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
2019 Dr. Bisher's research demonstrated that intermittent hypoxia, a key pathological feature of sleep apnea, causes structural and functional renal injury in mice. His data also showed that the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid can prevent this injury. These studies add to our information on the mechanisms of kidney injury in sleep apnea. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2019 Dr. Wright's work evaluated the effects of sport-related concussions on brain physiology, including the control of brain blood flow. His work highlighted the longer time required for brain physiology to recover as compared to symptoms - a concept since incorporated into the latest international guidelines for concussion management. Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD)
2019 Dr. Gamontle demonstrated that healthcare workers in Botswana were of the perspective that occupational health and infection control measures used in preventing Tuberculosis in the hospital environment were not adequate. Improving such measures can contribute to protecting the health of healthcare workers which in turn can improve patient care. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2018 Dr. Shafai studied visual perception in adults with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. Results show that the earliest levels of visual processing are typical, but face perception skills were impaired in ASD. There was a correlation between expression perception and social competence, providing insight into potential avenues for intervention. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2018 Dr. Gao examined the organization of intracellular organelle membranes at the nanoscale. He showed the mechanism for organizing the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) nanodomains and distinct types of membrane contacts between the ER and mitochondria. His studies may help to address the significance of membrane ultrastructure functioning in human disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
2018 Dr. Klassen examined how exercise improves recovery after stroke. Her studies investigated the impact of various exercise intensities and doses on walking and functional recovery in the early phase post stroke. This research will greatly contribute to stroke rehabilitation knowledge and maximizing recovery for individuals who have had a stroke. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
2018 Dr. Asiri developed the hypertonic saline analgesia assay, an efficient and inexpensive assay for testing analgesics in mice. He found that the new assay detected a broad range of analgesics using fewer animals compared to conventional assays and did not inflict undue suffering. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (PhD)
2018 Dr. McEwen helped characterize an epigenetic process called DNA methylation. She analyzed thousands of genome-wide DNA profiles ranging from newborns to centenarian-aged individuals. Her work increases our understanding of how methylation changes across the life-course and the potential implications it may have on human longevity. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)
2018 Dr. Song studied why individuals with Down syndrome inevitably develop Alzheimer's diseases. She discovered a gene overexpressed in Down syndrome that promotes neurodegeneration and supresses neurogenesis. This work provides insights for the development of potential interventions to treat Alzheimer's in Down syndrome by targeting the USP25 gene. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2018 Dr. Wong King Yuen muscled in on the calcium channels, which play a crucial role in skeletal and cardiac muscle contraction. Her research characterized a novel interaction between an adaptor protein and the voltage-gated calcium channel. This work furthers our understanding of how an electrical action potential is converted into muscle contraction. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)

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