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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
2021 Dr. Li studied the structures of several key enzymes required for the production and degradation of a bacterial cell wall polymer known as wall teichoic acid. His research provided mechanistic understanding of the enzymes' functions and revealed structural features that can guide the development of novel antibacterial therapeutics. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Firmino discovered that during the immune response to cancers, a low oxygen environment develops among B cells that helps fine-tune the B cell immune response. She associated characteristics of the B cell response with overall survival in breast cancer patients. This work may help develop new biomarkers of immune responses in cancer patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2021 Dr. Twa characterized the pathobiology and sequelae, or consequences, of chromosomal rearrangements in lymphoid neoplasia, which arise from cancerous lymphoid cells. Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD)
2021 Dr. Izadi-Najafabadi's doctoral study focused on understanding brain changes following rehabilitation in children with developmental coordination disorder. Her results showed that rehabilitation is effective for improving motor performance and induces changes in brain regions underlying self-regulation, emotion regulation, and attention regulation. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
2021 Knowledge about inequities and social determinants of health points to opportunities for evidence-informed action across a range of contexts. Dr. Shaw's research offered a model to identify context-specific barriers to action such as lack of infrastructure, capacity, or political will and provided a menu of approaches to address these challenges. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2021 Dr. Garces showed how disease-causing mutations in the gene of a protein called ABCA4 affects its function and causes Stargardt's disease. His thesis provides invaluable insights into the pathological mechanisms of Stargardt's disease, insights of which could help tailor therapeutic treatments to individuals suffering from this disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2021 Dr. McKay explored housing, building, and neighbourhood influences on the experience of "home" for long-term tenants of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Her research highlighted housing and service needs of people with housing, and showed the benefits of a supportive service environment where tenants can feel in control of their lives. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2021 Dr. Morrice investigated how toxins and risk genes may cause the motor neuron degeneration underlying ALS, a neurodegenerative disease. She identified regulatory elements of gene expression enhancers as novel ALS risk factors. This research provides insight into ALS causal factors which may translate to future therapeutic interventions. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2021 Dr. Gill determined that children developmental coordination disorder have smaller cerebellar volume compared to typically-developing children, and that rehabilitation can increase the size of this brain structure and improve motor function. Results may influence clinical care and improve outcomes for the 450,000 Canadian children with this disorder Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
2021 Many proteins secreted outside of cells are regulated by enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases. Dr. Jobin's research revealed new extracellular roles for intracellular enzymes and how matrix metalloproteinases modulate these roles, and exposed novel biology by tapping into an unknown well of molecules that react with matrix metalloproteinases. Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD)

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