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
Weidberg, Hilla Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences Other basic medicine and life sciences; Cell Biology; Genetics; Biochemistry; molecular biology; Organelle biology; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial stress; Protein quality control; Metabolism; Neurodegenerative diseases
Weinberger, Kate Rebecca School of Population and Public Health Environmental and occupational health and safety; Public and population health; Aeroallergens; climate change; Community Health / Public Health; environmental health; environmental epidemiology; Epidemiology; Extreme weather events; Heat waves
Wellington, Cheryl Lea Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Alzheimer's Disease; Neurodegenerative Diseases; Trauma / Injuries; Lipid/Lipoprotein analysis; Structural Tissue Engineering / Biomaterials; Traumatic Brain Injury; Tissue Engineering; Biomarkers; drug discovery; Apolipoprotein E; Cerebrovascular function
Weng, Andrew Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Molecular biology
West, Christopher Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences Systems physiology; Animal physiology, circulation; Integrative physiology; Spinal cord injury; Animal models
Whittaker, Jacqueline Department of Physical Therapy Physical therapy; Exercise counselling; Exercise therapy; Health care; Kinesiology; Knee injuries; Knee osteoarthritis; Low back pain; Osteoarthritis prevention; Physical Activity; physical therapy; rehabilitation; Sport injury prevention; sports medicine; Sports/exercise; Ultrasound Imaging; Wearable activity tracker; youth
Wiens, Matthew Global health; Sepsis; Prediction modelling; Epidemiology; Pediatric infectious diseases; Post-discharge outcomes; Global Health; Digital health
Wiens, Matthew Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics Global health; Sepsis; Prediction modelling; Epidemiology; Pediatric infectious diseases; Post-discharge outcomes; Global Health; Digital health
Wilcox, Pearce Division of Respiratory Medicine Cystic fibrosis, connective tissue disorders of the lungs, pulmonary function, respiratory medicine
Wilson, David Department of Orthopaedics orthopaedics, arthritis, mechanics, joints, hip, imaging, MRI, activity, Hip, knee, spine mechanics, causes and treatments of osteoarthritis, medical imaging and image processing, orthopedic sports medicine
Wiseman, Sam Michael Department of Surgery Surgical oncology, endocrine surgeyr, general surgery, clinic/translational research, education/teaching
Wong, Hubert School of Population and Public Health Health sciences; Public and population health; Biostatistical methods; Clinical trial design
Wood, Evan Division of Social Medicine Health sciences; Addiction; alcohol; Community Health / Public Health; Epidemiology; injection drug use; opioids; Population health; Substance Use; urban health
Woodward, Todd Department of Psychiatry Cognitive neuropsychiatry and functional neuroimaging
Woollard, Robert Department of Family Practice Feng
Wright, Joanne Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, airways disease in asocation with mineral dusts and fumes, pulmonary vascular disease as a consequence of cigarette smoking, respiratory
Wyatt, Alexander Department of Urologic Sciences Medical, health and life sciences; Prostate Cancer; Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA); Bladder cancer; Precision oncology; Clinical trials; Bioinformatics; Cancer Genomics; Cell-Free DNA (cfDNA); Correlative science; Liquid biopsy
Xiang, Qing-San Department of Radiology Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Yachie, Nozomu School of Biomedical Engineering
Yang, Decheng Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Cardiovascular and pulmonary, infectious diseases, host gene responses to viral infections
Yassi, Annalee School of Population and Public Health occupational health, health of health workers, international health, global health, community-based research, capacity building, Latin America, evidence-based best practices, workplace injury and illness prevention, HIV and TB prevention and care for health workers, South Africa
Yatham, Lakshmi Department of Psychiatry Mood & Anxiety Disorders
Yee, John Department of Surgery Lung transplantation, thoracic oncology, pulmonary surgery
Yeung, Sonia Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Ocular surface stem cell transplantation for limbal stem cell disease; Alternate sources for ocular surface stem cell transplantation; Limbal stem cell imaging and niche studies; Long-term gene expression in ocular stem cells for therapeutics
Yin, Hao Environment and natural resources economics; Environmental impact assessment; Cost-benefit analysis; Causal effects of environmental regulations; air pollution; climate change; Health care

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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 During diabetes, insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells become dysfunctional. Dr. Speckmann explored the role of two activity-regulated genes and showed that both are required for optimal insulin secretion. These findings improve our understanding of normal beta-cell function, with the goal of developing novel therapeutics for diabetes. Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Peeters validated a transgenic mouse model for studying how human genes on the X chromosome in females are turned on and off throughout development. These studies are important for understanding mechanisms of gene regulation that contribute to differences between males and females. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Fooken investigated human eye movements in decision-making tasks. Her work linked eye movement patterns with the ability to predict visual events, revealing that eye movements can sensitively indicate decision outcomes. These findings add to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying eye movement control and sensorimotor decision making. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2019 Dr. Hashemi discovered five novel small molecules with the ability to reawaken the latent HIV-1 reservoirs without causing toxicity. As an HIV cure could be achieved through elimination of the viral latent reservoirs of infected cells, her research may provide a novel means to abolish the HIV-persistent infection in a patient's body. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Dawson's doctoral studies focused on refining a new cellular therapy for organ transplant recipients. His work will support a future clinical trial that aims to improve organ longevity and patient quality of life by re-educating the immune system to accept the organ. This will reduce the need for immunosuppressive drugs. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2019 Dr. Aleksandrova studied ketamine, a rapid-acting antidepressant. Her research suggests that ketamine may have pro-cognitive effects due to its ability to restore normal synaptic plasticity, the ability of the brain to adapt and change, in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a key brain region implicated in depression. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2019 Dr. Cromwell built a whole disease health economic decision model to better inform health system decision makers of the influence of different policies in oral cancer. His work demonstrated that the whole disease model approach enables decisions to consider both upstream and downstream policies. The work has implications for and beyond oral cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2019 Dr. Holman studied social behahaviour and its underlying neurobiology during adolescence using a well-established animal model of prenatal alcohol exposure. He found that prenatal exposure to alcohol impairs development of adolescent social behaviour, which was associated with altered neural activity and development of the oxytocin/vasopressin systems. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2019 Dr. Steer found that early life stresses induce signals in neonatal lungs which confer enhanced susceptibility to allergic sensitization. Therefore, airway allergen exposure in the early postnatal period leads to heightened responses to allergens later in life. Dr. Steer's results underline the importance of the neonatal period for immune education. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Oncology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Ajaykumar studied cellular and mitochondrial toxicities of HIV antiretrovirals. He showed that some HIV drugs used in pregnancy increase the amount of mitochondrial DNA in infants, and that a newer drug increases mitochondrial toxicity. His research advances our understanding of the long-term safety of HIV therapy, for both mother and child. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)

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