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Dr. Glen Selkirk: An appreciation for human life, and for those who sacrifice theirs

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Glen Selkirk. Faculty - Kinesiology.

Dr. Glen Selkirk, a cellular biology professor in UofGH’s Kinesiology program, is used to looking at things at a microscopic level: “In researching at the cellular level, you’re adding to the knowledge base and understanding of how something works.”

But applying it at the macro level – say, for those working as emergency first responders - is why he gets up in the morning. It’s applied kinesiology at its best.

“You’re having an impact on someone’s life. An actual person, who’s sacrificing their body and their life to defend the health and wellbeing of others. And you’re keeping them safer.”

For more than a decade, Dr. Selkirk’s research in the areas of environmental, thermal and exercise physiology has been helping improve conditions for first responders across the country. Having worked as a defense scientist at Defence Research and Development Canada in Toronto, a Canadian military research facility, Dr. Selkirk is now focusing his attention on firefighters.

“It’s taking cutting-edge research and techniques into an environment that doesn’t necessarily receive that kind of attention. To be able to give back to this population – for me, that’s why I care.”

“And every time I teach this stuff – it’s like teaching the miracle of life at the cellular level. The sophistication of this nano-machinery in the body, working at speeds of a jet turbine to churn out newly replicated DNA – it’s nothing short of miraculous.”


Dr. Selkirk has a Bachelors of Physical and Health Education from the University of Toronto, a Masters of Science (Exercise Science, Exercise and Thermal Physiology) from the University of Toronto, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Kinesiology and Health Science, Exercise and Thermal Immunology/Physiology) from York University.

He completed a Canadian Government Visiting Fellowship (NSERC) with Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), and a MITACS Elevate Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Brock University’s Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology in the Environmental Ergonomics Laboratory (EEL).


Immunological, Physiological and Molecular Mechanisms of Stress Tolerance
Environmental and Occupational Exercise Physiology