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 Dr. Obst investigated drug resistance in advanced prostate cancer. His work led to the recognition of a drug metabolism pathway exploited by resistant cells, and found that sensitivity could be restored using second-generation inhibitors. This study will hopefully aid in the development of novel compounds used to treat lethal prostate cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2019 Dr. Yang developed a novel cell-free cancer therapeutic from bioreactor systems. She demonstrated that this therapeutic efficiently activated naive immune cells to kill cancer cells. The therapeutic consists of small natural molecules called microRNAs. Her research may result in a safer, faster and lower-cost approach for treating cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2019 Dr. Cahill looked at cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in memory. She found a different pattern of survival between cells born during adulthood and development and that adult-born cells can inhibit development cells. This research allows some insight into where importance should be placed on finding treatments for memory loss. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2019 Dr. Soong used DNA sequencing and mouse models to characterize drug sensitivities in cancer cells with faulty DNA repair machineries. Altogether, this study increased our understanding of the additional function of a pre-existing drug, with novel potential therapeutic targets. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2019 Dr. Kennedy found that use of supervised drug consumption facilities helps to prevent serious harms, including violence and premature mortality. She also found that involving people who use drugs as staff enhanced the effectiveness of this service. This research has provided important evidence to improve health services for people who use drugs. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2019 Dr. Adu's research focused on the systemic factors, which create barriers to tuberculosis prevention and control in an increasingly connected world. Dr. Adu found evidence of an association between globalization and tuberculosis and further showed how systemic factors drove tuberculosis incidence among healthcare workers in South Africa. Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
2019 Dr. McGirr used mouse models of stress to study large scale brain network changes. He also studied how existing and novel treatments rescue normative network function. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2019 Dr. Li characterized a new-in-class NMDA receptor positive allosteric modulator. The new drug has applications as a research tool and potential therapeutic in psychiatric and neurological disorders. Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD)
2019 Dr. Chern studied the chemotherapy resistance mechanisms in colon cancer. She found that HSP47 proteins promote drug resistance, and the interaction between SPARC and GRP78 proteins enhances the stress level and increases cell death in cancer cells under chemotherapy. Her findings provide insights into overcoming chemoresistance in colon cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Oncology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Parappilly assessed the determinants of a healthy life-style profile of stroke survivors. Her study revealed that many patients lack knowledge about stroke and those with better stroke knowledge have better health-related behaviours. These findings demonstrate the importance of strengthening current stroke prevention programs. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)