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Jack Tuszynski

Mailing Address:

Division of Experimental Oncology
Department of Oncology
University of Alberta
3336 Cross Cancer Institute
11560 University Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T6G 1Z2

Phone: (780) 432-8906
Fax: (780) 432-8892


Professor Jack Tuszynski received his M.Sc. with distinction in Physics from the University of Poznan (Poland) in 1980. He received his Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Calgary in 1983. He did a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Calgary Chemistry Department in 1983. He was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics of the Memorial University of Newfoundland from 1983 to 1988, and at the University of Alberta Physics Department from 1988 to 1990, an Associate Professor from 1990 to 1993 and a Full Professor since 1993. He joined the Division of Experimental Oncology within the Cross Cancer Institute as the Allard Chair in 2005. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Physics, Journal of Biophysics and Structural Biology (JBSB), Quantum Biosystems, Research Letters in Physics, Water: a Multidisciplinary Research Journal and Interdisciplinary Sciences-Computational Life Sciences. He is an Associate Editor of The Frontiers Collection, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.

Research Interests
  • Rational drug design
  • Microtubule assembly and function
  • Models of motor protein function
  • Integration of mathematical modelling into the pharmaceutical development process

The major thrust of the computational biophysics group is in silico drug design for cancer chemotherapy applications and in vitro testing. Dr. Tuszynski’s research interests are strongly linked to the protein tubulin and the microtubules assembled from it. These have been studied using methods ranging from simple stochastic models to detailed molecular dynamics computer simulations, as well as through laboratory manipulations of living cells. Due to its prominent role played in eukaryotic cell division, tubulin is an important target for anti-cancer cytotoxic treatments. Our on-going research aim is to identify variants of known compounds showing greater tubulin isotype-specific effects. These could potentially lead to more efficacious chemotherapy treatments with lower side effects. Other studies in our group have examined microtubule electrical, structural, and mechanical properties; proteins that bind to microtubules (MAPs); and the motor proteins in cells that travel along microtubules and actin filaments. We are also developing physiologically-based models and simulations for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic applications.

Current Research Projects

  • Project PharmaMatrix (sponsored by the Alberta Cancer foundation and the Allard Foundation)

Past Research

  • Mathematical Modeling of Pharmacokinetcs (sponsored by MITACS)
  • Mathematical Modeling in Pharmaceutical Development (MMPD)
  • Mathematical Modeling of the immune System Pharmacokinetcs
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nonlinear and Mathematical Physics


  • Allard Chair, Division of Experimental Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute (2005-present)
  • Professor, Department of Physics, University of Alberta (1993-present)
  • Research Manager, Starlab NV, Brussels, Belbium (2000-2001)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Physics, University of Alberta (1990-1993)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, University of Alberta (1988-1990)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Memorial University of Newfoundland (1983-1988)
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Chemistry Department, University of Calgary (1983)
  • Teaching/Research Assistant, Physics Department, University of Calgary (1980-1983)
  • Research Assistant, Institute of Molecular Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan (1980)
  • AIESTA Summer Research Assistant, Faculty of Mathematics, Swiss Federal Polytechnic (ETH), Zurich (1979)
  • Summer Research Assistant, Institute of Physics, Technical University, Poznan (1978)


  • S. S. Chern-Chair Visiting Professor, Insitute of Mathematics, Nankai University, Tianjin, China: December 1, 2005-November 30, 2008.
  • Member of the faculty, Centre for Mathematics in Medicine, Fields Institute, Toronto. 2006.
  • Received special award of the Minister of National Education of Poland (2004) for the book: J.A. Tuszynski and M. Kurzynski, Introduction to Molecular Biophysics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2003.
  • Invited as Fellow-in-residence at the Centre of Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), the University of Bielefeld, Germany.
  • Appointed a Hebrew University Forchheimer Visiting Professorship for the 2004/05 academic year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
  • Elected corresponding member, the European Academy of Sciences (August, 2002).
  • Listed as member of an Emerging Area of Excellence at the University of Alberta: Mathematical Biology (as of September 1, 2001).
  • Senior Guest Scientist of the French Ministry of Education, Ecole Normale Superieure, Lyon, France (2000/2001).
  • Senior Post-doctoral Fellowship, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (2000/2001).
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, H. Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany (1993-1994).
  • McCalla Professor, University of Alberta (1992-1993).
  • Guest Professorship at Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby (1992).
  • Award of President of the Polish Physical Society for Outstanding M.Sc. Thesis (1980).
  • Award of Secretary of the Polish Academy of Sciences for Achievements in M.Sc. (1980).


Research Associates & Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Dr. Chih-Yuan Tseng
  • Dr. Rolando Perez (co-supervised with Dr. David Wishart)

Graduate Students:

  • Douglas Friesen
  • Gerry Leenders
  • Ahmed Taha Ayoub (co-supervised with Dr. Mariusz Klobukowski)
  • Cassandra Churchill (co-supervised with Dr. Mariusz Klobukowski)
  • Ishwar Hosamani (co-supervised with Dr. Gordon Chan)
  • Marc St. George (co-supervised with Dr. S. Damaraju)

Technicians/Research Assistants:

  • Philip Winter

Research Support

Funding is provided by Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Alberta Health Services, the Allard Foundation, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and NSERC.