Dr. Markus Brinkmann is a professor in USask’s School of Environment and Sustainability. (Photo: Gord Waldner)

USask appoints new Toxicology Centre director

University of Saskatchewan (USask) has appointed Dr. Markus Brinkmann (PhD) as director of the globally renowned Toxicology Centre, effective Sept. 1, 2022.

Dr. Brinkmann also has been named USask’s Centennial Enhancement Chair in Mechanistic Environmental Toxicology, as well as special adviser to the Vice-President Research on strategic research partnerships with Germany. 

“Our university is fortunate to have a young researcher of his calibre, who has demonstrated a great commitment to collaborating with colleagues, as well as providing academic leadership for students, and serving the wider community, locally, nationally and internationally,” said Vice-President Research Baljit Singh. “I have every confidence that Dr. Brinkmann will provide outstanding leadership to the Toxicology Centre.” 

An expert in aquatic toxicology and environmental chemistry, Brinkmann has built a well-funded research program and led a number of collaborative research projects with the City of Saskatoon. 

He received USask’s New Researcher Award this year and was also on the wastewater surveillance team that received USask’s Publicly Engaged Scholarship Team Award for its role in keeping the province informed about the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and North Battleford, as well as in five First Nation communities.  

In addition to the wastewater project, his research includes studying the toxicological impacts of a chemical compound shed by rubber tires that enters surface waters in storm runoff, posing a deadly threat to commercially and culturally important fish species. 

Born in Kempen, Germany, Brinkmann joined USask in 2016 as an NSERC Banting Fellow after serving as a research associate at RWTH Aachen University in North Rhine-Westphalia, where he completed a master’s degree in Ecotoxicology (2011) and earned a PhD-equivalent (Dr. rer. nat.) in Biology (2015).  

Brinkmann has progressed from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor in USask’s School of Environment and Sustainability and is a faculty member in the Global Water Futures (GWF) program, and a member of the Toxicology Centre and the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS).  

Brinkmann succeeds interim director Dr. David Janz (PhD), who served as interim director of the centre since June, and the previous director, Dr. Karsten Liber (PhD), under whose leadership USask’s Toxicology Centre became the best interdisciplinary toxicology program in Canada and one of top five globally.  

“We are proud to build on this legacy and excited to support the centre going forward,” said Singh. 

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