Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD)

Overview

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.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Life Sciences
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Cell and Developmental Biology
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Medicine

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Application Notes

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.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
22
22
22

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

Highly recommended

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

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.

January 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
04 February 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 October 2019
Transcript Deadline: 16 November 2019
Referee Deadline: 23 November 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 August 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2019

May 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
31 May 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 December 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 December 2019

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
30 September 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 April 2020
Transcript Deadline: 30 June 2020
Referee Deadline: 30 June 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 April 2020
Transcript Deadline: 30 June 2020
Referee Deadline: 30 June 2020

Funding Sources

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.

Career Outcomes

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 Education
University of British Columbia (6)
New York University
National Tsing Hua University
University of California - San Diego
Western University (Ontario)
Simon Fraser University
Douglas College
University of Bonn
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Duke University Medical Center
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
STEMCELL 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
Amgen
TRI
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Director (2)
Consultant
Senior Manager, External R&D and Alliances
Postdoctoral Fellow
Manager
TV Producer
Senior Product Marketing Manager
Account Manager
Senior Associate Scientist
Scientist
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
This 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.
Career Options

Our graduates are well-prepared and highly competitive for the next step in their careers, whether in academia or in other sectors (e.g. biotechnology, health care, government, business, finance) where an in-depth knowledge of modern cell and developmental biology is required.

Alumni on Success

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$4,995.78$8,776.74
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
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.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
New registrations25332
Total enrolment3733313437

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 8 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 4.33 years and the maximum time is 7.00 years with an average of 5.91 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 23 September 2018].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Tuesday, 23 July 2019 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Michelle Minjung Kwon
Glucoregulatory Actions of Leptin in Rodent Models of Diabetes

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 - 12:30pm - 2510, Life Sciences Institute, 2350 Health Sciences Mall

Aarati Sriram
Intercellular Junctions and Tubulobulbar Complexes Between Sertoli Cells In Primary Culture and In Vivo

Research Supervisors

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)
  • Hammond, Geoffrey Lewis (Steroids in growth and development, reproductive health, nutrition)
  • 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 (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)
  • 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, Diabetes, Pancreatic beta-cell function and failure, Mitochondrial physiology, Cell calcium signalling, Cell stress signalling, Mechanisms of cell death, Autophagy)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Leslie Jing Chan
    "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." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Wilder Scott
    "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." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Sarah Jane Gignac
    "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." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Stephanie Ann Campbell
    "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." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Guang Gao
    "Dr. Gao examined the organization of intracellular organelle membranes at the nanoscale. He showed the mechanism for organizing the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) nanodomains and distinct types of membrane contacts between the ER and mitochondria. His studies may help to address the significance of membrane ultrastructure functioning in human disease." (November 2018)

Further Program Information

 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

January 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
04 February 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 October 2019
International Applicant Deadline
31 August 2019

May 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
31 May 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 November 2019
International Applicant Deadline
30 November 2019

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
30 September 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 April 2020
International Applicant Deadline
30 April 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.