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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
2020 Dr. Zarei studied and implemented machine learning techniques for cancer detection, diagnosis, and prognosis. She developed technology to analyze and detect abnormalities in the cervix, and to classify and grade prostate cancer. Her work will ultimately help to reduce healthcare costs and increase patients' quality of life. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Oncology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Jones characterized the risk factors, dynamics, and consequences of psychosis experienced by adults living in precarious housing in Vancouver over a period of five years. These longitudinal studies contribute to our understanding of how psychotic symptoms evolve over time, and illustrate opportunities for intervention. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zhao identified patterns of mutations in cancer genomes which can reveal whether cancer cells are repairing their DNA properly. He developed a method to analyze the evolution of these mutation patterns over time. He also showed that certain patterns of mutation predict treatment effectiveness and may help oncologists make clinical decisions. Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD)
2020 Dr. Workman used X-ray crystallography to study the structure-function relationship of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell wall. His structural data revealed an unexpected topology and suggested an additional function for a key membrane protein. This knowledge provides a foundation for the development of novel antibiotics. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Leung examined candidate obesity and diabetes genes, and found that reducing the amount of one gene, called Pdk1, affects lipid metabolism and the heart. Further, this research shows that the metabolic effects of Pdk1, as well as environmental factors, are important to consider when using inhibitors of this gene as a potential therapeutic. Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Round examined the interaction between non-steroidal molecules and sex hormone-binding globulin. He showed that this interaction has the ability to modulate testosterone levels in circulation, and may be pharmaceutically useful for testosterone replacement therapy. Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Colovic studied the use of radioactive amino acids (RAAs) in cancer detection. Using an imaging technique called positron emission tomography, she evaluated several RAAs as probes for imaging biomarkers of altered cancer metabolism. Her research brought the development of fluoroaminosuberic acid or FASu one step closer to clinical use. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Oncology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Post examined the impact of genetic differences associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) compared with those found in control populations. Through the use of high throughput assays, she identified genetic variants that impact protein function and structure. This will improve our understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying ASD. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2020 Dr. Shimell studied a gene that is disrupted in many patients with intellectual disability and epilepsy. His work demonstrates how this gene can guide the development of brain connections and how disrupting the proper function of this gene may lead to disorders of the brain. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2020 Dr. Edgcumbe invented, patented, and licensed an augmented reality navigational aid that helps surgeons to visualize blood vessels and cancer tumours. Dr. Edgcumbe undertook his research to improve the surgical outcomes for the 50,000 Canadians that are diagnosed each year with liver, kidney, bladder, or prostate cancer. Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD)

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