Denise Belsham

PTA 2023 Denise Belsham

Denise Belsham

Department of Physiology

Temerty Faculty of Medicine

Denise Belsham is Professor in the Department of Physiology at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Professor Belsham has over 25 years of neuroendocrine research in obesity, circadian rhythms, and reproduction. The focus of her laboratory is to understand, at the molecular level, how the hypothalamus achieves its diverse physiological functions.

Professor Belsham is keen to share this research knowledge and expertise with others to foster the development of the next generation of scientists, entrepreneurs and industry leaders, especially women and other underrepresented groups. This exceptional teaching and educational leadership follows three key thematic areas: Graduate Course Innovation; Undergraduate Small-Class Teaching; and Laboratory Skills Development and Mentoring. Recognizing early on that teaching at the University of Toronto encompasses so much more than didactic lectures, Professor Belsham has engaged in many diverse forms of teaching  to develop and provide exceptional in-class learning environments along with hands-on research experiences of the highest quality in her laboratory.

Professor Belsham was awarded a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Neuroendocrinology. She served as Acting Chair and Vice Chair of the Department of Physiology. She was awarded the “Sustained Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Excellence” in 2019 and the “Excellence in Linking Undergraduate Teaching to Research in Life Sciences Award” in 2020 from the Faculty of Medicine for her contributions towards the careers of the over 150 trainees from her laboratory. She is particularly proud that many of her students have been young women and members of under-represented groups, well poised to pursue advanced scientific careers for which she serves as a role model.