Dr. Susan Howlett


Dr. Susan Howlett is an IMPART associate member and a University Research Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine (Geriatric Medicine) at Dalhousie University, where she has taught for more than 30 years.

Originally from Montreal, she finished her BSc with Honours in Biology and Psychology at Concordia University followed by MSc and PhD degrees in Experimental Medicine at Memorial University.  She completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pharmacology at the University of Alberta as an Alberta Heritage Foundation Fellow.  Susan was recruited to Dalhousie in 1989.

Her laboratory is very well known for work on cardiac excitation-contraction coupling.  She has discovered profound differences in the way that male and female heart cells function, how this changes with age and how sex hormones regulate these processes. Most recently her laboratory has pioneered the measurement of frailty in naturally aging animals with a novel “frailty index” tool based on deficit accumulation. Her recent work shows that maladaptive, age-dependent changes in heart structure and function are better graded by the level of frailty than by age itself.

Heart Health Lab