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
Rafizadeh, Reza
Rodrigues, Brian Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences (except clinical aspects); Diabetes; Cardiomyopathy; Heart Failure; Energy Metabolism; Cardiovascular metabolism; Endothelial cell - cardiomyocyte crosstalk; Vascular Endothelial Growth factors
Ross, Colin Genetic medicine; Genomics; Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences (except clinical aspects); Biomedical Technologies; Drug Metabolism; Gene Therapy; Gene-based therapeutics; Pharmacogenomics; Precision Medicine; Transgenic Model
Sadatsafavi, Mohsen Respiratory diseases; Epidemiology (except nutritional and veterinary epidemiology); Epidemiology; Biostatistics; Respiratory Research
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
Turgeon, Ricky Cardiology and circulatory sciences (including cardiovascular disease); Health care effectiveness and outcomes; Knowledge translation and implementation science in health; Heart failure pharmacotherapy; Acute coronary syndromes / myocardial infarction; Cardiovascular risk reduction (lipid-lowering therapy, antiplatelet therapy); Cardiovascular safety of medications; Drug Effectiveness; Evidence-based practice; Shared decision making; Point-of-care decision aids / decision support tools; Knowledge translation / implementation; Risk calculators / clinical prediction tools; Pharmacist scope of practice; Clinical assessment / physical examination
Velenosi, Thomas Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences, n.e.c.; Cancer drug development and therapeutics; Cancer molecular targets; Metabolomics; Lipid biology (including lipidomics); Pharmacometabolomics; Pharmacology; Lipidomics; mass spectrometry; Cancer; Stable isotope tracing; Bioinformatics
Vu, Ly Post-transcriptional and translational regulation during normal and malignant hematopoiesis
Wilbur, Kerry Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences (except clinical aspects); Professional Practices; Education Systems; culture and health professional education; interprofessional education; patient and medication safety; public health roles of pharmacists; workplace-based learning
Williams, Karla Oncology
Wisnovsky, Simon Cancer genetics; Tumour immunology; Cellular immunology; Glycomics and glycobiology; Chemical genetics; Systems biology; Cellular interactions (including adhesion, matrix and cell wall); Genomics; Cancer molecular targets; glycobiology; carbohydrates; Tumor immunology; Functional genomics; CRISPR screening; Glycomics; Biochemistry; Molecular Genetics; Cell Biology; Cancer
Wong, Judy Cancer genetics; Mechanisms of carcinogenesis; Drug discovery, design and delivery; Nucleic acids studies; Enzymes (including kinetics and mechanisms, and biocatalyst); Cancer biology; Aging; Genome Instability; Nucleic Acid Structures; Pharmacology; Genetics and 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 Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

 

Publication: Chest
UBC Author(s): Mohsen Sadatsafavi (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
ISSN: 00123692
Volume: 161
Page Range: 662-675
Publication Date: March 2022

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Publication: Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
UBC Author(s): Peter Zed (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
ISSN: 14818035
Volume: 24
Page Range: 120-122
Publication Date: March 2022

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Publication: BMJ Open
UBC Author(s): James McCormack (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Volume: 12
Publication Date: 24 February 2022

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Publication: Vaccine
UBC Author(s): Mohsen Sadatsafavi (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
ISSN: 0264410X
Volume: 40
Page Range: 1047-1053
Publication Date: 11 February 2022

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Publication: JAMA Pediatrics
UBC Author(s): Colin Ross (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
ISSN: 21686203
Volume: 176
Page Range: 185-195
Publication Date: February 2022

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Publication: Journal of Biological Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Brent Page (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
ISSN: 00219258
Volume: 298
Publication Date: 1 February 2022

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Publication: Biomedicines
UBC Author(s): Ujendra Kumar (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Volume: 10
Publication Date: February 2022

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Publication: Current Oncology
UBC Author(s): Mary De Vera (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Volume: 29
Page Range: 465-478
Publication Date: February 2022

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Publication: Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
UBC Author(s): Annalijn Conklin (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Volume: 18
Page Range: 637-645
Publication Date: 1 February 2022

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Publication: Pharmaceutics
UBC Author(s): Anil Maharaj (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Volume: 14
Publication Date: February 2022

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Publication: Eating and Weight Disorders
UBC Author(s): Annalijn Conklin (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences / Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
ISSN: 11244909
Volume: 27
Page Range: 395-398
Publication Date: February 2022

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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
2019 Dr. Gorrin constructed a model based on his conversations with people with asthma and measured how participants in two asthma studies reported their medication usage. The integration of his findings helped to understand why some people don't take the medication and how to encourage regular medication usage. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2019 Drug discovery can be lengthy, complicated and requires extensive resources. Working in partnership with the pharmacy and chemistry departments, Dr. Koperniku explored access to pharmaceutically relevant small molecules. Her work advances the optimization of pharmaceuticals and informs improved patient care. Her past and future dedication is to serve humanity. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2019 Dr. Wang found out that heparanase, using its properties to promote cell survival, protect the heart cells against multiple stresses frequently seen in patients with ischemia and diabetes-induced heart diseases, in both cell experiments and animal studies. This research could help devise new strategies to combat heart diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2019 Dr. Lambert investigated causes of pain in fibromyalgia and determined that specialized immune cells in the brain may play a critical role. She also created two novel molecules which act on the endocannabinoid system to reduce the pain-causing actions of these immune cells. Her work may form the basis of a new therapeutic strategy for chronic pain. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2019 Dr. Buchwalder developed a new class of molecules to bind radioactive isotopes and attach them to disease targeting vectors. Specifically, he found that ligand molecules bind zirconium ions particularly strongly. His work contributes to the development of better diagnostic and potentially therapeutic agents for applications in nuclear medicine. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2019 Aberrant telomere length maintenance can lead to premature aging disorders. Dr. Xu studied genetic modifiers of telomere maintenance and revealed their contributions to the variable manifestations in telomere biology disorders. This study will help to build individualized models for the prediction of short telomere-associated disease presentations. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2018 Many drugs exhibit poor solubility, limiting their absorption and clinical efficacy. Dr. Tang developed a novel approach using nanotechnology to formulate these drugs with improved solubility. His research work demonstrated the utilities of this approach in delivering these drugs more effectively and safely. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
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)

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