Kenneth Norwich

Kenneth H. Norwich

Professor Emeritus

BSc, MD, MSc (Toronto), PhD (Toronto)

Research Stream: Clinical Engineering

Laboratory Website:

Email: k.norwich@utoronto.caTel: 416 978-6698

Main Appointments

  • Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering
  • Department of Physiology

Research Interests

Theory of Sensation and Perception

A philosophical, physical and mathematical study of the core or essence of the process of sensation and perception. What features, for example, are held in common by the empirical equations of sensory science and the equations of quantum physics (which govern “perception” in the physical world)? The ultimate goal of this study is to provide a degree of unification of the physical and biological sciences; to explore not only the physical basis of biology, but the biological basis of physics.

Theory of Transport and Turnover in Intact Organisms

A physical and biochemical study of the rates by which substances (e.g., metabolites and hormones) are produced and degraded in the intact animal, both in steady and non steady state. Since the experimental study of turnover rates must be, essentially, non-invasive, the isotopically labeled compound, or tracer, is the principle probe or tool used for investigation. The final goal of such studies is to gain the ability to explore, on a moment by moment basis, the mechanisms by which metabolic control is exercised; for example, what mechanisms hold blood sugar between the narrow limits required to maintain life and health.

Computer-Assisted Medical Diagnosis and Treatment

A set of computer programs which can help a primary care physician or nurse practitioner in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disease. Our system, written in C and C++, which we call DIAG, currently exists in DOS and Windows versions, and runs on any PC with at least 640K of RAM. It contains descriptions of 275 skin diseases in its database, and will diagnose correctly about 90 percent of the time (a substantially higher rate than most primary care physicians can achieve without the use of DIAG). The system can benefit all physicians, but particularly those who practise in remote areas where specialist support may not be available. Our ultimate goal is to build a bank of such diagnostic systems, coupled with other diagnostic aids, such as videodisks. The entire system will be operable using a voice recognition interface.