The Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences is delighted to shine a spotlight on Dr. Wayne Vogl this month for our BIOCAPS Spotlight Series in honour of his 40 years of excellence in teaching, research and service.
Dr. Wayne Vogl
Dr. Wayne Vogl obtained his Ph.D. in Zoology at UBC in 1979 and was a Research Fellow at the Harvard Medical School from 1979-1981. He was appointed Assistant Professor at UBC in 1981, and rose through the ranks to become Professor in 1992.
He is a member of the American Association for Anatomy, the American Society for Cell Biology, and the Society for the Study of Reproduction. He was appointed Fellow of the American Association for Anatomy in 2009.
His major research field is the cell biology of the seminiferous epithelium. His students and he explore the interrelationship between the cytoskeleton and intercellular junctions in the testis, and the role of this relationship in generating major morphogenic events such as sperm release and the translocation of spermatogenic cells through the blood-testis barrier. His work relates to the clinical fields of male fertility and fertility control.
Dr. Vogl has authored over 150 research articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has lectured in Gross Anatomy since his appointment at UBC, and directed the Gross Anatomy program at UBC from 1992 to 2002 and from 2004 to 2008.
He received the Teaching Excellence Award seven times from the UBC Medical Undergraduate Society, the Basmajian/Williams and Wilkins Award from the American Association for Anatomy in 1988, the University Teaching Prize from the University of British Columbia in 1992, the Killam Teaching Prize in 2006, the J.C.B. Grant Senior Scientist Award from the Canadian Association for Anatomy, Neuroanatomy and Cell Biology in 2006, and the Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award from the American Association for Anatomy in 2022.
Dr. Vogl is a co-author of “Gray’s Anatomy for Students”, Gray’s Atlas of Anatomy, Dorland’s Gray’s Pocket Atlas of Anatomy, and Gray’s Anatomy for Student’s Flash Cards.
1. What made you select anatomy as a field of study?
I had always had a keen interest in anatomy, and my Ph.D. work actually involved exploring the functional anatomy of blood supply to the central nervous system in two species of closely related toothed whales – the beluga and narwhal. When I attended my first lecture and associated laboratory in Gross Human Anatomy as a graduate student, I was so excited by the experience that I knew I had to make teaching human anatomy part of my future as an academic scientist.
2. What has given you the greatest joy in your position.
As a researcher, ‘hands-on’ work in the laboratory and being able to visualize or discover things that have never been seen or appreciated before.
As a teacher, seeing the ‘ah’ moment in a student’s eyes when they suddenly understand a concept or see something differently for the first time.
3. You must have encountered some very interesting things over the years. Care to relate a story?
Oh yeah – Working in clouds of mosquitos and being chased by a grizzly bear in the Mackenzie delta. Kayaking with narwhal in Admiralty Inlet off Baffin Island, with humpback whales in Glacier Bay Alaska, and Killer whales off the coast of Vancouver Island.
4. What do you enjoy when you are not working?
Lap swimming, collecting northwest coast and arctic first nations artwork.
5. Any message for students and CPS members?
Enjoy what you are doing and follow your curiosity.
Learn more about Dr. Vogl’s research: https://cps.med.ubc.ca/faculty1/vogl/