Master of Science in Cell and Developmental Biology (MSc)
The graduate program in Cell and Developmental Biology offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees to students undertaking advanced study and research in cell and developmental biology. The program is flexible and is designed to accommodate the diverse backgrounds of students and the broad nature of research in cell and developmental biology.
The program's courses provide a thorough understanding of the scientific fundamentals and methodologies of contemporary cell and developmental biology. All students also undertake original and significant research from the start of their studies. With nearly 50 faculty members engaged in cutting-edge research in cell and developmental biology, a wide range of research topics is available to students.
The program also aims to enhance linkages and facilitate research interactions between the larger community of cell and developmental biologists in British Columbia by acting as a common forum for scholarly exchange in cell and developmental biology through its student-led seminar series, research retreats and other activities.
What makes the program unique?
The Program is administered through the Life Sciences Institute (LSI), Canada's largest Institute for life science research which houses over 80 laboratories conducting internationally recognized research in areas such as cell and molecular biology, cancer biology, diabetes and microbiology & immunology.
Program faculty and students also conduct research at hospital-based research Institutes and Centres, including the BC Cancer Research Centre, the Biomedical Research Centre, the Centre for Brain Health, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics,and the Centre for Macular Research. All of these Institutes and Centres offer highly collaborative research environments and provide outstanding facilities and resources to the ~ 70 graduate students who call the program home.
Given the number of researchers associated with the program and their varied Departmental and Faculty affiliations, the potential range of research topics available to students in the Program is very large.
Minimum level of financial support for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of $22,000 per year, with top-ups for students who receive scholarships.
Admission Information & Requirements
In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
English Language Proficiency
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.
Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
Acceptance into the Program is dependent upon a prospective student getting written agreement from a Faculty member that he/she will be their Research Supervisor.
Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.Transcript Deadline
Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.Referee Deadline
Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.
September 2020 Intake
Application Open Date30 September 2019
May 2021 Intake
Application Open Date31 May 2020
Research Supervisors must commit to supporting you financially during the course of your training. The minimum level of financial support is $22,000 per year, for a minimum of 2 years. As a general rule, financial support continues to the completion of your degree, so long as performance is satisfactory and you remain in good academic standing. Students are expected to pay tuition from their stipend.
Financial support is in the form of a minimum funding package which can be made up from several sources – usually a combination of a Scholarship/Award, a Teaching Assistantship (from teaching duties as a graduate student, to a maximum of two 0.5 TAships per year) and a Research Assistantship (paid from a Supervisor’s research funds). There are no citizenship requirements for Teaching or Research Assistantships.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Accili, Eric molecular mechanisms responsible for cellular pacemaking behavior
Allan, Douglas Nervous system
Auld, Vanessa (Cell, Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis, Developmental Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Development, nervous system, permeability barriers, glia, Cell Biology, Genetics, in vivo imaging, epithelia)
Bamji, Shernaz (synapse biology, primary neuronal cultures, transgenic mouse models, neurodevelopmental disease)
Clee, Susanne Michelle Obesity and diabetes are world-wide epidemics
Conibear, Elizabeth (Molecular Genetics, Cell Signaling and Cancer, Genomics and Proteomics, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Membranes, Enzymes and Proteins, Parkinson's Disease, Protein Palmitoylation, Vesicle Trafficking)
Coombs, Daniel (Cell Signaling and Infectious and Immune Diseases, Mathematics, Epidemiology, Mathematical biology, Cell biophysics, Immune cell signalling, Disease models)
Edelstein-Keshet, Leah (Mathematics, Modelization and Simulation, Cell Signaling, Cell Signaling and Cancer, Differential Equation, cell polarity, cell migration, developmental and cellular biology, swarming and aggregation, Rho GTPases)
Gold, Michael understanding cell signaling, morphology, trafficking, and effector function of immune cells and tumour cells
Gordon, Michael (Neuronal Systems, neuroscience, Neural circuits, Sensory systems, Feeding, Taste, Gustation, Drosophila, Chemosensation)
Haas, Kurt (Plasticity / Neuronal Regeneration, Neurological Diseases, Genetics of Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases, Neuronal and Synaptic Activity, Neuronal Systems, Neuronal Modeling, Neuronal Communication and Neurotransmission, Autism, Epilepsy, Synaptic Plasticity, Dendritogenesis, Brain Circuit Development, Neurodevelopmental disorders, Neuronal Computation)
Hakkinen, Lari (Cell Therapy, Cell Signaling, Connective Tissue, Wound Healing, Tissue regeneration, Fibroblasts, MSC, Extracellular matrix, Cell to cell communication, Oral mucosa and skin)
Hoffman, Bradford Understanding how the genes critical to endocrine pancreas development, as well as ?-cell function and proliferation are regulated is essential for the development of novel strategies for the production of insulin-secreting cells, and for improving the efficacy of available transplantable material.
Hoodless, Pamela (Embryonic Development, Genomics, Heart Valve / Valvular Diseases, Liver, Stem Cells and Organogenesis, Developmental Genetics, Embryology, transcriptional regulation, Epigenetics, Heart valve formation, Liver development)
Johnson, James diabetes, hormones, cell biology, signal transduction, apoptosis or programmed cell death, heart failure, heart disease, calcium signalling, pancreatic cancer, obesity, longevity, imaging, Causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes at a molecular level discovery of genes and associated gene networks linked to diabetes risk and by known risk factors that predispose individuals to diabetes
Kieffer, Tim Diabetes
Kopp, Janel (Pancreas, Pancreatic cancer, Pancreatic development, Modeling cancer)
Lange, Philipp (Cell Signaling and Cancer, Bioinformatics, Proteomics, pediatric cancer, post translational protein modification, personalized medicine, mass spectrometry)
Lansdorp, Peter (Cellular Division, Cellular Aging, Stem Cells and Organogenesis, Applied Genetics, Complex Trait Genetics, Gene Regulation and Expression, Genetic Diseases, Cellular Degeneration, Telomeres, DNA replication, epigenetics and stem cells, Telomeres, genomic instability, aging and cancer, Application of single cell Strand-seq in precision medicine)
Li, Xin Molecules in plants, plants defence against pathogen infection, plant genes
Lim, Chinten James (Cell Signaling and Cancer, Leukemia, Immunotherapy, Chemotherapy, tumour cell biology, mechanisms of drug resistance, integrin cell adhesion and migration, tumour microenvironment, pediatric oncology)
Loewen, Christopher (Membranes and Organelles, Lipid Signalling, Lipid Traffic, Membrane Contact Sites, Genetic Networks, Systems Biology, Super Resolution Microscopy, Cell polarity, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Golgi, Membrane Diffusion Barriers, Cell Biology, Autism, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Cancer Cell Metabolism)
Luciani, Dan (Diabetes, Cell Signaling, Apoptosis, Imaging, Pancreatic beta-cell function and failure, Mitochondrial physiology, Lysosomal physiology, Cell calcium signalling, Cell stress signalling, Mechanisms of cell death, autophagy, fluorescence microscopy)
Lynn, Francis (Diabetes, ß-cell development, ß-cell biology, Human pluripotent stem cells, CRISPR/Cas, transcriptional regulation)