Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Research Area(s)

  • Functional recovery after nervous system injury or disease.


Dr. Gillian Muir was appointed dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) on July 1, 2021, after serving one year as interim dean. She is the first WCVM graduate and the first woman to fill the college’s leadership role.

Dr. Muir grew up in Alberta, received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree at the WCVM in 1988 and completed a PhD degree in neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. Since joining the WCVM faculty in 1996, Dr. Muir has become a gifted instructor and neuroscientist who uses animal models to study functional recovery from spinal cord injury.

While serving as head of the WCVM’s Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences from 2014 to 2020, Dr. Muir was involved in renewing the WCVM’s curriculum for its DVM program and in developing the college’s strategic plan as part of the University Plan 2025.

Since becoming dean, she has continued to move the college forward with strategic planning and has been instrumental in expanding Indigenous engagement and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at the college. Dr. Muir has energized the WCVM with her goal-oriented focus, leadership and vision for the future.

Click here to download a photo of Dr. Muir.

Academic Credentials

  • DVM, University of Saskatchewan
  • PhD in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia

Dr. Muir's teaching responsibilities in the professional veterinary undergraduate curriculum are for VBMS 222 Veterinary Neuroscience. This course is an overview of the structure and function of the nervous system, with an emphasis on the localization of nervous system lesions in domestic animals. She is also involved in teaching graduate courses on Biomechanics, Pain, and Behavioural Neuroscience.

Research Interests

Dr. Muir's research focuses on the changes in sensorimotor behaviour which occur after central nervous system injury or disease. Work in her lab is currently examining the use of a novel non-invasive treatment to improve functional recovery after spinal cord injury.


  • Vose AK, Welch JV, Nair J, Dale EA, Fox EJ, Muir GD, Trumbower RD, Mitchell GS. 2022. Therapeutic acute intermittent hypoxia: A translational roadmap for spinal cord injury and neuromuscular disease. Experimental Neurology 347, 113891 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113891

  • Arnold BM, Toosi BM, Caine S, Mitchell GS, Muir GD. 2021. Prolonged acute intermittent hypoxia improves forelimb reach-to-grasp function in a rat model of chronic cervical spinal cord injury. Experimental Neurology 340, 113672 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113672

  • Nadeau JR, Arnold BM, Johnston JM, Muir GD, Verge VMK. 2021. Acute intermittent hypoxia enhances regeneration of surgically repaired peripheral nerves in a manner akin to electrical stimulation. Experimental Neurology 341, 113671 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113671

  • Matwee, L.K., Alaverdashvili, M., Muir, G.D., Farthing, J.P., Bater, S.A., Paterson, P.G.  2020.  Preventing protein-energy malnutrition after cortical stroke enhances recovery of symmetry in forelimb use during spontaneous exploration.  Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 45(9): 1015-1021.  https://www.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2019-0865

  • Hassan, A., Arnold, B.M., Caine, S., Toosi, B.M., Verge, V.M.K., Muir, G.D.  2018.  Acute intermittent hypoxia and rehabilitative training following cervical spinal injury alters neuronal hypoxia- and plasticity-associated protein expression.  PLoS ONE, 13(5): e0197486.  https://www.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0197486

  • Prosser-Loose, E., Hasan, A., Mitchell, G.S., Muir, G.D. 2015. Delayed intervention with intermittent hypoxia and task-training improves forelimb function in a rat model of cervical spinal injury, Journal of Neurotrauma, 32:1403-1412

  • Lovett-Barr M*, Satriotomo I*, Muir GD*, Wilkerson J, Hoffman H, Vinit S, Mitchell G 2012. Repetitive intermittent hypoxia induces respiratory and somatic motor recovery following chronic cervical spinal injury. Journal of Neuroscience, 32:3591-3600.