Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)

Overview

Experimental Medicine is the study of the pathogenesis and treatment of disease. Modern experimental medicine represents a rapidly growing body of knowledge involving the determination of diseases processes and the development of appropriate therapies.

The Experimental Medicine Program is intended for individuals seeking a career in research. The Department of Medicine offers opportunities and facilities for advanced studies in Experimental medicine, leading toward the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. Members of the Department direct research programs in a wide range of basic and clinically relevant areas. There are a variety of special interest areas of national and international stature. Specialties within the Experimental Medicine Program include: Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Infectious Diseases, Medical Immunology, Medical Oncology, Molecular Biology, Nephrology, Neurology and Respiratory Medicine.

The principal emphasis of this graduate program is training in research. Success at this level is traditionally measured by the preparation and defense of a thesis. Course work is required of all students, based on the background of the candidate and the degree program. The work of each Ph.D. candidate will be supervised by a candidate’s Committee consisting of not fewer than three members. These may include faculty members from a department other than that in which the candidate is writing the thesis. 

 

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Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

Program Instructions

Applicants are not required to have a supervisor at the time of applying, but the application won't be reviewed until they secure a supervisor and all required paperwork is submitted.

1) Check Eligibility

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. 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.

English Language Test

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:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 96

Reading

22

Writing

22

Speaking

22

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

7.0

Writing

7.0

Speaking

7.0

Listening

7.0

Other Test Scores

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.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

For admission to the PhD program in Experimental Medicine, the student must hold a M.Sc. degree in life sciences, biology, zoology, biochemistry, or related disciplines.

2) Meet Deadlines

January 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 January 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2021
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2021
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 August 2021
Transcript Deadline: 31 August 2021
Referee Deadline: 31 August 2021

May 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2021
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2021
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 May 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 May 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 May 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 February 2022
Transcript Deadline: 28 February 2022
Referee Deadline: 28 February 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 January 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 August 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 August 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 August 2022

May 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2023
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2023
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2023
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2022

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

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.

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.

Supervision

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.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,732.53$3,043.77
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,197.59$9,131.31
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,052.34 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,126.20 (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.

Financial Support

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.

Program Funding Packages

Successful applicants who will start the Ph.D. program and who do not hold a major scholarship, will receive a minimum stipend of $22,000 per year from their supervisor.
 

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 66 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research/academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $27,768.
  • 6 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 6 students was $6,746.
  • 40 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 40 students was $20,015.
  • 64 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 64 students was $8,421.
  • 20 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 20 students was $22,633.

Study Period: Sep 2019 to Aug 2020 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

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.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

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.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

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.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

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.

Foreign government scholarships

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.

Working while studying

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.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

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.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

124 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 16 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 107 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 (30)
Stanford University (4)
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (2)
University of Toronto (2)
Universite de Montreal (2)
University of Alberta
Emory University
McGill University
University of Cambridge
China Medical University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
AstraZeneca (3)
Takeda Canada Inc. (2)
Vancouver Coastal Health (2)
STEMCELL Technologies (2)
Pfizer (2)
Provincial Health Services Authority (2)
Omniox Inc.
Vancouver General Hospital
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Epidemico
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Medical Science Liaison (4)
Postdoctoral Fellow (4)
Research Associate (3)
Senior Scientist (3)
Research Scientist (3)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2)
Epidemiologist (2)
Associate Research Scientist
Director of Business Development
Technology Specialist
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
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.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Medicine (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20202019201820172016
Applications2530283614
Offers815142310
New registrations714101510
Total enrolment116124122123126

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 76.19% based on 42 students admitted between 2007 - 2010. Based on 38 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 7.67 years with an average of 5.39 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 April 2021]. 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: 29 October 2020].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 - 10:00am

Lakshana Sreenivasan
Autocrine and Paracrine Signaling Contributes to Acquired Chemotherapeutic Resistance in Group 3 Medulloblastoma

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.

  • Garnis, Catherine (Cancer biology; Tumor progression; Oral premalignant lesions; Head and neck cancer; RNA biology, microRNAs; Alternative splicing; Biomarkers)
  • Gerrie, Alina (Clinical medicine; Lymphoid Cancer; Leukemia; genomics; Population-based outcomes; Cellular therapy; Quality of life; Survivorship)
  • Ghahary, Aziz (Cell transplantation, diabetes, scaffold, skin substitute, wound healing)
  • Gonzalez-Montaner, Julio Sergio (Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, development of antiretroviral therapies and management strategies)
  • Gregory-Evans, Cheryl (Tissue fusion during development, Aniridia, retinal therapeutics)
  • Gregory-Evans, Kevin (retina, stem cells, gene therapy, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt’s disease, Best’s disease, x-linked retinoschisis, electroretinography., Eye, novel molcular approaches in the treatment of retinal disease, cell-based therapeutics ofr age-related macular degenration and retinitis pigmentosa, molecular defects underlying retinal disease)
  • Grunau, Brian (Anaphylaxis and allergic reactions in the emergency department; Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, resuscitation and E-CPR; Pre-hospital care)
  • Hackett, Tillie-Louise (Molecular determinants of COPD, small airway obstruction, angiotensin signalling, defective airway epithelial differentiation in asthma, human lung cell repository)
  • Hameed, Morad (Trauma Surgery; Emergency General Surgery; Critical Care Medicine; Public Health)
  • Harrigan, Richard (Drug Resistance, Genotyping, Automated Sequencing, Drug Development, and Clinical Trials)
  • Harris, Kevin (Evidence to Innovation; Preventive Cardiology; Cardiovascular Outcomes; Interventional Pediatric Cardiology)
  • 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. )
  • Janssen, Patricia (Health sciences; Public and population health; Gestation / Parturition; health of marginalized women; Lifestyle Determinants and Health; maternal child health; mobile health for pregnancy and parenting; Perinatal Period; social determinants of health)
  • Jiang, Xiaoyan (Cancer drug development and therapeutics; Basic and translational leukemia research; Leukemic stem cell biology; Gene regulation; Drug resistance; Proteomics; Immunotherapy)
  • Kalia, Sunil (Skin Cancer; Optics and Photonics; Skin Disorders; Epidemiology; optics; photobiology; dermatoepidemiology; Cancer)
  • Karsan, Aly (Hematological tumours; Cancer molecular targets; Leukemia; Hematopoiesis; Genomics and epigenomics; Noncoding RNAs; Aging)
  • Kastrukoff, Lorne (MS; human immunology and multiple sclerosis particularly T-cell responses and most recently NK or natural killer cell responses)
  • Keown, Paul Anthony (immune response in transplantation and autoimmune disease, and ranges from molecular genetics to healthcare economics)
  • Kissoon, Niranjan (Sepsis and critical care)
  • Kitson, Clifford Neil (biological membranes that form the permeability barrier of the skin, and in how these properties may be altered in common and uncommon disorders of the skin)
  • Knight, Rodney (Social sciences; Sexualized use of substances; Substance-related harms; Sexual and Gender Minority Health; Health Equity)
  • Kobor, Michael (Biochemistry; Bioinformatics; Genetic medicine; Genomics; Chromatin Biology; Epigenetics; molecular biology; Social Epigenetics)
  • Kolind, Shannon (Medical physics; Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; brain; Imaging; MRI; medical physics; multiple sclerosis; myelin; Neurological Disease; spinal cord)
  • Kopp, Janel (Genomics; Modeling cancer; Pancreas; Pancreatic cancer; Pancreatic development)
  • Krahn, Andrew (management of cardiac arrhythmias; investigation of genetic causes of arrhythmias, causes of loss of consciousness and implantable arrhythmia device monitoring)

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Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2020 Dr. Samiea studied the role of Interleukin-10, an anti-inflammatory regulator, on immune and cancer cells. She found that its action is not limited to immune cells deactivation but it can also contribute to prostate cancer progression. Her findings will aid on the development of new therapies for inflammatory diseases and prostate cancer.
2020 Dr. Bulaeva developed a new model of acute myeloid leukemia by overexpressing a gene called MYC in normal human blood cells. Using this model, she found that these cells require signals also present during inflammation to initiate leukemia and behave normally in their absence, suggesting that inflammation may play a role in human leukemogenesis.
2020 Dr. Nackiewicz studied how immune cells called macrophages contribute to inflammation in insulin-producing islets in type 2 diabetes. She showed that macrophages could either induce or resolve islet inflammation. This work could aid in the design of therapies that may improve function of islet cells in diabetes.
2020 Dr. Ishikawa demonstrated that people make health decisions based on stereotypes of health conditions and diseases, and developed a new approach to risk communication in health. His findings advance current strategies to reduce unintentional child injuries and fatalities, and help to address vaccine hesitancy and other health misconceptions.
2020 Dr. Amenyogbe listened in on the conversation between gut microbes and the immune system in very young children. This revealed a complex and sophisticated information exchange that puts all social media platforms to shame. Now she is off to use the knowledge gained to improve crucial health outcomes.
2019 Dr. Maestre led the first human clinical study to provide evidence of respiratory and systemic adverse effects of phthalate inhalation in susceptible populations. Phthalates are chemicals linked to detrimental health effects, but their use remains unrestricted. This research can assist regulatory agencies and potentially influence policy.
2019 Dr. Yang studied epithelial repair processes that are important for lung health but defective in asthma. Her research identified novel roles for interleukin-13 receptors in normal epithelial repair and asthma disease biology. This knowledge will guide future development of new asthma therapies that stop lung damage and help patients breathe better.
2019 Dr. Jo investigated the impact of immune stimulation on the development and treatment of leukemia, the most common cancer diagnosed in young people. Her work has revealed potential limitations of immune-based therapies and how they might be overcome to improve clinical outcomes.
2019 Dr. Wu studied how immune cells in fat tissues change in obesity and how these changes contribute to the progression of type 2 diabetes. His study brought new insight to the development of future therapeutics to fight type 2 diabetes, and showed the key might lay in the prevention of the unfavorable changes in these immune cells in the fat.
2019 Dr. Nabai has developed a novel method for prevention of post-surgical skin fibrosis. She fabricated microspheres containing anti-fibrotic medication and showed that application of these microspheres into the surgical wound bed before closing the wound reduces the post-surgical fibrosis through controlled slow release of the anti-fibrotic medication.

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Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Information

Specialization

Experimental Medicine offers research opportunities in the following specialties: cardiology, cancer biology, dermatology, gastroenterology, hematology/oncology, infectious diseases, molecular medicine, nephrology, neurology, and respiratory medicine. All these fields can involve patients and/or experimental animal models.

Program Website

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-QB
 

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

January 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 January 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 October 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 August 2021

May 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 October 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 May 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 February 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 January 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 October 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 August 2022

May 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2023
International Applicant Deadline
15 October 2022
 
Supervisor Search
 

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