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

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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 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$112.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,767.18$3,104.64
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,301.54$9,313.92
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,057.05 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,366.20 (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, 59 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 $34,741.
  • 6 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 6 students was $8,708.
  • 44 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 44 students was $22,757.
  • 59 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 59 students was $8,268.
  • 16 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 16 students was $31,771.

Study Period: Sep 2020 to Aug 2021 - 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

 20212020201920182017
Applications3225302836
Offers218151423
New registrations147141015
Total enrolment102116124122123

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 77% based on 43 students admitted between 2008 - 2011. Based on 32 graduations between 2017 - 2020 the minimum time to completion is 2.33 years and the maximum time is 8.67 years with an average of 5.65 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: 7 April 2022]. 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: 19 October 2021].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Friday, 21 October 2022 - 9:00am

Haojun Huang
Prediction and Mechanisms of Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity: Roles of RARG and Cardioprotective Effects of SGLT2 Inhibition

Monday, 24 October 2022 - 1:00pm

Lin Mei
Hyaluronan Mediated Motility Receptor Regulates Daughter Cell Size Control Pathways During Mitosis

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.

  • 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)
  • Somasekharan, Syam (Cancer; Cell biology; Cell Biology and RNA Biology)
  • 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 (Basic medicine and life sciences; 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)
  • Towle, Angela (active involvement of patients and lay people from the community in the education of health professionals to advance understanding of the role patients can play in student learning and the long-term impact.)
  • Traboulsee, Tony (Neurology; Central nervous system; Biomedical signal processing; Machine learning; Imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; multiple sclerosis; 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; prodromes)
  • Tsang, Teresa (Epidemiology and pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation; application of advanced echocardiographic techniques for prediction of pre-clinical cardiovascular disease)
  • Turvey, Stuart (Immunology; Microbiology; Asthma; Immune System; Immunodeficiencies; Microbiome cohort studies; Precision Medicine; Primary Immune Deficiencies)
  • Underhill, Michael (Musculoskeletal diseases, transcription factors, growth, cytokines, retinoid signalling pathway in chondrogenesis, osteogenesis, phenotype)
  • Vallance, Bruce (Enteric bacterial pathogens, innate immunity, instestinal inflammation, host defense, inflammatory bowel disease, immunity in health and disease)
  • Van Eeden, Stephanus (Mechanisms of lung inflammation, particularly, lung inflammation caused by infection, cigarette smoking and air pollution)
  • Vila-Rodriguez, Fidel (Brain stimulation Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Theta-bust stimulation (TBS) Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) Depression Psychosis Schizophrenia )
  • Vu, Ly (Post-transcriptional and translational regulation during normal and malignant hematopoiesis)
  • Walley, Keith (Organ failure during sepsis)
  • Wang, Yu Tian (Learning and memory, stroke )
  • Warburton, Darren (cardiovascular physiology, clinical exercise rehabilitation, interactive video games, , Sport cardiology and clinical exercise rehabilitation, elite athletic performance, childhood health, treatments for patients with chronic disease, cardiac rehabilitation)
  • West, Christopher (Systems physiology; Animal physiology, circulation; Integrative physiology; Spinal cord injury; Animal models)
  • Wiseman, Sam Michael (Surgical oncology, endocrine surgeyr, general surgery, clinic/translational research, education/teaching)

Pages

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
2019 Dr. Marchant studied the immune system of premature babies. Examining the function and development of immune cells, her work characterizes the maturation of the infant's immune response and explains their high susceptibility to infections. Her research helps to develop interventions to prevent life-threatening infections in the premature infant.
2019 Dr. Kozicky studied the mechanism of action of the widely used drug intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg). She found that IVIg causes immune cells called macrophages to become anti-inflammatory and produce the cytokine IL-10.This knowledge will help in using IVIg more effectively and designing replacement therapies, as IVIg is a limited blood product.
2019 Dr. Genga investigated how lipids and genetic mutations associated with lipid metabolism influence the prognosis of patients with sepsis, such as mortality and re-hospitalizations. This research may lead to the discovery of new promising biomarkers that can identify septic patients at high risk of worse outcomes.
2019 Dr. Bisher's research demonstrated that intermittent hypoxia, a key pathological feature of sleep apnea, causes structural and functional renal injury in mice. His data also showed that the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid can prevent this injury. These studies add to our information on the mechanisms of kidney injury in sleep apnea.
2018 Dr. Ben-Eltriki explored the benefits of combining a ginseng-based compound with vitamin D as an anticancer strategy to treat advanced prostate cancer patients. This combination demonstrated both synergy and sensitization of anticancer activities over using either compound alone, which could yield superior therapeutic effects for cancer patients.
2018 Dr. Raven developed an animal model for evaluating experimental therapeutics that target bladder cancer. Using this model, he found that an embryonic cell pathway, Sonic Hedgehog, is activated in these cancers and that it can be blocked to reduce tumor growth. This research provides proof of principle for a new bladder cancer treatment.
2018 Dr. Hoeppli studied how Regulatory T cells, a type of white blood cell, could be used like a drug to prevent graft rejection after organ transplantation. She found that these cells can be modified during cell culture to increase their effectiveness as a drug. Her research contributes towards improving the success of organ transplantation.
2018 Dr. Moore developed prediction equations that can be used by clinicians and researchers to estimate maturational status in children and youth. She applied these equations to a young adult cohort and found that later maturity was not negatively associated with bone mass, density, structure or strength.
2018 Dr. Dubland studied smooth muscle cell foam cell formation in atherosclerosis. He found that a deficiency in lysosomal acid lipase, a key enzyme used to break down fats, was implicated in cholesterol accumulation in these cells. These results provide new insights into lipid build up in atherosclerosis and identify a new potential therapeutic target.
2018 Dr. Sommerfeld investigated how two specific protein complexes regulate the cell division process in cervical cancer cells. His studies identified novel functions for these protein complexes, and showed how loss of their activities may contribute to uncontrolled cell division and cancer.

Pages

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.
 

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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