John Krahn


John Krahn

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients embody a well-rounded excellence that encompasses professional achievements, significant contributions to community, and strength of character, says Alumni Association President Michael Bayer. "John Krahn has all of those things," adds Bayer.

Krahn, a 1968 graduate of The University of Winnipeg, was until recently the head of Clinical Biochemistry at the St. Boniface General Hospital, and a professor of endocrinology in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine. This Spring he took up the post of joint Head of the Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine for the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Health Region. On the homefront, he has been a dedicated community volunteer.

"I believe it’s important to be well-rounded," says Krahn. It’s a touchstone that has kept him centred no matter what his pursuit, a pattern that began with his University studies. Though his ultimate focus became science, Krahn’s undergraduate course selections ran the gamut from History and German to Psychology and Anthropology. "After first year I was encouraged to go into the honours Chemistry program, but I didn’t because I wanted an Arts background." Reading voraciously, engaging in debate with classmates, and benefiting from the tutelage of favourite professors (Clifford J. Robson, Collegiate ’33, BA ’39; John Clake, Fellow of United College, ’87; James Duff, Collegiate ’39, Fellow of United College ’84; and, Frederick Barth, Fellow of United College ’92) stand out as his best memories of University life. "I have so many good memories of The University of Winnipeg—Tony’s, the Library, but most of all the tremendous dedication of the teaching staff."

As for Krahn, he describes himself as "gifted with curiosity," a characteristic that has stood him in good stead as he has pursued an academic career in medicine. "There is a great deal of intellectual stimulation in this kind of work," says Krahn. His research has spanned areas such as cardiac injury and dysfunction, premature labour, diabetes, and bone health in populations as diverse as veterans, Aboriginal communities, and those with spinal cord injuries.

"The University of Winnipeg has produced some remarkable scientists," points out Bayer. "I’m excited to let people know the calibre of our graduates, and the contributions they go on to make to the community."

Krahn’s achievements have also been recognized by his peers—in 1997, he received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Clinical Chemistry from the Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. In 1999, he was recognized by the Alberta Society of Clinical Chemistry with the Award for Outstanding Service to Clinical Chemistry.

True to form, Krahn does not linger on discussions of his awards. He is most proud of his clinical laboratory team and fellow researchers who work towards a better understanding of human health.