Senior Specialist, Medical Affairs
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.
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.
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.
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. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
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:
Overall score requirement: 100
Overall score requirement: 7.0
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:
The GRE is not required.
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
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.
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
|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)||$969.17 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)|
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.
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 4 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.
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their 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.
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
40 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 4 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 35 graduates:
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
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.
|2020||Dr. Leung examined candidate obesity and diabetes genes, and found that reducing the amount of one gene, called Pdk1, affects lipid metabolism and the heart. Further, this research shows that the metabolic effects of Pdk1, as well as environmental factors, are important to consider when using inhibitors of this gene as a potential therapeutic.|
|2020||Dr. Round examined the interaction between non-steroidal molecules and sex hormone-binding globulin. He showed that this interaction has the ability to modulate testosterone levels in circulation, and may be pharmaceutically useful for testosterone replacement therapy.|
|2020||Dr. Toselli studied pancreatic beta-cell development and regeneration. She created a new model to study and track beta-cells and discovered important cues for beta-cell development and regeneration. Her work gives us a better understanding of pancreas biology and renewal.|
|2019||Dr. Sriram studied structures termed tubulobulbar complexes, which are involved in removing cell-to-cell attachments during sperm development in the mammalian testis. She developed methods in culture and in vivo to test the hypothesis that these complexes are involved in the movement of the next generation of sperm cells within the testis.|
|2019||Dr. Pisio created a system to determine if mutations in cancer causing genes found in patients were problematic or part of natural variation. This was done by inserting human genes into fruit flies and studying their effect on known signaling pathways.|
|2019||Dr. Vent-Schmidt studied an inherited, blinding eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa. It has no cure. Her work in animal models showed that knowing the genetic cause of this condition is vital for a class of drugs. Findings suggest that future clinical trials for retinitis pigmentosa should consider genetic testing on patients.|
|2019||Dr. Kwon examined insulin independent ways to lower blood sugar in order to find new therapies for diabetes. She found that the hormone leptin lowers blood sugar by remodeling metabolic pathways in the liver and discovered a small molecule, which mimics leptin. These results indicate that leptin or its mimetic may be a useful therapy for diabetes.|
|2019||During diabetes, insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells become dysfunctional. Dr. Speckmann explored the role of two activity-regulated genes and showed that both are required for optimal insulin secretion. These findings improve our understanding of normal beta-cell function, with the goal of developing novel therapeutics for diabetes.|
|2019||Dr. Gignac studied a rare genetic disease called Robinow syndrome that is caused by mutations in the Wingless or WNT signaling pathway. Her work demonstrated how WNT5A and DVL1 genetic mutations disrupt formation of the skeleton. In future, these studies will lead to therapies for WNT diseases in humans such as cancer or bone related disorders.|
|2019||Dr. Campbell investigated the role of the Trithorax Group (TrxG) protein complexes during pancreas development. She discovered that loss of TrxG epigenetic activity resulted in fewer insulin-producing beta-cells and diabetes. Her research may improve the generation of functional pancreatic beta-cells from stem cells as a potential diabetes therapy.|
Cell and Developmental Biology courses provide a thorough understanding of the scientific fundamentals and methodologies of contemporary cell and developmental biology.
When I was applying for PhD programs, there were a few main things I was looking for: A lab working on my area of interest, an amazing supervisor and lab environment, a great University allowing for academic, personal and professional development, a good funding package (it is hard to fund your PhD...
I ultimately decided to study at UBC because I enjoyed the environment and mindset of the people. From speaking to the individuals in the lab, I felt that UBC is an open, accepting, and collaborative environment where advice and help is freely given. Additionally, UBC is a melting pot of people and...