Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences is where great minds make a difference. The Faculty enjoys an international reputation for outstanding pharmaceutical sciences research. Across a broad base of collaborative, paradigm-shaping pilot projects, our world-leading researchers generate relevant results that address the pressing health needs of society. In short, our work improves lives.

If you are passionate about health sciences research that makes a difference in people's lives, you're in good hands. We offer award-wining graduate programs led by world-class researchers. You'll have access to top-tier facilities and be working alongside the best and brightest in the field, conducting research that addresses real life problems. Our paradigm-changing approach is collaborative, innovative, and results-driven.

We're tackling diseases like asthma / chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. We're developing better ways to deliver drugs and prevent adverse drug reactions. And we're conducting clinical and economic research in pharmaceutical outcomes. 

Our reputation as a top research centre attracts some of the brightest and most productive minds in the field. Our faculty has included Canada Research Chairs, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholars and Senior Scholars, and Distinguished University Scholars.

Purpose

We are innovators in pharmacy education, research and practice, with the goal of supporting the optimization of drug therapy in the pursuit of improved patient outcomes.

Commitments

  • We support our people, creating a community that enables excellence through collective action.
  • We seek novel ideas, putting into practice those with the greatest scope for sustained impact.
  • We search for relevant connections, fostering meaningful collaborations that provide mutual benefit.
 

Research Centres

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is located in our building. CDRD is an independent, non-profit organization with a focus on bridging the gap between academic discoveries in the health sciences and the development of new medicines to treat human disease. The Faculty partners with CDRD to provide unique research and mentoring opportunities for MSc and PhD students. 

We are also home to several sophisticated research centres that specialize in the areas of human genome and exome sequencing, and health outcomes research.

Research Facilities

Opened in 2012, the Pharmaceutical Sciences building at UBC is a state-of-the-art learning and research facility. The building houses modern, modular labs designed specifically for the type of research intended for the space. Our classroom facilities are fitted with advanced technology to facilitate new modes of learning.

Measuring 246,000 square feet, it's an eye-catching addition to our campus, and has drawn attention and admiration from around the world—including 15 awards of excellence. 

Research Highlights

As a leading research faculty, we conduct ground-breaking research in the pharmaceutical sciences – all with the goal of addressing the pressing health needs of society and improving lives. Our research activities centre around four areas of focus.

Health Outcomes

This theme covers our activities in epidemiological analysis, health outcomes and health economics research seeking solutions for the predictive enhancement of intervention strategies for practical and preventive healthcare. The impact of this work is used to shape policy to optimize the allocation of health care resources as well as defining the efficacy of healthcare interventions and strategy.

Molecular & Systems Pharmacology

This highly interdisciplinary theme embodies research directed at the interactions of therapeutic agents with human cells, and covers fundamental questions of the mechanisms of the drug action through to the behaviour of drugs in human systems. These studies are used to inform and optimize the development and delivery of drug intervention regimes for clinical practice and the pharmaceutical industry.

Nanomedicine

This theme applies our expertise in the chemical biology of the fabrication and handling of nanoscopic materials to drug discovery and delivery. Sensing and screening technologies are also an important focus.

Pharmacy Education

Our research in this theme addresses the issue of scholarship in pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences with a view to augment our educational research capacity and enhance the methodologies of teaching practice, student learning and curriculum decision-making.

Explore Research Themes

Research Supervisors in Faculty

Name Research Interests
Burt, Helen Mary Nanotechnology, non-sized drug carriers, nanoparticulte drug delivery
Cairns, Brian Neuropharmacology, Oro-Facial Pain, Pain, Electrophysiology, pain mechanisms, headache, temporomandibular disorders, sex-related differences, peripheral analgesics
Chang, Thomas Drug Metabolism, Pharmacology, Nuclear Receptor, Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes, Cytochrome P450, Gene Expression, Gene Regulation
Collier, Abby Drugs in children, Drugs in pregnancy, Developmental pharmacology, Drug metabolism, Pharmacokinetics, Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, primarily of the phase II (conjugation) enzymes, focused on pregnancy and pediatrics
Conklin, Annalijn Chronic Diseases in Elderly, Gender Epidemiology, Health Policies, Professional Practices, Obesity, Social Determinants of Dietary and Metabolic Disorders, Community Health / Public Health, healthy ageing, obesity prevention, diabetes management and evaluation, healthcare quality improvement, implementation science, gender and health equity, nutrition-related policy and outcomes
Coughtrie, Michael Drug metabolizing enzymes
De Vera, Mary examining how eHealth technologies can support new and existing models of care to improve care delivery and patient outcomes; exploring patients' perspectives and experiences with medication taking and adherence; and evaluating the use and impacts of medications among pregnant women, particularly with inflammatory conditions.
Frankel, Adam protein biochemistry, arginine methylation, post-translational modifications, drug discovery, yeast, autophagy, chemical biology
Giaever, Guri Model organisms, human therapeutics, high-throughput cell biology, drug synergy, technologies for understanding relationship between chromatic structure and transcriptional regulation
Grierson, David Chemistry, disease, biochemistry
Hafeli, Urs Pharmacokinetics, Imaging, Radiotherapy, Immunotherapy, Development of Drug Delivery Systems, Radiopharmaceuticals, Radioimmunotherapy, Magnetic Targeting, Targeted Drug Delivery, Novel polymers, Nanoparticles, Microspheres, Microneedles, Bioconjugates
Harrison, Mark measurement and valuation of health, health technology and policy assessment, and preferences for healthcare interventions; evaluation/re-evaluation of the type of health care that is provided, the point in the treatment pathway, and the way in which it is delivered
Hedtrich, Sarah Nanotechnologies, Structural Tissue Engineering / Biomaterials, Inflammatory Respiratory Diseases, Skin, Novel therapies for inflammatory and genetic diseases of human epithelia, Tissue regeneration, Topical drug delivery and Nanomedicine
Jarvis-Selinger, Sandra Ann Education, human learning, development, and instruction, education innovation, konwledge translation, teaching excellence, curriculum design, technology
Kumar, Ujendra Somatostatin hormone, molecular pharmacology, Somatostatin, , Hormones, somatostatin, locomotor and cognitive function, neurodegenerative diseases, drugs
Lalji, Fawziah Pharmacoepidemiology, Infectious Diseases, Vaccination, Antibiotics and Resistance, Tuberculosis
Li, Shyh-dar drug delivery, pharmaceutics, nanomedicine, biopharmaceutics
Loewen, Peter atrial fibrillation, stroke prevention therapy, pharmacy practice, knowledge translation of evidence to patient care, patient education, shared decision-making, clinical prediction rules, prediction of stroke and bleeding in atrial fibrillation patients, patient decision aids, adherence to medication, patient complexiometry, healthcare communication technologies, use of mobile technology for clinical decision-making, hospital pharmacy practice, quality of care, quality drug therapy
Lynd, Larry health economics, orphan drugs, pharmaceutical policy, respiratory medicine, epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, rare diseases
MacLeod, Kathleen Cardiovascular complications, diabetes
McCormack, James Knowledge translation and evidence-based practice
Nislow, Corey genomics and develops biotechnology tools to address both fundamental and applied biological questions; Parallel genome-wide chemical genomic screens; High throughput cell-based screens; Next Generation Sequencing
Page, Brent Drug Discovery, Drug Development, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Cancer, Target Engagement, Cell Signaling
Rodrigues, Brian Diabetes, Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure, Energy Metabolism, Cardiovascular metabolism, Diabetes, Endothelial cell - cardiomyocyte crosstalk, Vascular Endothelial Growth factors
Ross, Colin Biomedical Technologies, Gene Therapy, Drug Metabolism, Transgenic Model, Pharmacogenomics, Gene-based therapeutics, Precision medicine

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Graduate Student Profiles

Jennifer Brown

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
Identification and elucidation of the roles of methylarginine-containing proteins in stress and aging in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Tarique Benbow

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
The CB2 receptor as a potential target for Vascular Headaches

Sumreen Javed

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
Understanding Role of Invadopodia in Breast Tumor metastasis via Lymphatics.

Alumni on Success

Swamy Yeleswaram

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD) [1992]
Job Title
VP
Employer
Incyte Corporation

Gary Lopaschuk

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD) [1983]
Job Title
Professor
Employer
University of Alberta

Recent Thesis Submissions