Doctor of Philosophy in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (PhD)
The goal of the Graduate Program in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences is to provide students with a broad knowledge of mammalian reproductive and developmental biology, as well as with in depth expertise in at least one area of research, including reproductive and molecular endocrinology, immunology of reproduction, maternal adaptations to pregnancy, women's mental health, fertilization and early embryonic development, perinatal metabolism, fetal/neonatal physiology and pathophysiology and perinatal; epidemiology.
The PhD program can involve course work, but this is not always the case. It does, however involve a comprehensive examination and thesis based research which produces new research findings.
The main research activities take place in the BC Women's Hospital, the main obstetrics hospital in Vancouver and in the adjacent B.C. Research Institute for Children's and Women's Health. In addition, research is carried out on the main University campus, at Vancouver General Hospital and St. Paul's Hospital. All sites possess modern, well equipped laboratories for basic science research. In addition, there are facilities for conducting research on human subjects and for clinical and epidemiologic research.
What makes the program unique?
The RDS program is the only graduate program in Canada that is based in a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. RDS students thus have the opportunity to interact with both basic science and clinical research faculty, which can lead to the formulation of research projects that address important clinical issues in women (e.g. ovarian cancer, preeclampsia). Moreover, the location of the department within the teaching hospitals in Vancouver facilitates the collection of human samples (e.g. placental or ovarian tissue, sperm and testes tissue) that can be used in thesis research projects.
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The main highlight of our program is the Department Annual Research Day, in which, graduate students, resident, postdoctoral fellows and visiting graduate students are welcome to present poster or oral presentations and there is a an award for best poster and oral presentation.
Our research is mainly focused on cancer and possible treatment/cure of the disease.
The Learning Commons Library of UBC located at the Shaughnessy Hospital is a great place for students to study and the computer lab is also available for additional training. Teleconference/videoconference and other new technologies are available to students for their annual committee meetings, presentations etc.
Candidates are advised to first identify a potential supervisor as this makes their application stronger to be accepted.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
Prior degree requirements
A MSc degree is required to purse the PhD degree.
Previous laboratory experience is an asset for the application.
The students in our program have been successful for the Vanier award, CIHR doctoral awards, NSERC and affiliated awards. Students who do not have external awards are paid a graduate research assistant stipend from the supervisor's grant in the amount of $20,000 per annum.
20 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 13 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
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 EducationUniversity of British Columbia (2)
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Chungnam National University
University of Kentucky
University of Texas
Kyung Hee University
University of Chicago
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationBC Cancer Agency (2)
Izumi Municipal Hospital
National Cancer Centre Singapore
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationPostdoctoral Fellow
Attending Chief Physician
Senior Research Fellow
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese 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.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,600.60||$2,811.98|
|Tuition per year||$4,801.80||$8,435.94|
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$923.38 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,884.10 (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. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Completion Rates & Times
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.
Bayrampour Basmenj, Hamideh (Maternal Mental Health, Pregnancy Outcomes, Perinatal Anxiety)
Beristain, Alexander Guillermo (Healthy Starts; cellular and molecular processes that direct trophoblast cell biology in early placental development; Examining the A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase (ADAM) family in trophoblast biology; Examining the effects of obesity-associated inflammation on the maternal-fetal interface; Identifying gene expression differences in subpopulations of trophoblasts in normal and pathological pregnancies )
Brotto, Lori (Reproductive & Developmental Science Sexual medicine)
Cerri, Ronaldo (discover and develop solutions to fertility issues that affect dairy and beef cattle; effects of inflammation and health disorders on the cross-communication between the uterus and the embryo)
Devlin, Angela (obesity, children, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, developmental programming)
Dong, Xuesen (understand how steroid receptors regulate gene expression and apply this knowledge to treating patients with prostate cancer and premature labour)
Elango, Rajavel (Protein Nutrition, Maternal-Fetal Nutrition, Childhood Malnutrition, Amino Acid Metabolism, Human Nutrition )
Gilks, Cyril Blake (Pancreas centre)
Hammond, Geoffrey Lewis (Steroids in growth and development, reproductive health, nutrition)
Hanley, Gillian (socioeconomic status as a predictor of maternal mental health prenatally, use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and infant outcomes.)
Hutcheon, Jennifer (Perinatal epidemiology ; Perinatal research methods; Fetal growth restriction; Severe maternal morbidity; Improving the reference charts used to assess fetal growth and maternal weight gain in pregnancy; Evaluating the impact of obstetrical health care policies on maternal and infant health; Developing clinical prediction models for the identification of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes)
Joseph, K.S. (Pregnancy complications, preterm birth, fetal growth, infant mortality, neonatal)
Leung, Peter C (Reproductive and molecular endocrinology )
Lisonkova, Sarka (preeclampsia)
Ma, Sai ( Gametes and early embryo development )
Mitchell-Foster, Sheona (reproductive health of marginalized populations and has worked extensively in East Africa on cervical cancer prevention using HPV self-collection for screening; perinatal substance use in Northern British Columbia with a focus on aboriginal and underserved populations.)
Mohamed, Mohamed (IVF, MIS, robotic surgery, fertility preservation in cancer patients, and endometriosis)
Money, Deborah (Reproductive Infectious Diseases, Infectious in pregnancy, vaginal microbiome, HPV vaccine, HIV in women, HIV in pregnancy, Perinatal transmission of viral pathogens and infectious etiology of preterm labour)
Oberlander, Timothy (Population epidemiological studies that characterize neurodevelopmental pathways that reflect risk, resiliency and developmental plasticity)
Robinson, Wendy (Genetics, Development, Epigenetics, miRNA, Preterm Birth, Placenta, Mosaicism, Fetal Growth)
Roskelley, Calvin (Breast cancer, ovarian cancer )
Vogl, A Wayne (Nervous system connectivity and communication)
Yong, Paul (pelvic pain, with a particular interest in endometriosis, painful periods, sexual pain, co-existing bladder and bowel problems, and pain related to the musculoskeletal system; laparoscopic excision of complex endometriosis and prevention of adhesions in women with endometriosis and pelvic pain and infertility)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Haolong Li
"Dr. Li studied how drug-resistant prostate cancer develops. He found a novel target for this lethal disease and applied a computer-aided system to screen for superior inhibitors of this target. His study provides a potential therapeutic strategy for drug-resistant prostate cancer that may eventually benefit the patient survival." (May 2017)
- Dr. Marianne Melanie Vidler
"Dr. Vidler examined community perceptions of the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy through ethnographic studies in Nigeria, Mozambique, Pakistan and India. She further explored these perceptions using two methods of evidence synthesis. Her work aims to improve detection of these disorders and ultimately reduce maternal and perinatal mortality rates." (May 2017)
- Dr. Siyuan Xiong
"Endometrial cancer is the fourth most common cancer in females. Dr. Xiong studied the signaling pathways and identified two important factors that influence the development of endometrial cancer cells. These findings suggest novel therapeutic targets for treating type II endometrial cancer." (November 2016)
- Dr. Eva Magdalena Price
"Dr. Price developed tools to analyze millions of chemical marks on human DNA. She showed that such analyses should include factors like experimental conditions and a person's sex and age. Dr. Price used these tools to study babies with birth defects. Her thesis contributes to understanding how to apply modern DNA tools to study human development." (May 2016)
- Dr. Tsung-Sheng Wu
"Actions of sex steroid hormones in humans are regulated by a transporter protein in the blood. Dr. Wu's research revealed how genetic variations alter production and functions of this protein. In the era of personalized medicine, his research may improve current counselling, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of endocrine or metabolic disorders." (November 2015)