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.
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||$1,665.26||$2,925.58|
|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)||$930.14 (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. 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.
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.
Anglesio, Michael (Cancer of the Reproductive System, Host-Tumour Interaction, Endometriosis, Cancer Diagnosis and Detection, Immunotherapy, microenvironment, endometriosis associated cancers, immunology, genomics, gene-expression and transcriptomics, cancer prevention, ovarian cancer etiology, early detection biomarkers, animal models of endometriosis and cancer)
Bayrampour Basmenj, Hamideh (Perinatal Period, Drugs and Pregnancy / Breast Feeding, Maternal Mental Health, Pregnancy Outcomes, Perinatal Anxiety, Prenatal Cannabis Use, Developmental Outcomes)
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 (Sexual Dysfunctions, sexual dysfunction, mindfulness, sexual desire)
Cerri, Ronaldo (Animal Reproduction, Animal Production, Agricultural Machinery and Technology, Endocrine Regulation, Biotechnology and Activity monitors, Dairy cattle reproduction, Endometrium-conceptus cross communication, Production medicine in dairy cattle, Estrous cycle physiology in cattle, Inflammation and stress)
Devlin, Angela (obesity, children, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, developmental programming)
Dong, Xuesen (Hormone Dependent Cancers, Prostate Cancer, Endocrine Regulation, Gene Regulation and Expression, Prematurity)
Elango, Rajavel (Protein Nutrition, Maternal-Fetal Nutrition, Childhood Malnutrition, Amino Acid Metabolism, Human Nutrition )
Flannigan, Ryan (evaluating genetic and molecular mechanisms contributing to non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA))
Gilks, Cyril Blake (Cancer of the Reproductive System, gynecological cancer diagnosis)
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.)
Joseph, K.S. (Pregnancy complications, preterm birth, fetal growth, infant mortality, neonatal)
Leung, Peter C (Reproductive and molecular endocrinology )
Lisonkova, Sarka (preeclampsia)
Mitchell-Foster, Sheona (Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Cancer of the Reproductive System, Drugs and Pregnancy / Breast Feeding, Global Health and Emerging Diseases, AIDS / HIV, Urban and Rural Planning Policies, cervical cancer screening, HPV, rural and remote reproductive care, Indigenous women's health, perinatal substance-use, reproductive health of women living with HIV, culturally safe care, reproductive screening in LMIC)
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 (Developmental Genetics, Genomics, Reproduction and Growth, DNA and RNA Chips, Bioinformatics, Medical Genetics, Human Development, Epigenetics, miRNA, Preterm Birth, Placenta, Mosaicism, Fetal Growth, DNA methylation, Sex differences)
Roskelley, Calvin (Breast cancer, ovarian cancer )
Talhouk, Aline (Computer Science and Statistics, Epidemiology, Bioinformatics, Cancer of the Reproductive System, predictive modeling, clinical utility, diagnostic models, prognostic models, personalized medicine)
Tomek, 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)
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. Hongjin Zhao
"Dr. Zhao studied the effect of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) on placental development during pregnancy. He found that BMP2 positively regulates human placental cell invasion and the underlying mechanisms involved, which may inform advances in clinical diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for pregnancy disorders." (May 2019)
- Dr. Ahn Rhi Lee
"Dr. Lee identified splicing mechanisms orchestrating the progression of an aggressive therapy-resistant prostate cancer subtype. Her research pertains to the clinical implications of splicing mechanisms in informing future therapeutic strategies that may be effective in detecting and preventing or mitigating the disease course." (May 2019)
- Dr. Li Yinan
"Dr. Li identified gene SRRM4 as a powerful driver and therapeutic target for a special type of drug-resistant prostate cancer. This study provides insights into personalized medicine-based strategies for prostate cancer patients and may guide future development of novel therapeutics for drug-resistant prostate cancer." (November 2018)
- Dr. Jianfang Zhao
"Dr. Zhao investiged the role of betacellulin, a unique growth factor, in ovarian cancer proliferation and migration. This research provides new hope in treating this lethal malignancy." (May 2018)
- Dr. Asif Raza Khowaja
"Dr. Khowaja conducted an economic evaluation of the community-level interventions for pre-eclampsia. His research highlights incremental costs to the health system and families. Though substantial investments are being made for technology adoption, he argues that a societal perspective is imperative to inform decisions on resource allocation." (May 2018)