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
2009 Dr. Zhong studied a key protein named ABCA4 in the eye. His study provided novel insights into the structure and function of ABCA4 and molecular mechanisms underlying degenerative diseases of the retina which are significant causes for blindness in Canadian. His finding will be used to develop treatments for retinal degeneration. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD)
2009 Dr. Anaby has developed and tested a model for explaining well-being by looking at the way working adults balance their everyday activities. Her finding suggest that what is important to well-being is not how people balance their activities but rather the quality of the activities they are engaged in. Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
2009 Dr. Xiong explored the molecular mechanisms underlying experience-dependent brain plasticity. His study provides insightful understanding about how experience in early life shapes the neuronal network. Furthermore, his work leads to the development of a potential treatment for amblyopia (lazy eye). Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2009 Dr Williamson identified the circuitry mediating sex steroid effects on the brain's reaction to stress. His research provides a framework for understanding the bases for individual differences in stress resilience and predisposition to disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)
2009 Dr Ma studied immune system B cells, and the mechanisms by which signals from their environment are transmitted via secondary messengers within the cells to activate them. The information gained has improved our understanding of the biochemistry of B cell regulation and has implications for the understanding and treatment of B cell malignancies. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2009 Dr. Wang analyzed the molecular changes associated with terminal prostate cancer and identified pathways and genes involved in advanced disease. His work has potential clinical implications that may aid development of new therapeutics. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)
2009 Dr. Fjell analyzed short proteins that have antibiotic activity. He developed computer models to identify naturally occurring peptides in the genomes of animals. He also created computer models for potent synthetic peptides against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These peptides may lead to new drugs for use in the clinic. Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
2009 Diabetic patients die from heart attack or stroke due to dysfunction of blood vessels. Dr. Farzad found that exercise in diabetic mice, equivalent to fast walking or jogging in human, completely reverses the vascular dysfunction by increasing the natural body antioxidants. The study also showed that exercise does not have to decrease body weight, blood sugar or lipids to prevent vascular dysfunction in diabetes. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (PhD)
2008 Dr. Heran evaluated the blood pressure lowering of two drug classes widely prescribed for hypertension. He found the classes lower blood pressure similarly and at low doses. He argues that, since the drugs and classes do not differ in their effect, the choice should be based on cost. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (PhD)
2008 Dr Cheang developed a clinically practical panel of six biomarkers that classifies breast cancer patients into genetically distinct types. This assay is now being applied onto clinical trials to predict patient response to chemotherapy, and parts of her work have already been adapted for hospital testing both locally and worldwide. Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)

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