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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
|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)|
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.
Student service appointments are intended to help qualified graduate students meet the cost of their studies at the University. Student appointments may involve part-time duties in teaching, research, or other academic activities.
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.
|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||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||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. 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||Adult stem cells are a central theme in the rapidly expanding field of regenerative medicine. Dr. Scott has used a genetic marker to characterize a stem cell that is present in all adult tissues and identified a mechanism that allows these cells to remain dormant until they are required for tissue maintenance and repair.|
|2019||Dr. Chan studied signaling pathways that control cellular metabolism. He defined the role of specific enzymes that regulate the synthesis of lipids at a transcriptional level. His research builds on our understanding of cellular metabolism and pathways involved in metabolic diseases including obesity and diabetes.|
|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.|
|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.|
|2018||Dr. Wen characterized autophagy, a cellular clearance process, in the light-detecting rod photoreceptors in the retina. She also examined the therapeutic effect of autophagy modulators on retinitis pigmentsoa, an inherited eye disorder. This research allows greater understanding of autophagy and the mechanisms of retinal degeneration.|
Cell and Developmental Biology courses provide a thorough understanding of the scientific fundamentals and methodologies of contemporary cell and developmental biology.
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