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

Meet a Representative

Virtual Office Hours

Date: Thursday, 26 November 2020
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Office for this online session. They'll be providing admissions advice and answering your questions. They'll also be joined by some of our Graduate Student Ambassadors to talk about graduate student life at UBC.

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

May 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2020
Transcript Deadline: 31 October 2020
Referee Deadline: 31 October 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 May 2021
Transcript Deadline: 31 May 2021
Referee Deadline: 31 May 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 February 2021
Transcript Deadline: 28 February 2021
Referee Deadline: 28 February 2021

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

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$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
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)
* 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 $18,000 per year from their supervisor.
 

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

 20192018201720162015
Applications3028361416
Offers1514231014
New registrations1410151012
Total enrolment124122123126138

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: 10 March 2020]. 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].

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.

  • Sanatani, Shubhayan (Arrhythmia; Sudden death, ion channelopathies, supraventricular tachycardia, autonomic nervous system)
  • Sandford, Andrew (genetic basis of asthma and has extended his studies to include the genetics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and peanut allergy as well as the genetic basis of pulmonary disease severity in cystic fibrosis; potential effects on gene function of genetic variants associated with these disease outcomes)
  • Sawatzky, Bonita (Spinal Cord Diseases; Mobility; Outcome measures; biomechanics; assistive devices; rare disease)
  • Schuetz, Christian (Social and Cultural Psychiatry; Psychology - Biological Aspects; Addiction, Cognitive Control, Treatment)
  • Scott, Alexander (Musculoskeletal Lesions and Repair; musculoskeletal; sports medicine; physiotherapy; physical therapy; orthopaedics)
  • Seow, Chun Yong (Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Asthma; Muscle; Respiratory System; Physiology; Airway smooth muscle; Contraction mechanism)
  • Shadgan, Babak (Medical biotechnology diagnostics (including biosensors); Orthopedics; Clinical Biophotonics; Sports & Exercise Medicine; Musculoskeletal Medicine; Wearable & Implantable Biosensors)
  • Shaw, Christopher (Paralympics)
  • Sims Gould, Joan (Aging Process; Participatory research; Quality of Life and Aging; Health Prevention; Aging; community based participatory research; health and mobility; home care; prevention; built and social environments; implementation sciencei)
  • Sin, Donald (CODP (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease))
  • Skarsgard, Erik (Fetal surgery, Chest wall disorders in children, birth defects, neonatal surgical outcomes, perinatal networks, prenatal diagnosis and intrauerine surgery)
  • Sly, Laura (Childhood Diseases; Macrophages; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Inflammation; Innate immune responses )
  • Snutch, Terrance Preston (Molecular and genetic analysis of the nervous system)
  • So, Alan (study of development of novel therapeutics for bladder cancer and determination of the functional role of GLI1/2 in the progression of prostate cancer to its lethal stage of androgen independence; discovery and development of novel agents to treat bladder cancer as well as development of the mechanisms of treatment resistance in renal cell carcinoma.)
  • Socias, Maria (Infectious disease epidemiology; Immunology of Infectious Diseases; HIV & Hepatitic C care; HIV Immunology; HIV; Tuberculosis; Pharmacology; HIV Prevention; T Lymphocytes; Infection; Tropical Diseases; Vulnerable populations; Gender/sexual minorities; Sex workers; Opioid use disorder)
  • Sorensen, Poul (Childhood cancer cells, genomic science )
  • Steiner, Theodore (Cell Signaling and Infectious and Immune Diseases; Cell Therapy of Infectious and Immune Diseases; Gastrointestinal Pathologies; Infectious Diseases; intestinal immunology; Innate immunity; gastrointestinal infections)
  • Stockler-Ipsiroglu, Sylvia (Diabetes, Nutrition & Metabolism (Nutrition & Metabolism), pathophysiology and treatment of neurometabolic disorders, ceberal creatine deficiency syndromes, cerebral glucose dificiency syndromes, epilepsy, mental retardation)
  • Stoessl, A Jonathan (Parkinson's disease)
  • Stothers, Lynn (neurourology; urinary tract infection; urodynamics; urology )
  • Tang, Tricia (Diabetes; Behavioral and Psychosocial Issues associated with Diabetes Self-management.)
  • Tebbutt, Scott (Genomics and Proteomics; Asthma; Heart Transplantation; Complex Trait Genetics; Fungal Infections; Occupational Lung Diseases; Dual organism molecular interaction (fungal spores & human airway epithelium); Early and late reactions in allergic asthma and rhinitis; Diagnostics of acute heart rejection; Neonatal vaccine immunogenicity; Systems biology, biomarkers & bioinformatics)
  • Ti, Lianping (Epidemiology; Community Health / Public Health; Artificial Intelligence; Drug Abuse; Health Policies; Substance Use; Harm reduction; Public health; Health Services; Administrative data; data science)
  • Traboulsee, Anthony (Multiple Sclerosis; Imaging; multiple sclerosis; magnetic resonance imaging; neuromyelitls optica (NMO))
  • Tremlett, Helen (Epidemiology (except nutritional and veterinary epidemiology); multiple sclerosis; Neuroepidemiology; Pharmacoepidemiology; prodrome,; Drug safety and effectiveness; Pharmacogenomics; comorbidities; health administrative data; Gut microbiome)

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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
2017 Dr. Chen's work focused on understanding the role of a protein called HMMR in cancer cell division. She demonstrated that HMMR integrates structural and biochemical pathways to ensure the fidelity of cell division. These findings contribute to a better understanding of cancer cell biology and may assist the design of next-generation anti-tumor drugs.
2017 Dr. Lai investigated an acute myeloid leukemia model to identify and characterise key regulators of leukemia. She determined regions of an oncogene responsible for leukemic initiation, growth and drug resistance, and identified a new gene critical to these properties. Her work provides new insight into leukemia and potential treatment targets.
2017 Dr. Tam's research examined the molecular mechanisms governing the progression of prostate cancer. His contributions to this field have shed light on some of the driving forces behind the disease and will help inspire novel therapeutics for those suffering from it.
2017 Dr. Liu studied how integrin cell adhesion receptors can modulate chemotherapeutic resistance in pediatric leukemia. He found that a common peptide motif within this protein group can sufficiently promote drug resistance. This knowledge can facilitate the design of therapeutics to increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment.
2017 Dr. Perrotta examined athlete monitoring and performance enhancing techniques that focused on the cardiovascular system. This research will assist Canadian National Sporting organisations in their pursuit for Olympic success.
2017 Virotherapy uses biotechnology to reprogram viruses enabling them to treat diseases. Dr. Delwar's doctoral studies focused on anticancer virotherapy to treat brain tumours. His research revealed different strategies to enhance the therapeutic potential of a herpes virus-based, anti-tumour therapy.
2017 Dr. Salimi Elizei investigated the anti-inflammatory role of the tryptophan degrading enzyme (IDO) and downstream metabolites on T Helper 17 cells, which have been connected to inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. She subsequently showed that IDO cell therapy improved the disease condition in psoriasis-like dermatitis.
2016 Dr. Tang identified an independent diagnostic marker (gene CD82) for cutaneous human melanoma. He also discovered a novel automatic regulator of this marker on melanoma cell migration, invasion, and the formation of blood vessels. This work will lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies against malignant melanoma.
2016 Dr. Lin studied novel treatment options for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients. He found that combined inhibition of two enzymes is more effective in killing CML cells than single inhibition is. He also identified novel RNA molecules that can act as therapeutic agents and as biomarkers to predict patient response to current therapy.
2016 Dr. Axerio-Cilies completed his doctoral studies in experimental medicine. He identified a new mechanism to protect the brain from injury caused by stroke or ischemic damage which is caused by restricted blood flow. He has also found a way to enhance this cell survival mechanism to stop cell death that occurs after an ischemic stroke.

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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.
 

May 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 October 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 May 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 February 2021

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
 
Supervisor Search
 

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