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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.


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.


  • 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

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.


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
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)
2017 Dr. Wehbe developed a method to form insoluble copper complexes inside lipid nanoparticles. This method allowed for the preclinical testing of copper-based therapeutics to treat blood, brain and ovarian cancers. His findings will aid in the design and development of future anti-cancer copper-based medicines. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2017 Dr. De La Vega's research revolved around rhenium, a silverish heavy metal and the last detected element. He formulated it into a diagnostic X-ray imaging agent, and, in radioactive form, into a therapeutic agent for liver cancer therapy. His work established the foundations for expanding rhenium's use in medical imaging and nuclear medicine. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2017 Dr. Zhang's study focused on the development of diabetes and its heart complication. He investigated an enzyme named 'haparanase', which facilitates the heart metabolic changes in diabetic patients, and could prevent the occurrence of diabetes if over produced. His work helps to revise the current use of heparanase as a therapeutic target. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2016 Dr. Chen studied the long-term development of respiratory diseases and how the progression of these diseases affects patients' overall health, quality of life and health care costs. She developed advanced models to examine how risk factors can be prevented at the onset of disease to ultimately help improve long-term health outcomes in these patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2016 Dr. Michaelsen studied lipid-based drug delivery systems to examine the mechanism behind increased drug absorption. Digestion was not found to play a role with regard to absorption however, drug load was. Her findings may provide guidance for future development of drug delivery systems for poorly water-soluble drugs. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2016 Dr. Schmitt studied drug concentrations in skin tissue fluid for use in therapeutic drug detection. She found that many drugs are detectable in skin tissue fluid and that their concentrations can be quite different from blood concentrations. In the future, this can lead to the development of blood- and pain- free drug monitoring devices. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2016 Dr. Sharma investigated how a group of anti-HIV drugs may cause therapy failure or toxicity. His results linked these drugs with certain proteins that control drug elimination processes in humans. Along with offering a rational basis for selection of anti-HIV therapy, his data provide novel therapeutic prospects for these drugs in other diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
2016 Dr. Knuhtsen worked on an interdisciplinary project within the fields of peptide chemistry and epigenetics. Based on a lead a library of peptides were synthesized which was used to identify an inhibitor of the enzyme family Protein Arginine Methyl Transferases. This inhibitor was subsequently characterized further. Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)