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Every day across British Columbia, trainees and researchers at the UBC Faculty of Medicine are turning skills into jobs, investments into discoveries, and discoveries into solutions that are transforming health for everyone.

Ranked among the world’s top medical schools with the fifth-largest MD enrollment in North America, the UBC Faculty of Medicine is a leader in both the science and the practice of medicine. Across British Columbia, more than 12,000 faculty and staff are training the next generation of doctors, health care professionals, and medical researchers, making remarkable discoveries to help create the pathways to better health for our communities at home and around the world.

The UBC Faculty of Medicine offers a diverse array of training opportunities including cutting-edge research experiences in the biosciences, globally recognized population health education, quality health professional training, as well as several certificate and online training options. The Faculty of Medicine is home to more than 1,700 graduate students housed in 20 graduate programs (14 of which offer doctoral research options). Year after year, research excellence in the Faculty of Medicine is supported by investment from funding sources here at home and around the globe, receiving approximately more than $1.8B in total research funding since 2016.

We value our trainees and the creative input they have to scholarly activities at UBC. Our priority is to enable their maximum potential through flexible opportunities that provide a breadth of experiences tailored to their own individual career objectives. We maintain high standards of excellence, and work to create a community of intellectually and socially engaged scholars that work collaboratively with each other, the university, and the world, with the overarching goal of promoting the health of individuals and communities.


Research Facilities

UBC Faculty of Medicine provides innovative educational and research programs in the areas of health and life sciences through an integrated and province-wide delivery model in facilities at locations throughout British Columbia.

The Life Sciences Centre is the largest building on the UBC Vancouver campus. Completed in 2004, the $125 million, 52,165 sq metres building was built to accommodate the distributed medical educational program and the Life Sciences Institute.

The Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH), a partnership between the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health, unites under one roof research and clinical expertise in neuroscience, psychiatry and neurology in order to accelerate discovery and translate new knowledge into better treatment and prevention strategies. DMCBH has both laboratory and clinical research areas within the Centre proper and in the UBC Hospital Koerner Pavilion. Our core facilities are essential to ongoing collaboration, teaching, and research.

The BC Children's Hospital Research Institute is it the largest research institute of its kind in Western Canada in terms of people, productivity, funding and size. With more than 350,000 square feet of space, the Institute has both 'wet bench' laboratory and 'dry lab' clinical research areas, and other areas to facilitate particular areas of research and training.

Research Highlights

New knowledge and innovation are crucial to successfully identifying, addressing and overcoming the increasingly complex health-related challenges that influence the lives of all of us – in British Columbia, in Canada, and in countries and communities around the globe.

The UBC Faculty of Medicine is recognized nationally and internationally for research innovation that advances knowledge and translates new discoveries to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Research opportunities feature extensive collaborations across other faculties, health institutions and health partners across British Columbia, Canada and internationally.

The Faculty provides and fosters research excellence across the full continuum, from basic science to applied science and then to knowledge implementation, with a focus on precision health; cancer; brain and mental health; heart and lung health; population health; and chronic diseases.

Graduate Degree Programs

Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Medicine.


Recent Thesis Submissions

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation Program
2010 Dr. Barakauskas measured several presynaptic proteins in brain samples, developing and validating new methods to do so. Some of these proteins were altered in distinct regions of the striatum in post-mortem brain samples of subjects with schizophrenia. These findings implicate these proteins in brain dysfunction in patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2010 Dr. Gallo identified new roles for a metabolic gene in maintaining the structure of mitochondria and controlling programmed cell death, insulin secretion and germline stem cell proliferation. His studies produced new insight into how some mitochondrial proteins are able to integrate metabolic and cell survival signals with implications for the treatment of metabolic diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)
2010 Dr. Zhou studied the cellular mechanisms underlying spreading depression, the propagating depolarization that underlies the aura of migraine. She discovered that a novel form of regenerative glutamate-release generates spreading depression independent of classical synaptic transmission. This research provides insight into migraine pathophysiology and potential new therapeutic targets. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2010 Dr. Wilson studied the DNA of lung cancer cells to identify new genes associated with familial risk, drug response, and survival. His research involved the use of novel techniques and yielded results that are significant not only to the research community, but to lung-cancer patients as well. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2010 Dr. Lee investigated how natural killer cells prevent type 1 diabetes. Her works showed that this subset of cells is important for the immune system to suppress the development of autoimmunity. She further demonstrated that these cells can be manipulated into activity, inducing a protective mechanism that prevents onset of type 1 diabetes. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2010 Dr. Roig investigated risk factors, incidence and impact of falls on quality of life in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He found that risk factors and incidence of falls increased in people with COPD. More importantly, falls appear to have a negative impact on some domains of quality of life. The results of this study emphasize the importance of preventing falls. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
2010 Dr. Shi investigated the effects and mechanisms of growth differentiation factor 9 on activin-regulated inhibin and progesterone production in ovarian granulosa cells. These novel studies help us to understand the roles of these growth factors in the development of the ovarian follicles during the menstrual cycle. Doctor of Philosophy in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (PhD)
2010 Dr. Lai investigated the roles of a novel protein family responsible for cell-to-cell communication in the central nervous system. His work led to the first description of how this protein family enhances neuronal maturation, as well as how it suppresses tumour growth in brain cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
2010 Dr. Griffith developed bioinformatic methods that utilize microarrays and massively parallel sequencing to discover novel isoforms and measure alternative expression of human genes. He subsequently applied these methods to identify candidate predictors of chemotherapy resistance in colon cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)
2010 Dr. Westby synthesized research evidence and brought together patients, professionals and researchers from Canada and the US to reach consensus on best-practice recommendations for rehabilitation after hip and knee replacement surgery. Her findings have potential to improve care and outcomes for thousands of people receiving joint replacements secondary to osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)