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

Research Supervisors in Faculty

or browse the list of faculty members in various academic units. You may click each unit to view faculty members appointed in that unit. View the full faculty member directory for more search and filter options.
Name Academic Unit(s) Research Interests
Small, Jeff School of Audiology and Speech Sciences Acquired language and cognitive communication disorders, including dementia and aphasia; adult language processing/psycholinguistics
Snadden, David Department of Family Practice Health care administration; Public and population health; Rural Health; Rural Family Practice; Recruitment and Retention; medical education
So, Alan Department of Urologic Sciences study of development of novel therapeutics for bladder cancer and determination of the functional role of GLI1/2 in the progression of prostate cancer to its lethal stage of androgen independence; discovery and development of novel agents to treat bladder cancer as well as development of the mechanisms of treatment resistance in renal cell carcinoma.
Sobolev, Boris School of Population and Public Health Health care, access, epidemiology, biostatistics, registries, simulation, policy evaluation, Methodology for analysis of waiting times, risk of adverse events while awaiting elective surgery, and the use of simulation experiments in policy evaluation
Socias, Maria Division of Social Medicine Infectious disease epidemiology; Immunology of Infectious Diseases; HIV & Hepatitic C care; HIV Immunology; HIV; Tuberculosis; Pharmacology; HIV Prevention; T Lymphocytes; Infection; Tropical Diseases; Vulnerable populations; Gender/sexual minorities; Sex workers; Opioid use disorder
Somasekharan, Syam Department of Urologic Sciences Cancer; Cell biology; Cell Biology and RNA Biology
Song, Weihong Department of Psychiatry Alzheimer's Disease; Molecular Genetics; Neurodegenerative Diseases; Cell Signaling; Cognition; Genetics of Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases; Neuropharmacology; Transgenic Model; Down Syndrome; mental health; Alzheimer's disease
Sorensen, Poul Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Childhood cancer cells, genomic science
Spering, Miriam Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Biological sciences; vision; movement; perception and action; eye movements; hand movements; eye-hand coordination; sport vision; Parkinson's disease
Spiegel, Jerry School of Population and Public Health, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Global health, International health, environmental health, Cuba, Latin America, Effects of globalization on health, ecosystem approaches to human health, understanding and addressing influences of physical and social environments on health, global health and human security, the economic evaluation of interventions, and health and equity in Latin America
Spittal, Patricia School of Population and Public Health Indigenous/Aboriginal Health, HIV work in Uganda,
Staples, John Epidemiology (except nutritional and veterinary epidemiology); Clinical sciences, n.e.c.; Other medical sciences; injury prevention; Traffic Safety; Hospital readmission; Substance use (including opioids and cannabis); Population health
Steel, Daniel School of Population and Public Health Addiction; Diversity; ethics; Opioid crisis; Clinical trials; Equity; Philosophy / Ethics; philosophy of science; Values and science risk; Precautionary principle
Steidl, Christian Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Cancer; Molecular Pathology & Cell Biology, Genetics, genomics proteomics and related approaches
Steif, Adi Department of Medical Genetics Bioinformatics; Algorithms and computational genomics; Genomics; Cancer genetics; Mechanisms of carcinogenesis; Cancer progression and metastasis; Statistical methods for high throughput data; High dimensional data analysis; Computational Biology; Machine Learning; Cancer Genomics; Single cell sequencing; Tumour evolution; Genomic technology development
Steiner, Theodore Division of Infectious Diseases Cell Signaling and Infectious and Immune Diseases; Cell Therapy of Infectious and Immune Diseases; Gastrointestinal Pathologies; Infectious Diseases; intestinal immunology; Innate immunity; gastrointestinal infections
Stewart, Evelyn Department of Psychiatry Genetic, phenotypic, and developmental aspects of childhood neuropsychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder
Stirling, Peter Department of Medical Genetics Clinical oncology; Genetic medicine; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Cancer; cancer genetics; Cell; DNA repair; Genome Instability; Genotoxins; Molecular Genetics; Stress responses
Stockler-Ipsiroglu, Sylvia Department of Pediatrics Diabetes, Nutrition & Metabolism (Nutrition & Metabolism), pathophysiology and treatment of neurometabolic disorders, ceberal creatine deficiency syndromes, cerebral glucose dificiency syndromes, epilepsy, mental retardation
Stoessl, A Jonathan Division of Neurology Parkinson's disease
Stothers, Lynn Department of Urologic Sciences neurourology; urinary tract infection; urodynamics; urology
Street, John Department of Orthopaedics Helmet performance, Injury prevention
Strynadka, Natalie Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Blood Research, structure-based design of inhibitors, antibiotic-resistance mechanisms, macromolecular assemblies, bacterial viability pathogenesis
Stuart, Gavin Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Medicine
Subramaniam, Sriram Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Medical, health and life sciences; cryo-EM; cryo-electron microscopy; Cryoelectron Microscopy; Scanning Electron Microscopy; Advanced Electron Microscopy; drug discovery; Drug-design; Focused ion beams; Electron tomography; Tomography; Single particle imaging; Single particle analysis; structural bioinformatics; Structural Biology; COVID-19 therapeutic design

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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
2019 Dr. Yao used machine learning and advanced statistical models to study the acute health effect of air pollution. She discovered that ambulance calls for heart, lung and diabetic conditions increased within hours of exposure to wildfire smoke. Her findings can help protect public health from the growing impacts of wildfire smoke under climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2019 Clinical guidelines should be informed by the latest evidence and analytic methods. Dr. Kanters used new methods to support the World Health Organization HIV guidelines, informing the change of the recommended first-line treatment. This research also showed that newer methods using more complex data do not always improve guideline development. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2019 Half of our DNA is self-replicating, "jumping genes" called transposable elements (TEs), a fifth of which are genetic fossils of ancient retroviruses. Dr. Babaian explored how these normally repressed viral genes are resurrected in human cancers, and how this re-activation drives the evolution of novel cancer-promoting genes. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Lardizabal developed a new prostate cancer mouse model that can effectively and efficiently test new drugs and therapies against prostate cancer. His contribution can potentially provide prostate cancer patients with more treatment options by getting proven effective drugs and therapies into clinical trials faster. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Oncology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Maestre led the first human clinical study to provide evidence of respiratory and systemic adverse effects of phthalate inhalation in susceptible populations. Phthalates are chemicals linked to detrimental health effects, but their use remains unrestricted. This research can assist regulatory agencies and potentially influence policy. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2019 Dr. Herculano developed a novel method for evaluating the enzymatic activity of Beta-secretase in living cells, making it easier to test new treatments for Alzheimer's Disease in laboratory settings. He also studied the effects of point mutations in familial cases of Multiple Sclerosis and how they can contribute to the onset of the disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2019 Dr. Tigchelaar dedicated the last decade towards improving the outcomes of patients with spinal cord injury. He discovered a set of genetic markers that could serve as diagnostic and prognostic tools for patients suffering from paralysis. His work will continue to advance recovery and outcomes for patients with spinal cord injury. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2019 Dr. MacGillivray studied wheelchair training in older adults. She conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of motor skill-based wheelchair propulsion training. Results showed that older adults significantly improved their wheelchair propulsion biomechanics with training but not with unguided practice. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
2019 Dr. Yang studied epithelial repair processes that are important for lung health but defective in asthma. Her research identified novel roles for interleukin-13 receptors in normal epithelial repair and asthma disease biology. This knowledge will guide future development of new asthma therapies that stop lung damage and help patients breathe better. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2019 Dr. Urtatiz investigated the process by which pigment cells transform into melanoma, a very aggressive type of cancer. He found that the skin microenvironment plays a crucial role in preventing or promoting the initiation of melanoma. His research provides useful insight to assist the development of new melanoma therapies. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)

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