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.
I chose UBC because it is a research-intensive institution that provides a stimulating academic environment where I can acquire and develop the skills necessary to achieve my career goals. I have always been attracted to the best global universities, and UBC being in the top 30 and in one of my favourite cities, Vancouver, really captured my interest.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
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.
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: 100
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 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
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.
CV, Official transcripts, three letters of reference, Official English exam scores (if required)
2) Meet Deadlines
January 2023 Intake
Application Open Date31 March 2022
May 2023 Intake
Application Open Date31 March 2022
September 2023 Intake
Application Open Date01 May 2022
3) Prepare Application
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.
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)
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.
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.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,767.18||$3,104.64|
|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)||$1,057.05 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,366.20 (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.
- 9 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 9 students was $8,811.
- 22 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 22 students was $19,079.
- 25 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 25 students was $8,032.
- 6 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 6 students was $25,556.
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.
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.
Matthews, Benjamin (Genomics; Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Zoology; Aedes aeygpti mosquitoes; Arboviral pathogens; Chikungunya; Comparative Physiology; Dengue fever; Genome of mosquitoes; Yellow fever; Zika)
Mayor, Thibault (Biochemistry; Genomics; Aging; Cell Biology; Neurodegenerative diseases; Proteasome; Protein Degradation; Protein Folding; Proteomics; Proteostasis; Ubiquitin; Yeast Genetics)
Measday, Vivien (Chromosome segregation in the budding yeast using molecular biology and genomic tools)
Morin, Gregg (Basic medicine and life sciences; Proteomics; mass spectrometry; RNA processing; Ribonucleoproteins; Splicing; Cancer; RNA sequencing)
Nislow, Corey (genomics and develops biotechnology tools to address both fundamental and applied biological questions; Parallel genome-wide chemical genomic screens; High throughput cell-based screens; Next Generation Sequencing)
Overall, Christopher Mark (Blood research, antiviral immunity)
Pavlidis, Paul (Basic medicine and life sciences; genomics; Bioinformatics; cellular and molecular neuroscience; Genetics; disorders of the nervous system)
Perrin, David (Bioorganic Chemistry, Combinatorial Chemistry Enzyme Mimics Antisense Therapies, Radiopharmaceuticals)
Piret, James (Biomedical engineering, regenerative medicine Cell-based therapies have the potential to provide improved treatments for major diseases such as cancer and diabetes)
Plotkin, Steven (Biophysics theory and computation )
Rieseberg, Loren (Bioinformatics; Genomics; Plant biology; adaptation; crops; invasive plants; plant evolutionary biology; speciation; weeds)
Robinson, Wendy (Other basic medicine and life sciences; Medical Genetics; Human Development; Epigenetics; miRNA; Preterm Birth; Placenta; Mosaicism; Fetal Growth; DNA methylation; Sex differences)
Ross, Colin (Genetic medicine; Genomics; Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences (except clinical aspects); Biomedical Technologies; Drug Metabolism; Gene Therapy; Gene-based therapeutics; Pharmacogenomics; Precision Medicine; Transgenic Model)
Rossi, Fabio (Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine blood, Stem cells, regeneration, gene therapy, control of cell fate)
Ryan, Katherine (drug molecules in use today are organic compounds isolated from organisms such as bacteria, plants, and fungi; understand how natural products are made.)
Schiebinger, Geoffrey (Genomics; Mathematics and statistics; Applied & Theoretical Statistics; Computational Genomics; data science; Genetics; Genome Sciences; Machine Learning; Measurement technologies; Models Inference and Algorithms; Single-cell RNA sequencing; Theory of Statistics)
Shakiba, Nika (Medical and biomedical engineering; Bioengineering; Cell competition; Cell engineering; Stem Cells; Synthetic biology)
Teves, Sheila (Biochemistry; Genomics; Epigenetics; Genetics; Genome Science; Molecular Epigenetics (MEG); molecular biology; Transcriptional memory and cellular identity in mouse embryonic stem cells)
Tokuriki, Nobuhiko (Experimental evolution of proteins and molecular networks.)
Tropini, Carolina (Immunology; Medical and biomedical engineering; Microbiology; Bacteria; Bacteriophages; Bioengineering; Bioinformatics; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Biophysics; Gut microbiota; Inflammatory bowel disease)
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)
Wasserman, Wyeth (Medical, health and life sciences; Medical and biomedical engineering; Creation of computational methods for the analysis of genome sequences (bioinformatics); Study of cis-regulatory elements controlling gene transcription; Applied analyses of genome sequences (genomics); Indigenous genomics)
Weng, Andrew (Molecular biology )
Withers, Stephen (Enzymes and Proteins; Blood Substitutes; Organic Molecules and Biomolecules; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Diabetes; Drug development; enzyme inhibition; carbohydrates; glycobiology; metagenomics; directed evolution)
|2018||During cancer development, sub-groups of tumour cells can accumulate genetic changes that make them resistant to treatment and lead to relapse. Dr. Zahn developed technologies to disentangle the mixture of cells and track how these sub-groups develop over time. This work will help to investigate new treatment choices to improve patient outcomes.|
|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.|
|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. 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.|
|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||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.|
|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.|
|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.|
Sample Thesis Submissions
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