Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
The Genome Science and Technology graduate program is a trans-disciplinary program that combines genomic research with leading-edge technology development in genome sciences for students pursing an M.Sc. or Ph.D. This program is intended to accommodate the diverse background of students and the broad nature of genomic research in human, animal, plant, microbes, and viruses.
- Generate a culture of innovation and discovery by exposing trainees at all levels to important and timely scientific problems being addressed using emerging technologies.
- Enable researchers to effectively work at the nexus of biology, engineering, and physical sciences by providing a unified training program including joint seminars, cross-disciplinary rotations, and hands-on training in new technology and methodology.
- Provide enriching professional development programs to assist the transition of trainees into both the academic and industrial workforces.
- Foster close interactions, collaborations, and intellectual exchange with other laboratories nationally and internationally.
Our goal is to be among the top 10 graduate programs in genome sciences & technology in North America.
What makes the program unique?
The Ph.D. program in Genome Science and Technology (GSAT) incorporates an innovative rotation program that allows students to access multiple highly skilled research faculty during their graduate program. These rotation opportunities allow student to learn the latest advances in genomic sciences and high through-put technologies. Rotations also allow valuable relationships to form for future collaborative opportunities.
The GSAT program has collaborative associations with both the Centre for High Through-put Technology and the Michael Smith Laboratories. Faculty members associated with the program have diverse backgrounds in genomics and proteomics, bio-engineering, systems biology, chemical biology,device and instrumentation development, and engineering.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
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. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve 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:
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:
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.
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 Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
CV, Official transcripts, three letters of reference, Official English exam scores (if required)
Prior degree requirements
Applicants must have a Life-Sciences degree, with significant experience in a quantitative science OR a Computer Science/Math/Engineering/Physics degree with significant experience in Life Sciences. Although work experience may be taken into consideration if the degree is outside these areas.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
Systems biology, Genomics and proteomics, Chemical biology, Bioengineering, Device and instrumentation development, Computational biology
Students who have been selected for the GSAT rotation scholarship will have the opportunity to rotate through three GSAT-Faculty laboratories before they make the final decision on their thesis supervisor.
GSAT faculty are spread throughout the UBC campus, with most occupying the Michael Smith Laboratories building. A small number of GSAT faculty may reside off-campus at the BC Cancer Research Centre or hospital research labs and Institutions.
Students who are selected for the GSAT rotation scholarship will not need to secure a supervisor before they are enrolled in the program. All other students must secure a supervisor before they can be admitted into the program. As well, they must meet the minimum admission requirements set out by Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies at UBC.
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 2021 Intake
Application Open Date25 May 2020
May 2021 Intake
Application Open Date25 May 2020
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date25 May 2020
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)|
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.
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
All students accepted by a faculty member and enrolled in the program will be paid a minimum stipend of $24,300/year. Students who have been selected for the GSAT rotation scholarships will also have their tuition paid for the first two years of study.
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 and Research Assistantships
Student service appointments are intended to help qualified graduate students meet the cost of their studies at the University. Student appointments may involve part-time duties in teaching, research, or other academic activities.
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.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Haynes, Charles (Protein purification, recombinant proteins, molecular thermodynamics, biocompatible polymers)
Hieter, Philip (Molecular biology of eukaryotic chromosome transmission )
Hirst, Martin (Carcinogenesis, Leukemia, Cellular Differentiation, Bioinformatics, Genomics, Molecular Genetics, Epigenomics)
Holt, Robert (Immunogenetics, Metagenomics - Infectious agents in Cancer, Cancer Genomes, Neurobiology, DNA Sequencing)
Hoodless, Pamela (Embryonic Development, Genomics, Heart Valve / Valvular Diseases, Liver, Stem Cells and Organogenesis, Developmental Genetics, Embryology, transcriptional regulation, Epigenetics, Heart valve formation, Liver development)
Huan, Tao (Metabolic measurements, Metabolomics, Cellular Metabolism)
Huntsman, David (hereditary cancer, molecular pathology, cancer biomarkers, Pancreas centre)
Jefferies, Wilfred Arthur (Iron transport molecules)
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)
Jones, Steven J (Bioinformatics, genome science, mutations, cancer progression)
Karsan, Aly (Myelodysplatic syndromes, myeloid malignancies, innate immune signaling in vascular hematopoietic function, genomics for clinical diagnostics)
Kastrup, Christian (drug delivery, coagulation, biomaterials, atherosclerosis, in-vivo imaging, microfluidics )
Kieffer, Tim (Diabetes)
Kobor, Michael (Epigenetics, Social Epigenetics, molecular biology, Chromatin Biology)
Kopp, Janel (Pancreas, Pancreatic cancer, Pancreatic development, Modeling cancer)
Korthauer, Keegan (Statistical genomics, Epigenomics, Single-cell analysis)
Lange, Philipp (Cell Signaling and Cancer, Bioinformatics, Proteomics, pediatric cancer, post translational protein modification, personalized medicine, mass spectrometry)
Li, Xin (Molecules in plants, plants defence against pathogen infection, plant genes)
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)
Marra, Marco (Genomics, Bioinformatics, Molecular Genetics, Cancer Genetics, Genes, Genetic Mapping, Cancer biology, Epigenomics, Genetics)
Marziali, Andre (Teaching methods, pedagogy, Robotics in education, Nanotechnology, Engineering Physics, Genomics, Biophysics, Genomics Technologies)
Mayor, Thibault (Proteostasis, Protein Degradation, Protein Folding, Proteomics, Ubiquitin, Proteasome, Neurodegenerative diseases, Aging, Cell Biology, Yeast Genetics, Biochemistry)
McIntosh, Lawrence (Protein structure-dynamics-function, Regulation of gene expression, Signal transduction, Cancer, Enzyme mechanisms)
Measday, Vivien (Chromosome segregation in the budding yeast using molecular biology and genomic tools)
|2018||In order to produce the proteins needed for cellular processes, the genetic information encoded in our DNA must be carefully read by molecules called transcription factors. Dr. Perez-Borrajero investigated how two of these molecules carry out their functions. Her findings help explain the different mechanisms used to interpret our genetic information correctly.|
|2018||Dr. Roach explored specialized metabolite biosynthesis in two non-model plant systems. In the flower, Crocosmia, he explored the biosynthetic genes of a new potential diabetes therapeutic. In the tree, Sitka spruce, he explored the inherent plasticity and evolution of a family of terpene synthases associated with defense against pests.|
|2018||Dr. Steif developed state of the art approaches to detect changes in the genomes of individual cancer cells. She then used these methods to decipher how distinct populations of cancer cells evolve over time. These approaches will enable future studies that examine how tumours respond to treatment and what leads to cancer relapses in patients.|
|2018||Dr. VanInsberghe developed microfluidic methods to measure the expression of microRNAs, an important class of regulatory molecule, in single cells. He subsequently applied this technology to measure microRNA expression in the blood development system, helping to refine the model for how these cells create the different blood cell types.|
|2017||How do changes to protein quality control networks perturb proteostasis - a process required for cell viability? To address this question Dr. Comyn established a flow cytometry based screen to identify factors involved in proteostasis. This work provides a valuable resource for future studies of protein quality control and protein stability.|
|2017||Dr. Baier investigated the evolutionary divergence of enzyme functions. He revealed that many enzymes have an intrinsic evolutionary potential that is shaped by environmental and biophysical constraints. His research provides insight into the molecular basis of adaptation and will help with the design and engineering of proteins with desired properties.|
|2017||Dr. Mewis developed a technique for the identification of bacterial enzymes capable of degrading plant matter. He used it to study the order in which wood is degraded as it moves through the digestive tract of the beaver. The results allowed for a new sub-classification system for these enzymes, which will help to improve biofuel technologies.|
|2017||Dr. Mehr developed screening technologies to search the human gut for sugar-modifying enzymes. He discovered numerous enzymes capable of building or breaking down complex biochemicals. This included the discovery of an enzyme capable of converting the blood type A antigen into blood type O, rendering it as universally donatable blood.|
|2016||The emergence of personalized medicine, due to advances in genomics and proteomics, has created a clinical demand for increasingly specific diagnostic testing. Dr. Lund developed and validated 2 such tests, aimed at specific forms of both leukemia and lung cancer. This unique approach has the potential to directly impact cancer diagnostics.|
|2016||Microfluidic technology is transforming processes in molecular biology. Dr. White developed microfluidic devices to measure RNA, and applied this technology to examine cell-to-cell variability in a variety of tissues. This work contributes to our understanding of gene expression, which has application in both research and clinical settings.|
Sample Thesis Submissions
Further Program Information
Genome Science and Technology combines training in genomics, with intensive training in new leading-edge genome science technologies, such as high-throughput techniques that acquire information from DNA sequence (genomics), protein expression and interactions (proteomics), and gene expression patterns (transcriptomics) to exploit information for a better understanding of biology.
- systems biology
- genomics and proteomics
- chemical biology
- device and instrumentation development
- computational biology