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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 Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder often accompanied by brain changes and cardiovascular problems. Following an exercise program with schizophrenia patients, Dr. Woodward showed regional brain growth with improvements in clinical symptoms and cardiovascular health, showing a critical need for exercise as a part of mental health treatment. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2020 Dr. Ordobadi studied nanoparticles for delivery of small molecule drugs and nucleic acids. Through her studies, she looked at the effect of nanoparticle composition on therapeutic relevance. Her findings can ultimately be used to develop treatments for a range of diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Jones examined the epidemiology of common mental disorders in workers with short term work disability due to musculoskeletal work injury. She found that workers with a common mental disorder were less likely to achieve sustained return to work. Her findings will inform work disability management policy and practice. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2020 Dr. Glass studied the relationship between human and livestock wellbeing in a traditional Maasai community. She found that herd size is associated with wealth and happiness, and her findings support the community belief that livestock are not a major source of human illness, as human and livestock diseases are most strongly correlated with climate. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2020 Dr. Ren discovered a novel mechanism that increases the coding capacity of a virus through an intergenic region internal ribosome entry site (IRES). This study will further our understanding of IRES' mediated translation initiation and reading frame decoding, which will inform our ability to recognize and treat viruses. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Richard Albert studied how each of our two copies of DNA, one from mom and one from dad, are treated differently deep within our cells. His research furthers our understanding of human reproduction and inheritance and will inform biomedical applications such as artificial insemination, stem cell therapies and cloning. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Sanford examined brain activity and working memory deficits in schizophrenia. Using a novel multi-dataset approach, she found that a brain network that activated during initial memory encoding predicted both verbal and visual memory capacity. This will inform the development of treatments to improve working memory in schizophrenia patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2020 Dr. Dao's research identified relevant brain imaging markers for studying vascular cognitive impairment, a common form of dementia. She found that greater beta-amyloid plaque deposition and reduced myelin integrity contributed to worse clinical outcomes. This research is important for improving care in people with vascular cognitive impairment. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
2020 Dr. Ishikawa demonstrated that people make health decisions based on stereotypes of health conditions and diseases, and developed a new approach to risk communication in health. His findings advance current strategies to reduce unintentional child injuries and fatalities, and help to address vaccine hesitancy and other health misconceptions. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bashir investigated the behavioural and neuropathological consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI). She showed that CHIMERA, a rodent model of head injury, can replicate many features of human TBI. Dr. Bashir hopes that, in the future, CHIMERA can be used to validate promising drug targets to help in the treatment of TBI. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)