Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)
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.
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.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
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:
RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher EducationUniversity of British Columbia (6)
New York University
National Tsing Hua University
University of California - San Diego
Western University (Ontario)
Simon Fraser University
University of Bonn
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Duke University Medical Center
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationSTEMCELL Technologies (3)
National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health
Lowy Medical Research Institute
Allen Institute for Brain Science
Carl Zeiss Canada Ltd.
Alberta Health Services
Cardiac Services BC
GFY Biotech Consulting
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationDirector (2)
Senior Manager, External R&D and Alliances
Senior Product Marketing Manager
Senior Associate Scientist
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThis program underwent a name or structural change in the study time frame, and all alumni from the previous program were included in these summaries. These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,600.60||$2,811.98|
|Tuition per year||$4,801.80||$8,435.94|
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$899.00 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,453.00 (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. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 8 April 2016]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.
Upcoming Doctoral Exams
Tuesday, 30 May 2017 - 4:00pm - Room 202, Anthropology and Sociology Building ,6303 North West Marine Drive
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 (development, nervous system, permeability barriers, glia , cell biology , genetics)
Bamji, Shernaz (synapse biology, primary neuronal cultures, transgenic models, neurodevelopmental disease)
Church, John (Role of intracellular pH regulating mechanisms in seizure activity, neuronal death and neuronal development)
Conibear, Elizabeth (Molecular pathways, cellular transportation, Alzheimer's, lysomsomal storage diseases, yeast genetics)
Coombs, Daniel (Mathematical biology, Cell biophysics, Immune cell signalling, Disease models)
Gordon, Michael (Neuroscience, Neural circuits, Sensory systems, Feeding, Taste, Gustation, Drosophila, Chemosensation)
Haas, Kurt (Dendritogenesis, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, neural network plasticity)
Hakkinen, Lari (periodontal tissues; wound healing; cell and molecular biology of wound healing and interactions of cells with extracellular matrix, Cell and Molecular Biology of Wound Healing)
Hammond, Geoffrey Lewis (Steroids in growth and development, reproductive health, nutrition)
Hoodless, Pamela (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)
Kast, Juergen (Cellular reactions and their products, to identify the proteins present in human cells, their interactions, and any modifications they may undergo )
Keshet, Leah (Mathematical biology, models, animal grouping, biophysics)
Kieffer, Tim (Diabetes)
Kopp, Janel (Pancreas, Pancreatic cancer, Pancreatic development, Modeling cancer)
Li, Xin (Molecules in plants, plants defence against pathogen infection, plant genes)
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, Pancreatic beta-cell function and failure, Mitochondrial physiology, Cell calcium signalling, Cell stress signalling, Mechanisms of cell death)
Lynn, Francis (diabetes, ß-cell development, ß-cell biology, Human pluripotent stem cells, CRISPR/Cas, transcriptional regulation)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Fanrui Meng
"Dr. Meng studied caveolin-1, a cell surface protein associated with cancer. Dr. Meng identified multiple mechanisms that impact how caveolin-1 regulates cancer cell adhesion and migration. This is important for understanding how caveolin-1 promotes cancer and potentially for how it can be targeted for cancer therapy." (November 2016)
- Dr. Paul Vincent Sabatini
"Dr. Sabatini examined the dynamics and mechanism governing the expression of the transcription factor Npas4 within pancreatic beta cells. Additionally, he explored how NPAS4 impacts beta cell function and glucose homoeostasis." (November 2016)
- Dr. Ashley Diane Sanders
"An important question in biology is how our genomes inform who we are and the diseases we get. Dr. Sanders developed new tools to visualize the organization and structure of DNA in a single cell. With this advance, she found the structural composition of human genomes is highly complex and unique. Now, we can test how these differences impact human health." (May 2016)
- Dr. Victoria Catherine Garside
"Dr. Garside examined the role of the transcription factor SOX9 during mouse embryonic heart valve development using a number of genomic approaches. Through her analyses of genome-wide datasets on embryonic valves, she discovered that SOX9 plays a key role in regulating a critical network of transcription factors essential for heart valve formation." (May 2016)
- Dr. Leo Chun Ting Ng
"Dr. Ng studied a cardiac ion channel responsible for pacemaking. He examined various molecules and mutations that influence how the channel works. This research provides insights on therapeutically controlling heart rate, especially in patients suffering from cardiac arrhythmia." (May 2016)