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 includes 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

adMare BioInnovations is located in our building. It 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 adMare BioInnovations 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.

Epidemiology & 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 & Chemical Biology

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
Sindelar, Robert Rationally-designed enzyme inhibitors, Computer-assisted molecular design and computational chemistry, Protein homology modeling, Medicinal Chemistry, Computer-aided drug discovery and design, Pharmaceutical biotechnology, Human immune system and drug design for related diseases
Soja, Peter how synaptic transmission through identified ascending spinal sensory pathways and motoneuron pools differs during distinct behavioral states such as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and REM sleep, or general anesthesia vs. wakefulness
Soon, Judith Contraception
Wilbur, Kerry Professional Practices, Education Systems, workplace-based learning, culture and health professional education, patient and medication safety, interprofessional education, public health roles of pharmacists
Williams, Karla Oncology
Wong, Judy Carcinogenesis, cancer, aging, genetics, chromosome stability, cancer biology, pharmacology, pharmacognetics, human genetics, genomes, DNA, genomics
Wong, Harvey applications of translational modeling and simulation techniques to optimize drug dose and regimen for new therapeutics, and to better understand emergence of cancer tumor drug resistance
Zed, Peter Pharmacotherapy,  cardiovascular disease,  infectious disease,  airway pharmacology,  sedation and analgesia,  evidence-based medicine,  adverse drug events, Pharmacotherapy best practice in emergency medicine and patient safety, particularly adverse drug events

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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
2018 Dr. Paik studied the mechanism involved in somatostatin-mediated protection against progression of Alzheimer's disease. He examined the effect of somatostatin on protecting blood brain barrier integrity and neurite stability. The findings from this research may be used in developing a novel therapeutic application in treating Alzheimer's disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2018 Dr. Gordon studied the importance of altered cholesterol metabolism in advanced prostate cancer. His work established the critical nature of specific cholesterol metabolism proteins in driving cancer proliferation. These findings will further our understanding of cancer biology and aid in the creation of the next generation of cancer therapies. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2018 Dr. Tsao studied the safety of treatments for autoimmune diseases when used during pregnancy. Autoimmune diseases occur more frequently in females and untreated disease results in harm to both mothers and offspring. Her research findings show that a group of medications called biologics are safe and effective treatment options during pregnancy. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2018 Dr. Garcia-Patino studied the role of an enzyme called Rho kinase 2 in the development of cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury in diabetes. Her findings show that the absene of this enzyme confers protection against this type of injury, while protection is lost in the presence of diabetes. These findings have potential therapeutic implications. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2018 Dr. Nyamandi investigated the heart in obesity and diabetes. She showed that a diet high in fat and sucrose causes greater cardiac dysfunction than high fat alone, and that inhibiting the RhoA/ROCK pathway prevents the onset of cardiac dysfunction in a diabetic model. This work advances our knowledge of diet- and diabetes-related cardiac disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2018 Dr. Zou studied the relationship between somatostatin receptors and cannabinoid receptor 1 and found that these receptors exist and function in a complex. She also explored the pathological significance of such interaction in neuronal toxicity, offering a potential target for drug discovery against related neurological disorders. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2018 Dr. Campbell developed several economic models to inform healthcare policy aimed at reducing the disproportionate tuberculosis burden seen in migrant populations. He determined that targeting latent tuberculosis infection screening could cost-effectively improve population health and reduce the incidence of tuberculosis. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2018 Dr. McCormick studied the costs of lupus and related systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases in British Columbia. Her estimates of the extra medical costs of these little-known forms of arthritis, and impact on patients' paid & unpaid work, will inform public spending and research priorities Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2017 Dr. Gong studied Rho-kinase, an enzyme involved in regulating the shape and movement of cells. She studied its effectiveness for the treatment of diabetic cardiovascular disease, different cancers, HIV, as well as inhibitors of protein for the treatment of cancer. Her work advances our understanding of disease at the molecular level. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2017 Dr. Chiu studied the changes in cardiac metabolism during diabetes. Her findings revealed that during the onset of diabetes the heart switches from using fats and sugars for energy to use only fats, a switch that eventually leads to heart disease. Her research assists in identifying ways to treat or prevent diabetes-related heart disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)

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