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. Hoeppli studied how Regulatory T cells, a type of white blood cell, could be used like a drug to prevent graft rejection after organ transplantation. She found that these cells can be modified during cell culture to increase their effectiveness as a drug. Her research contributes towards improving the success of organ transplantation. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2018 Dr. Yang used advanced proteomics techniques to characterize cancer drug resistance, and to study the function of a tumour suppressor protein. These studies further our understanding of protein signalling pathways in cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2018 Dr. Ashby studied the synaptic and cellular mechanisms that contribute to memory formation. Through his research he described a new role for the weakening of connections between brain cells during the memory formation process. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2018 Dr. Moore developed prediction equations that can be used by clinicians and researchers to estimate maturational status in children and youth. She applied these equations to a young adult cohort and found that later maturity was not negatively associated with bone mass, density, structure or strength. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2018 Dr. Vila investigated the role of the apoliprotein E gene in schizophrenia patients. He demonstrated that this gene has both positive and negative effects in the presentation of schizophrenia, highlighting the complexity of genetic influences. These studies expand our understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of schizophrenia. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2018 Dr. Dubland studied smooth muscle cell foam cell formation in atherosclerosis. He found that a deficiency in lysosomal acid lipase, a key enzyme used to break down fats, was implicated in cholesterol accumulation in these cells. These results provide new insights into lipid build up in atherosclerosis and identify a new potential therapeutic target. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2018 Dr. Sommerfeld investigated how two specific protein complexes regulate the cell division process in cervical cancer cells. His studies identified novel functions for these protein complexes, and showed how loss of their activities may contribute to uncontrolled cell division and cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2018 Dr. Tsai studied how the immune system in the gut responds to ingested particles. He found that gut leakiness can impact the development of the immune system. This work furthers our understanding on how ingested particles can potentially shape our immune system to control its responses towards food and the environment. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2018 Dr. Trenaman evaluated patient decision aids, which are tools designed to help patients make better quality health care decisions. He found that patient decision aids for individuals considering total hip and knee replacement improved outcomes and reduced costs. His research will help policy makers invest in cost-effective tools for patient-centred care. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2018 Dr. Thaper studied the malleable nature of epithelial prostate cancer cells, specifically the ability of these cells to survive hormone therapy by moving up the differentiation ladder to a more aggressive neuronal state. This research identified an important protein for this process and new therapies are currently under development for clinical use. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)

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