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
2018 Dr. Ben-Eltriki explored the benefits of combining a ginseng-based compound with vitamin D as an anticancer strategy to treat advanced prostate cancer patients. This combination demonstrated both synergy and sensitization of anticancer activities over using either compound alone, which could yield superior therapeutic effects for cancer patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2018 Dr. Napier studied running biomechanics and injury in runners. His work showed that higher braking forces were associated with a significantly increased risk of injury. He subsequently showed that these forces can be reduced through a gait-retraining program, and provided recommendations on how to achieve this in a clinical environment. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
2018 Dr. Fung investigated the potential of using synthetic amino acids for the treatment of pain. His work identified the small molecule, ACBC, as being capable of alleviating responses in various experimental models of pain. These studies assist in the development of much needed new medicines for pain management. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (PhD)
2018 Dr. Hickmott worked towards the development of new gene-based therapies for the rare genetic blindness known as aniridia. He developed new DNA elements to direct the expression of new therapies, further characterized a mouse model of aniridia, and used that mouse to show that PAX6 gene therapy can, at least, temporarily improve the aniridic cornea. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)
2018 Nuclear pore complexes allow the transfer of molecules across cell membranes. Dr. Manhas found that these pore complexes are essential in the replication of DNA elements, called transposons, that move from one location in the genome to another. These findings help us understand the replication of viruses that are related to transposons. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2018 Dr. Wen characterized autophagy, a cellular clearance process, in the light-detecting rod photoreceptors in the retina. She also examined the therapeutic effect of autophagy modulators on retinitis pigmentsoa, an inherited eye disorder. This research allows greater understanding of autophagy and the mechanisms of retinal degeneration. Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
2018 Dr. Islam examined how DNA is chemically modified in neurological diseases including Huntington's disease, brain cancer and alcoholism. Her work highlighted how we can use these DNA marks to understand how genes are regulated in different types of healthy and diseased tissues, and to diagnose and track the progression of neurological disorders. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)
2018 Dr. Carlson developed a simple, scalable method for the rapid stabilization of membrane proteins called the peptidisc. He used the technique to rapidly identify novel and known interactions between membrane proteins in the bacterial cell envelope. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2018 Dr. Raven developed an animal model for evaluating experimental therapeutics that target bladder cancer. Using this model, he found that an embryonic cell pathway, Sonic Hedgehog, is activated in these cancers and that it can be blocked to reduce tumor growth. This research provides proof of principle for a new bladder cancer treatment. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2018 Dr. Chan worked on developing ways to enhance the natural function of platelets by loading them with potential drugs, such as clotting factors. These modified platelets may improve the effectiveness of platelet transfusions during uncontrolled bleeding, and platelets loaded with other drugs may also be useful in treating diseases such as cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)

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