Peter Baumeister

MSc Student (2nd year)



Why Dal?

Dalhousie offered both a high quality education and research opportunities in a field of study that has interested me for several years: the cardiovascular sciences. While surveying cardiovascular research programs at various Canadian universities, it was Dalhousie’s professors and their research interests which stood out the most.

I will always remember my first Skype conversation with my current supervisor, Dr. T. Alexander Quinn. Our discussion opened with his youthful and electric excitement as he explained several of his research projects. Never had I met a professor so passionate about his research and dedicated to the education of his students.

Dalhousie’s collaborative environment, both intra and inter departmental, was an attractive option for a new graduate student because it provided me the opportunity to learn a variety of laboratory techniques. Over the past year, I have witnessed how this diversity of expertise has facilitated the development and improvement of research as a whole.

Furthermore, growing up in a small town in southern British Columbia, I came to appreciate the closeness and connectedness of smaller communities. Although Halifax is Nova Scotia’s largest city, I feel the same sense of community I did at home.

Why physiology and biophysics?

Although physiology in general interests me, it is cardiovascular physiology in particular that ignites my curiosity. Growing up as a competitive swimmer, then later a long distance triathlete, I have always been captivated by the mechanisms by which the heart’s contraction is regulated in order to optimize athletic performance. I find it astounding how the organ not only contracts continuously for 80+ years, but has the ability to accelerate over 200 beats per minute during intense exercise.

I enjoy cardiovascular physiology because it, like all types of physiology, is a complex mosaic of interconnected processes. Every piece of research builds upon this mosaic, constantly revising and improving the resolution which is our overall knowledge.

This interconnectedness of physiology inspires me to learn not just about the small pixel I may one day contribute to, but to step back and appreciate the larger picture and how it relates to health, performance and illness.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the clinical implications basic science research may have. Currently in Canada, heart disease is the leading cause of death and many families, including my own, share a history of this disease.

While our understanding regarding the variety of heart diseases has evolved over the decades, there remain many questions unanswered. If we are able to better appreciate the underlying physiological processes, we may then be able to facilitate the development of more effective treatments and therapies.

Teaching, labs, research groups

  • Teaching assistant - Systems Physiology (2015)
  • Teaching assistant - Physiology (2015)
  • Teaching assistant - Neurophysiology (2014)
  • Graduate researcher - Dr. T. Alexander Quinn, Dalhousie University (2014-2015)
  • Undergraduate researcher - Dr. Jonathan Little: Exercise, Metabolism and Inflammation Laboratory, UBC-Okanagan (2014)
  • Supplemental Learning Leader – Anatomy and Physiology (2013-2014)


  • MacPherson RE, Baumeister P, Peppler WT, Wright DC, Little JP. Reduced cortical BACE1 content with one bout of exercise is accompanied by declines in AMPK, AKT, and MAPK signaling in obese, glucose intolerant mice. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2015;DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00299.2015

Awards, honours, conferences

  • Dr. Magda Horackova Student Research Award - Top Oral Presentation (2015)
  • Dalhousie Department of Physiology and Biophysics - Top Poster Presentation (2015)
  • Dalhousie 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition - Finalist (2015)
  • Annual Scientific Sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) - Co-Presenter - Poster (2015)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC-USRA) (2014)