Members of the MacNaughton Lab

Dr. Wallace MacNaughton

Wally obtained his BSc (1984) and MSc (1986) in Biology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.  After a brief stint as a lab technician at McMaster University and Queen’s, he completed his PhD in Physiology at Queen’s in 1989, under the supervision of Dr. John Wallace.  It was in Dr. Wallace’s lab that he developed his interest in the mediators of mucosal healing in inflammatory diseases of the gut.  He then did post-doctoral fellowships at University of Calgary, under Dr. Grant Gall, and at the University of Ottawa, under Drs. Tony Krantis and Kent Harding.  In 1991, Wally joined the Department of National Defence (Canada) as a Defence Scientist in the Radiation Biology Group, studying the effects of ionizing radiation on intestinal epithelial function, and had adjunct appointments in the Departments of Physiology and Medicine at the University of Ottawa.  He joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary in 1996, and is currently Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in the Cumming School of Medicine.  He is a member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases and the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute.    

Wally’s current research interests are in intestinal epithelial biology in health and disease, particularly the factors that regulate epithelial restitution and mucosal healing in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  His lab has been continuously funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, with additional support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the University of Calgary.  

Dr. Cristiane Baggio

Research Associate and Lab Manager

Cris joined the MacNaughton lab as a University of Calgary Eyes High post-doctoral fellow in 2015, and is currently a senior Research Associate and lab manager. She obtained her BSc in Pharmacy (1996-2001), MSc in Pharmacology (2002-2004) and PhD in Pharmacology (2006-2010) at Federal University of Parana (UFPR), Brazil. Before coming to Calgary, Cris held the positions of Research Associate (2010-2012) and first Post-doc (2012-2015) also at UFPR. Her research interests include the role of intestinal epithelial barrier in health and in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and the effect of polysaccharides isolated from natural products on epithelial barrier function.   

Dr. Preedajit Wongkrasant

Postdoctoral Fellow

Preedajit (who goes by Som) is a postdoc who joined us from Thailand in January 2021 and who is working in the MacNaughton and Sharkey labs.  Som graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing Science (2007-2010) and worked as a nurse in the neurological department for 1 year (2011).  She then decided to move to research and received a Master’s degree (2012-2014) and a Ph.D. (2015-2020) in Physiology from the Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.  Her main projects in her doctoral work included the role of chitosan and fructose oligosaccharides in colorectal cancer development and intestinal tight junction integrity in vivo and in vitro, respectively. Moreover, her studies involved gut inflammation and GLP-1 secretion. She also gained experience working with enteriod cells during a Ph.D. project in the lab of Prof. Kim Barrett at the University of California San Diego.  Som is currently working on enteric nervous system regulation of gut function in health and disease, and has a side project on the role of novel bioactive peptides in mucosal function. 

Lauren Smith

Graduate Student

Lauren started her MSc studies in September 2021 under the co-supervision of Drs. MacNaughton and Hirota.  A native Calgarian, she obtained her BSc degree from Western University in London, ON.  Lauren is developing unique organoid co-culture models to study epithelial cross-talk with innate lymphoid cells, specifically ILC3s, in the context of Clostridioides difficile infection.