Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD)

Overview

The UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine offers a remarkable opportunity to study with numerous world renowned faculty and research programs. We are recognized as national and international leaders in both basic and clinical research. Experimental Pathology refers to research in any area of biomedical investigation that is relevant to human disease. Since it is necessary to understand the normal working of the system to fully define the changes associated with disease, the areas represented at UBC cover a wide range of fields and approaches. Work at all levels of biological organization is involved, from protein to lipoprotein biochemistry and molecular biology through cell and tumour biology, animal models for studies on pulmonary and cardiovascular pathophysiology and viral and bacterial infection processes, to clinical studies on human population and the AIDS epidemic.

We train students with varied backgrounds in science and medicine including: biochemistry, physiology, cell biology and microbiology/immunology.

We are committed to effective, cutting-edge, ethical research. The results of which will reach beyond the academic realm to effect positive change in the lives of our families, communities and, ultimately, our world.

 

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Program Enquiries

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Admission Information & Requirements

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

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

6.5

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 required by some applicants. Please check the program website.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 December 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 02 August 2021
Transcript Deadline: 10 August 2021
Referee Deadline: 10 August 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 05 April 2021
Transcript Deadline: 13 April 2021
Referee Deadline: 13 April 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 Pathology and Laboratory 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

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $24,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 25 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 $31,364.
  • 5 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 5 students was $11,020.
  • 16 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 16 students was $24,556.
  • 24 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 24 students was $8,379.
  • 7 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 7 students was $19,286.

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

85 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 8 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 76 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 (15)
McGill University (2)
University of Oslo
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Langara College
Queensland Medical Research Institute
University Hospital of Geneva
Gulbenkian Institute of Science
University of North Dakota
Harvard University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
STEMCELL Technologies (2)
BC Centre for Disease Control (2)
NO
Dorsey & Whitney
Network Immunology Inc.
PROOF Centre of Excellence
Panagin Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Tekmire Pharmaceutical Corporation
Therapeutic Effectiveness and Policy Bureau
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Scientist (5)
Senior Scientist (3)
Postdoctoral Fellow (2)
Medical Science Liaison (2)
Research Scientist (2)
Research Associate (2)
Research Specialist
Science Director
Researcher, Pathologist
Biomarker Program Manager
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.
Career Options

An Experimental Pathology degree opens up a world of opportunities. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of our program, graduates are working on research all over the world that is personalized to their interests. Our alumni have gone on to become national and international opinion leaders, valued staff researchers and administrators in academia or the biotechnology industry, studied clinical medicine or dived into the venture capital and equities domain.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory 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
Applications553610
Offers2 134
New registrations2 134
Total enrolment3635414647

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 100% based on 14 students admitted between 2007 - 2010. Based on 13 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 4.33 years and the maximum time is 7.00 years with an average of 5.47 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].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Friday, 16 April 2021 - 9:30am

Kedong Chris Wang
Investigating the Role of Oncofetal Chondroitin Sulfate in Cancer Biology and Optimizing rVAR2 Technology for Cancer

Tuesday, 11 May 2021 - 12:30pm

Yasir Mohamud
Coxsackievirus B3 Subversion of the Autophagy Pathway

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.

  • Allard, Michael (Control of energy metabolism in normal and pathologic hearts; Physiologic and Pathologic Cardiac hypertrophy; Contribution of Metabolism to myocardial dysfunction after ischemia and reperfusion, especially in the setting of cardiac hypertrophy; Cardiovascular Pathology)
  • Aparicio, Samuel (Breast cancer, genome sequencing )
  • Bally, Marcel Bertran (Pancreas centre)
  • Bennewith, Kevin (Oncology; Molecular Pathology & Cell Biology; Cancer research; Solid tumour microenvironment; Hypoxia; Metastasis research; Pre-metastatic niche; Targeting hypoxic tumour cells in therapy; Radiation biology)
  • Brooks, Donald (microgravity research (space station, etc); diagnostic testing device; Centre for Blood Research; biomaterials, Organic chem, blood research)
  • Churg, Andrew (Lung disease)
  • Cimolai, Nevio (Infection control, ethics in hospital administration and public medical institutions)
  • Cote, Helene (HIV Infection, blood research, infectious diseases)
  • Daugaard, Mads (Clinical oncology; Pathology (except oral pathology); Cancer Diagnosis and Detection; Cancer biology; Cancer diagnostics; Cancer therapy; Cell Signaling and Cancer; Cell Therapy of Cancer; Chemotherapy; DNA damage response pathways; glycobiology; Immunotherapy; Radiotherapy; Stress and Cancer; Stress signalling in cancer)
  • Devine, Dana Virginia (Biochemistry, blood regulation, platelet biology)
  • Devlin, Angela (Human nutrition and dietetics; Human reproduction and development sciences; Pathology (except oral pathology); cardiovascular disease; Children; developmental programming; Diabetes; Obesity)
  • Granville, David (Autoimmunity; Medical molecular engineering of nucleic acids and proteins; Proteases; Granzymes; Extracellular matrix; Chronic inflammation; Aging; Disease models; Autoimmune disease; Skin; Vascular biology)
  • Huntsman, David (Corporate Law; Contracts; Competition Law; legal history)
  • Karsan, Aly (Hematological tumours; Cancer molecular targets; Leukemia; Hematopoiesis; Genomics and epigenomics; Noncoding RNAs; Aging)
  • Kizhakkedathu, Jayachandran (Polymers; Biomaterials; Blood Coagulation; Macromolecular Therapeutics; Iron Chelators; Thrombosis; Cell-surface Engineering; Proteomics Tools; Implants and Medical Devices)
  • Klein Geltink, Ramon (Pathology (except oral pathology); Metabolism; Immunotherapy; Cell Signaling and Infectious and Immune Diseases; Auto-Immune Diseases; Cell Therapy of Cancer; Adoptive cellular therapy; Immunometabolism; T cell function)
  • Krajden, Mel (Infectious diseases, cancer hepatitis prevention and care, human papillomavirus HPV, HIV and hepatitis C virus)
  • Krystal, Gerald (Blood research, immunology, inflammation, effect of diet on cancer )
  • Lam, Wan (Cancer progression; Genome biology; Epigenetics; Molecular Systems Biology; Lung Cancer; Technology Development)
  • Lan, James (Kidneys and Urinary System; Histocompatibility; Immunogenetics)
  • Lange, Philipp (Bioinformatics; Genomics; Pathology (except oral pathology); Cell Signaling and Cancer; mass spectrometry; pediatric cancer; personalized medicine; post translational protein modification; Proteomics)
  • Laule, Cornelia (Medical physics; Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Pathology (except oral pathology); Auto-Immune Diseases; brain; Central Nervous System Inflammatory Diseases; Cerebral Atrophy; image analysis; Imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; multiple sclerosis; myelin; Nervous System Development; Neurodegenerative diseases; Neurological diseases; Neuronal Systems; pain; Pathology; Schizophrenia; Spinal Cord Diseases; spinal cord; Spinal cord injury)
  • Ling, Victor (Resistance to anticancer drugs, glycoprotein, chemotherapy, proteins )
  • Lockwood, William (Cancer; Genetics; genomics; Proteomics; Lung cancer; drug discovery; Oncogene signaling; Immune response)
  • Luo, Honglin (Pathology (except oral pathology); Viral Infections; Cardiomyopathy; Lung cancer; Central Nervous System Inflammatory Diseases; Enteroviral infection and neurodegeneration; Oncolytic virus for lung cancer therapy; Protein quality control in cardiac remodeling; RNA viruses)

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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. Boonpattrawong studied the impact of maternal obesity and exercise during pregnancy on the long-term health of the offspring using a mouse model. She discovered that maternal exercise improved the cardiometabolic health of the offspring and involved changes in cell-specific gene expression and DNA methylation patterns.
2020 Dr. Wadsworth found that unstable blood flow in solid tumours provides tumour cells with resistance to radiation therapy. His findings include that certain anti-hypertension drugs can be re-purposed to alter tumour development, eliminate these therapy resistant cells, and improve effectiveness of radiation therapy.
2020 Dr. Kumar examined the genetic mechanisms involved in chemotherapy resistance in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. His research improves our understanding on how treatment resistance occurs and allow for the development of counteractive therapeutic alternatives.
2020 Dr. Hsieh studied how our immune system weakens with age using blood samples from people living with HIV, who appear to age faster than the general population. He found that HIV affects some cells more than others, and his research suggests that treating viruses that are even more common than HIV may slow aging for the majority of people.
2020 Dr. Mei developed a universal coating that could prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections. With the application of the new coating, interactions between the catheters and urine components can be reduced. This study improves the safety and performance of medical devices, thus improving patients' health.
2020 Dr. Leung studied the role of proline isomerase Pin1 in prostate cancer. His research describes the interaction of Pin1 with the androgen receptor N-terminal domain and how targeting both of these proteins could reduce tumour growth. These findings enhance our understanding of the androgen receptor and aid in the development of novel therapies.
2020 Dr. Button investigated the role of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), particles in the blood made of fats and proteins, in protecting brain blood vessels in Alzheimer's disease. Her work shows that raising the levels of functional HDL through drugs or lifestyle changes may protect against brain blood vessel changes and prevent Alzheimer's disease.
2020 Dr. Ghaedi's research sought to clarify the developmental pathways and complexity of an immune cell population in the lung called type 2 innate lymphoid cells. Her work will help to better understand how these cells develop and regulate allergic diseases.
2019 Dr. Burugu characterized the immune system in the tissues of breast cancer patients. Using conventional and novel techniques, she found the presence of immune cells that can be reactivated to eliminate cancer cells. Her work can inform the prioritization and design of immunotherapy clinical trials for breast cancer patients.
2019 Too much blood clotting is a prevalent cause of death worldwide. Dr. Lin explored common virus infection as a risk factor. He found that a normal clotting protein is incorporated into several viruses and may contribute to heart disease and stroke. Since this clotting factor can enhance infection, new antiviral strategies are on the horizon.

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Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Information

Experimental Pathology refers to research in any area of biomedical investigation that is relevant to human disease. Since it is necessary to understand the normal working of the system to fully define the changes associated with disease, the areas represented at UBC cover a wide range of fields and approaches. Work at all levels of biological organization is involved, from protein to lipoprotein biochemistry and molecular biology through cell and tumour biology, animal models for studies on pulmonary and cardiovascular pathophysiology and viral and bacterial infection processes, to clinical studies on human population and the AIDS epidemic.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-TH
 

Apply Now

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

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 December 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
02 August 2021
International Applicant Deadline
05 April 2021
 
Supervisor Search
 

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