Michael Beazely

Michael Beazely
Associate Professor
Location: PHR 4007
Phone: 519-888-4567 x21310


Dr. Michael Beazely’s lab research focuses on understanding how growth factor receptors and G protein-coupled receptors modulate ion channels and neuronal cell function. His clinical and education research is focused on the role of health professionals in reducing harms associated with problematic substance use.

Research Interests

  • Growth factor signaling in the developing and mature nervous system
  • Regulation of NMDA receptors and other ion channels by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) including the 5-HT7 receptor
  • The role of health professionals in harm reduction and substance use
  • Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery

Scholarly Research

Molecular Pharmacology: The Beazely lab interested in basic mechanisms of GPCR and growth factor signaling in neurons, and how these classes of receptors regulate ion channel signaling. Specifically, we focus on the interactions between 5-HT and dopamine receptors, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors and TrkB, and NMDA receptors. This work will expand our understanding of neuronal function and dysfunction in mental health conditions including schizophrenia and depression, as well as susceptibility to addiction and substance use. Harm Reduction: Dr. Beazely’s research includes the evaluation of undergraduate pharmacy education with respect to substance use and ongoing educational tool development for practicing health professionals. He is interested in assessing interventions by community pharmacists aimed at reducing harms associated with substance use and understanding the intersection between drug use and ongoing pharmaceutical care.


  • 2008 Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2004 PhD Pharmacology, Purdue University, Indiana, USA
  • 2000 BSc Pharmacy, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada


  • 2018, “Community Leader Award”, University of Waterloo
  • 2018, “Student Support Recognition Award”, chosen by the Rx 2018 Graduating Pharmacy Class
  • 2016, “Best Community Outreach Initiative”, Opioid Crisis Awareness Campaign, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, awarded by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education
  • 2016, “Excellence in Science Teaching Award”, Faculty of Science, University of Waterloo
  • 2014 Outstanding Faculty Mentor, Graduate Program
  • 2014 Alumni of Influence, University of Saskatchewan, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition (named one of the top 100 influential Pharmacy alumni)


  • Dr. Beazely is a member of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) and served as President of the Southern Ontario Neuroscience Association (SONA, sonasfn.org), an SFN local Chapter, in 2016.
  • Since 2009, Dr. Beazely has been involved with the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Task Force (WRIDS, waterlooregiondrugstrategy.ca) and served as Chair of the WRIDS Steering Committee, Prevention Committee, and Special Committee on Opioid Response.
  • He is an active contributor to committees focused on substance use education for pharmacy students and registered pharmacists.,

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Cross-appointed to Department of Biology (Faculty of Science)
  • Cross-appointed to the School of Public Health (Faculty of Applied Health Sciences)


  • PHARM 141 - Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry, Toxicology and Pharmacology
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2022, 2023
  • PHARM 220 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 1
    • Taught in 2021, 2022
  • PHARM 221 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 2
    • Taught in 2020, 2022
  • PHARM 222 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 3
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • PHARM 223 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 4
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • PHARM 320 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 5
    • Taught in 2021, 2022, 2023
  • PHARM 321 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 6
    • Taught in 2021, 2023
  • PHARM 323 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 7
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • PHARM 324 - Integrated Patient Focused Care 8
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • PHARM 401 - Independent Study 2
    • Taught in 2018

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Liu H, Saffi GT, Vasefi MS, Choi Y, Kruk JS, Ahmed N, Gondora N, Mielke J, Leonenko Z, Beazely MA. Amyloid-β inhibits PDGFβ Receptor activation and prevents PDGF-BB-induced neuroprotection. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2018;15:618-27
  • Grindrod K, Beazely M. Fitting naloxone into community pharmacy practice. Can Pharm J (Ott). 2016;149:329-31
  • Kruk JS, Vasefi MS, Gondora N, Ahmed N, Heikkila JJ, Beazely MA. Fluoxetine-induced transactivation of the platelet-derived growth factor type β receptor reveals a novel heterologous desensitization process. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2015;65:45-51.
  • Samarajeewa S, Goldemann L, Khanderia C, Vasefi SM, Ahmed N, Gondora N, Mielke J, Beazely MA. 5-HT7 receptor activation promotes an increase in TrkB receptor expres-sion and phosphorylation. Front Behav Neurosci 2014;8:391. Special issue: “Further Understanding of Serotonin 7 Receptors’ Neuro-Psycho-Pharmacology”
  • Kruk JS, Kouchmeshky A, Grimburg N, Rezkella M, Beazely MA. Transactivation of receptor tyrosine kinases by dopamine receptors. In: Neuromethods, Dopamine Receptor Technologies. Tiberi M, ed. Humana Press 2014
  • Kruk JS, Vasefi MS, Heikkila JJ, Beazely MA. Reactive oxygen species are required for 5-HT-induced transactivation of the neuronal platelet-derived growth factor and TrkB receptors, but not for ERK1/2 activation. PLoS One 2013;8:e77027.
  • Vasefi SM, Yang K, Li J, Kruk JS, Heikkila JJ, Jackson MF, MacDonald JF, Beazely MA. Acute 5-HT7 receptor activation increases NMDA-evoked currents and differentially alters NMDA receptor subunit phosphorylation and trafficking in hippocampal neurons. Mol Brain 2013;6:24.
  • Vasefi SM, Kruk JS, Heikkila JJ, Beazely MA. 5-HT7 receptor neuroprotection against NMDA-induced excitotoxicity is PDGFβ receptor-dependent. J Neurochem 2013;125:26-36
  • Kruk JS, Vasefi SM, Liu H, Heikkila JJ, Beazely MA. 5-HT(1A) receptors transactivated the platelet-derived growth factor receptor type beta in neuronal cells. Cell Signal 2013;25:133-43