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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
2019 Yeast is a single-celled organism that has been used to model human biology and disease. Dr. Hamza tested the extent to which human genes can replace the similar yeast genes and operate in a yeast cell. These humanized yeast cells were used as a platform to study mutations found in cancer and model the activity of a cancer specific drug target. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Pisio created a system to determine if mutations in cancer causing genes found in patients were problematic or part of natural variation. This was done by inserting human genes into fruit flies and studying their effect on known signaling pathways. Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Vent-Schmidt studied an inherited, blinding eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa. It has no cure. Her work in animal models showed that knowing the genetic cause of this condition is vital for a class of drugs. Findings suggest that future clinical trials for retinitis pigmentosa should consider genetic testing on patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Burugu characterized the immune system in the tissues of breast cancer patients. Using conventional and novel techniques, she found the presence of immune cells that can be reactivated to eliminate cancer cells. Her work can inform the prioritization and design of immunotherapy clinical trials for breast cancer patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2019 Dr. Kwon examined insulin independent ways to lower blood sugar in order to find new therapies for diabetes. She found that the hormone leptin lowers blood sugar by remodeling metabolic pathways in the liver and discovered a small molecule, which mimics leptin. These results indicate that leptin or its mimetic may be a useful therapy for diabetes. Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
2019 Too much blood clotting is a prevalent cause of death worldwide. Dr. Lin explored common virus infection as a risk factor. He found that a normal clotting protein is incorporated into several viruses and may contribute to heart disease and stroke. Since this clotting factor can enhance infection, new antiviral strategies are on the horizon. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2019 Dr. Smith developed a training program facilitated by novel technology, to teach older adults with memory loss to drive powered wheelchairs. Her research explored the skills required for powered wheelchair use and demonstrated that individuals with memory loss are capable of learning to use a powered wheelchair, promoting mobility and independence. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
2019 Dr. Park studied the impact of maternal depression and prenatal antidepressant exposure on child development. Her findings highlight the importance of maternal mental health, pre and post-natally, for optimal maternal and child outcomes. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2019 Dr. Luo characterized the interaction mechanisms and functions of two proteins in the brain linked to neuropsychiatric disorders. She also analyzed 'germline recombination' as a major pitfall of widely used approaches in molecular genetics. Her findings further our understanding of brain development and will inform future neuroscience research. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2019 Dr. Konwar focused on understanding inflammation related changes that commonly occur in preterm births. Her research examined molecular changes in placentas from preterm births with and without inflammation. Her findings have laid the groundwork to identify biomarkers that could be detected in maternal blood when the inflammation is present. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Genetics (PhD)