Peter D. Paré, MD

Professor Emeritus
Department of Medicine

Centre for Heart Lung Innovation
St. Paul's Hospital
Room 166 - 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1Y6

Phone Number: 
(604) 682-2344 x62750
Fax Number: 
(604) 806-9274
Email Address: 

Dr. Paré is an Emeritus Professor of Respiratory Medicine and of Pathology at the University of British Columbia and a Clinician Scientist at St Paul’s Hospital and the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation. Dr. Paré has served as the Head of the UBC and SPH Respiratory Divisions (1982-93), Acting Head of Medicine at St Paul’s Hospital (1991-92), Director of the UBC Clinical Investigator Program (2000-06) and Director of the iCAPTURE Centre at St. Paul's Hospital (2000-05). He earned his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal in 1969. He did residency training at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the University of Nairobi before doing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Meakins Christie Laboratories. Dr. Paré has trained more than 40 clinical and basic science faculty members. In addition to his original research and training Dr Pare is one of the four co-authors of the Diagnosis of Diseases of the Chest a widely used four volume text on the diagnosis lung.

Education and Training

  • Loyola College BSc, 1965
  • McGill University MD, CM, 1969

Area of Interest

Dr. Paré’s research expertise is in the study of the pathophysiology and genetics of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Bronchoconstriction in response to non-specific stimuli is a characteristic feature of human asthma and it occurs in other obstructive airway diseases. Dr. Paré and his colleague Dr. Chun Seow are actively investigating the molecular and biomechanical events which relate bronchoconstricting stimuli to the ultimate airway narrowing that occurs. In vitro studies from their laboratory using tracheal smooth muscle from various mammalian species, including human, have shown that a decrease in the load impeding smooth muscle shortening can have a profound influence on the degree to which the airways will narrow. In ongoing work they are examining isotonic and isometric length-tension properties of smooth muscle and investigating the remarkable plastic behaviour of smooth muscle using physiologic, morphologic and biochemical approaches.

With Dr. J.C. Hogg, Paré developed an internationally unique lung tissue biobank which now contains over 6,000 samples of fixed and frozen lung tissue. The biobank has been a rich source of material for studies of the relationship of lung structure and function and  frozen lung samples are being used for genetic and molecular biology studies to identify novel targets for lung disease. Most recently Dr Paré and his colleagues have use the biobank to identify the genetic control of gene expression in the lung. Genome wide genotypes and mRNA expression were measured on 1,111 frozen lung tissue samples and expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) were identified. This valuable data set is being used to explore the functional effects of gene variants identified as being susceptibility factors for a variety of lung diseases.

Selected Publications