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Faculty Profiles

Alexander Brookes

Department of Russian and German

Alex Brookes completed his undergraduate degree in Russian language and literature at the University of Toronto, continuing on to Yale for his PhD, which he will defend this year.

Since arriving at Memorial, he has taught Beginners' Russian Language as well as Post-Soviet Russia: Media and Film. His research interests are Russian modernism from the late 19th century until the Second World War, the avant-garde and the study of narrative with a historical and philosophical perspective.

Mr. Brookes is currently completing his dissertation on the resonances of the Russian mathematician Lobachevsky and non-Euclidean geometry in his three favourite authors: Dostoevsky, Kharms and Nabokov. Teaching at Memorial has been an ambition for some time.

"Ever since I knew there was a Russian language and literature major at Memorial — which speaks volumes on the quality of education at any university in my opinion – I've wanted to come. My father used to be a history professor with a research focus on Atlantic Canada, so growing up I was pretty aware of Newfoundland's history, in which Memorial plays an important role."

Mr. Brookes is enjoying the proximity of the ocean and hiking trails and has joined the Nautilus running club. He's also in the process of looking for a bridge partner.


Cathy Murray

Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Cathy Murray has joined the Discipline of Medicine after completing an endocrine oncology fellowship at the University of Toronto. She earned her MD at Memorial in 2005 and began her internal medicine residency at Memorial from 2005-08, following which she did her final two years of residency training in endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Toronto. She completed her M.Sc. in clinical epidemiology at Memorial.

Dr. Murray's research experience includes a study of low prolactin as an indicator of true growth hormone deficiency in adults, and a 20-year single Canadian centre followup of acromegalic patients. Acromegaly is a syndrome that results when the anterior pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone after puberty.

Dr. Murray has also done research on the effect of attending a Diabetes Education Centre on medication utilization in the elderly in Ontario. While doing her residency at Memorial she reviewed pancreatic tumours in the MEN1 (multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1) Burin kindred.

In 2010 Dr. Murray presented her work on diabetes medication utilization at the Canadian Diabetes Association professional conference. She is an author on numerous publications, including a 2011 article on Overt immune dysfunction after Cushing's syndrome remission: a consecutive case series and review of the literature, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.


Luke Ashworth

Department of Political Science

The new head of the Department of Political Science comes to Memorial after being faculty member in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick for 16 years. Prior to that, Dr. Ashworth was a post-doctoral fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Carleton University (1994-5). He holds a BA (hons.) in international relations from Keele University, U.K., and an MA and PhD in political science from Dalhousie University.

Dr. Ashworth is teaching a course for fourth-year honours students on the development of international thought, which also happens to be the basis for his latest book due to be published by Pearson in 2012-13. His previous publications include International Relations and the Labour Party: Intellectuals and Policy Making from 1918-1945 (London: IBTauris, 2007) and a peer reviewed article titled Realism and the Spirit of 1919: Halford Mackinder, Geopolitics, and the Reality of the League of Nations, which was published in the European Journal of International Relations.

At the University of Limerick he was the winner of the 2007 large group teaching award and was shortlisted for the same award in 2011.


Danielle O'Keefe

Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Danielle O'Keefe is a familiar face around the Faculty of Medicine but recently became a geographic full-time faculty member, based at the Family Medicine Clinic at the Torbay Road Mall in St. John's. She joined the Family Medicine Program as a locum in July 2008 and has been there ever since.

Dr. O'Keefe (Class of 2005) holds a diploma in clinical epidemiology and is in the process of completing a M.Sc. in clinical epidemiology. Her research, done through the Primary Healthcare Research Unit, involves the ElderCare Study. She is looking at whether the nursing intervention utilized in this study resulted in a change in the use of community resources and self-assessment of health. She has accepted the Family Medicine Evidence Based Medicine Scholarship for 2012, which will involve course work at Oxford University and developing and conducting a research project.

Dr. O'Keefe enjoys research. As a family medicine resident she undertook a research project on childhood obesity and the role of family physicians in helping to deal with this growing problem. She also participated in medical research through the Patient Research Centre on the impact of health care restructuring in Newfoundland and Labrador. She collaborates on ongoing research with the Primary Healthcare Research Unit through her involvement with the Discipline of Family Medicine.

Dr. O'Keefe's post-graduate academic commitments include teaching residents and being a member of the Family Medicine Residency Post Graduate Executive. At the undergraduate level she is involved with teaching clinical skills to first and second-year medical students. She is also the co-ordinator for the Day in Violence teaching workshops for second-year medical students.