge is especially interested in the social correlates of whaling,
as these varied over time and region across the North American Arctic.
Dr. Whitridge became interested in Thule society and economy as an undergraduate,
and pursued these topics from various perspectives in his later academic
research. His doctoral research involved excavation at the largest prehistoric
village in Nunavut, located along a stretch of the Somerset Island coast.
Analyses of bone distributions, community layout, architecture, and household
refuse were used to explore the social relations in which whaling organization
was embedded, during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Excellent
preservation in the frozen archaeological deposits allowed the investigation
of aspects of Thule sociality, such as gender relations, that have rarely
been attempted. Prior to his appointment at Memorial, Dr. Whitridge taught
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Toronto,
and University of North British Columbia.
Originally from Ottawa, Dr. Whitridge earned his BA from University of
Toronto, and his MA from McGill University, both in anthropology. He was
awarded his PhD in anthropology from Arizona State University in 1999.
Dr. Whitridge began teaching at Memorial in September 2002.
Note to all deans and directors: If you have new faculty
members and would like them featured in this series, please contact, Deborah
Inkpen, communications co-ordinator (research), at email@example.com.