Research Projects

Below is a sample of research projects that you can consider as part of your graduate degree program. Please ensure to review the departmental websites of all potential faculty members by using the supervisor search.

Last namesort descending First name Research Interest Desired start dates: Project areas Financial support options:
Santos Alessandra Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies , Latin American Literatures and Cultures , Brazilian Literature and Culture, Modern and Contemporary Literatures and Cultures Any time / year round
Sawatzky Bonita mobility, outcome measures, biomechanics, assistive devices, rare disease 2017, 2018, 2019

Many innovators of mobility devices have come to me with new devices that need "clinical" research to test the premise of their designs. These include wheelchairs, wheels, power assists and walking devices. Students who are interested in studying the biomechanics or participation impacts these devices may consider working with me.

Some financial support is available
Schabas Margaret History and Philosophy of Economics 2018, 2019, 2020

History and Philosophy of Economics; Philosophy of Nature; Environmental Philosophy; Early Modern Philosophy; British Nineteenth-Century Philosophy; Science and Technology Studies

Schaller Mark Social psychology, Social cognition, Social influence, Evolutionary psychology 2018, 2019

Research projects that examine specific evolved human motivational systems and their implications for human social cognition and social interaction.
Research projects that examine specific aspects of human social cognition and social interaction that have implications for social norms and collective beliefs.

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Scott Douglas Cosmology Any time / year round

A wide range of topics within observational and theoretical cosmology

Some financial support is available
Scott Alexander musculoskeletal, sports medicine, physiotherapy, physical therapy, orthopaedics 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Development and execution of clinical studies; tendinopathy

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Seidel Marc-David Organizational Theory, Distributed Trust Technologies (Blockchain, etc.), Early life factors role in later life workplace outcomes, Social networks and organizational decision making, Discrimination and networks in the employment relationship Any time / year round Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Semenoff Gordon Walter Theoretical and mathematical physics, the physics of elementary particles, condensed matter physics, String theory, quantum field theory, statistical mechanics, Moedal experiment, Large Hadron Collider, CERN Any time / year round

String theory, quantum field theory

Some financial support is available
Seow Chun Yong Airway smooth muscle, Contraction mechanism Any time / year round

Smooth muscle structure and function, contraction mechanism, lung mechanics, asthma

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Sigal Leonid Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Visual Recognition and Understanding, Vision + Natural Language Processing, Semantic Recognition 2018, 2019, 2020 Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Silberman Lior Metric geometry, Number theory, Automorphic forms, Analysis on manifolds, Topology, Homogenous dynamics, Representation Theory, Grup Theory 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Mathematics, almost any field

Silver Erin Canadian contemporary art, Queer art , Feminist art histories, Activism and visual culture, Performance studies, Movement culture Any time / year round
Simpson Elizabeth Gene therapy for brain and eye diseases, In vivo gene augmentation and genome editing (CRISPR/CAS9), CRISpies (CRISPR therapies), Aniridia, Rare diseases, Congenital blindness, MiniPromoters for restricted expression Any time / year round

Please visit my laboratory research page at:

Applicants need to be self-funded
Sims Gould Joan aging, community based participatory research, health and mobility, home care, prevention, built and social environments, implementation sciencei 2018, 2019 Some financial support is available
Sin Nancy Well-being, Stress processes, Adult development and aging, Depression, Emotions, Health behaviours, Cardiovascular disease 2018, 2019, 2020

Stress processes and stress-buffering in daily life;
Role of daily positive experiences in adult development and aging;
Biological and behavioural pathways linking daily experiences to health outcomes;
Day-to-day dynamics of psychosocial well-being and health behaviours (e.g., sleep);
Biopsychosocial determinants of risk and outcomes for cardiovascular disease

Sinclair Chadwick Materials Science and Engineering, Computational Materials Science, Manufacturing, Alloy Design, Solid State Physics, Mechanics Any time / year round Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Smith Tai Modern and Contemporary Art and Design, Media Theory, Politics of Media and Mediation, Gender, Textiles 2019, 2020 Some financial support is available
Soma Kiran Neuroscience, Endocrinology Any time / year round Some financial support is available
Song Weihong Down Syndrome, Mental Health, Alzheimer's Disease 2018, 2019, 2020

Alzheimer's disease; Down syndrome; neuropsychiatric disorders; Neurogenesis.

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Spering Miriam vision, movement, perception and action, eye movements, hand movements, eye-hand coordination, sport vision, Parkinson's disease 2018

- Development of eye-movement based diagnostic tools for neurological disease
- Visual function and expertise in sport
- Perception and action, eye-hand coordination
- Serial dependencies in vision and movement

Some financial support is available
Stacey Jocelyn Environmental Law, Public Law, Regulatory and Legal Theory, Disaster Law 2019, 2020
Stefanska Barbara Epigenetics, Cancer epigenetics, Nutritional epigenomics Any time / year round

Epigenetics refers to the molecular events controlling gene expression that are independent of changes in the underlying DNA sequence. These events include DNA methylation, covalent histone modifications, and non-coding RNA-related mechanisms. Epigenetic modifications of DNA, namely DNA methylation, have been shown to contribute to the etiology of chronic diseases with cancer at the forefront... Read More

Stephens Christopher philosophy of biology, philosophy of science, rationality, Why be rational?, scientific philosophy Any time / year round

philosophical debates about evolutionary biology, topics in philosophy of science concerning the nature of evidence, the nature and justification of rationality. Evolutionary approaches to philosophical topics.

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Straus Suzana Antimicrobial peptides, Viral membrane proteins, Structure-function, Protein-protein interactions Any time / year round Some financial support is available
Strike Vanessa Family Business, Governance, Entrepreneurship, Advising, Sensemaking Any time / year round Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Suttle Curtis Microbial Diversity, Marine Microbiology, Environmental Virology, Biological Oceanography, Viral Discovery, Viruses, Phage Any time / year round

Generally students will need to be funded through external scholarships, or be funded through a University Graduate Fellowship, or other UBC Fellowship.

Taghipour Fariborz Solar Fuels, Artificial Photosynthetic Systems, UV Photoreactors, UV-LED Reactors, UV Microplasma, Modeling of Chemical and Biochemical Reactors, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) 2018, 2019

Artificial Photosynthetic Systems: Artificial photosynthesis involves capturing energy from the sun and storing it in the form of chemical fuels. The focus of this research is to create engineered solar fuel generators for the photocatalytic production of hydrogen, a leading candidate for the fuel of the future. Our team develops photoelectrochemical cells and multifunctional photocatalysts... Read More

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Tai Isabella Gastrointestinal cancers, Chemotherapy resistance, Tumour micro-metastasis, Tumour progression, Genomics/ proteomics Any time / year round
Tam Roger Machine Learning, Precision Medicine, Radiology, Biomedical Informatics, Data Analytics 2018, 2019, 2020 Some financial support is available
Taubert Stefan Transcription, Gene regulation, Stress responses , Hypoxia, Aging, Metabolism, Lipid biology, C. elegans, Mouse Any time / year round, 2018, 2019, 2020

My lab is interested in gene regulation by the so-called Mediator complex, an essential eukaryotic transcriptional regulator that is mutated or deregulated in various human diseases (cancers, developmental disorders, etc). In particular, we study how Mediator and their associated transcriptional partners control (lipid) metabolism and stress responses (hypoxia, oxidative stress, starvation).... Read More

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Taylor Eric biodiversity, speciation, fishes, conservation, biogeography 2018

Genetics of speciation in sympatric char

Some financial support is available
Thompson Evan Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Mind, Phenomenology, Asian Philosophies Any time / year round
Traboulsee Anthony multiple sclerosis, magnetic resonance imaging, neuromyelitls optica (NMO) Any time / year round

Image analysis

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Trajano Heather Biorefining, Biochemicals, Biomass extractives recovery and utilization, Catalysis, Hemicellulose, Pretreatment, Kinetics 2018, 2019 Some financial support is available
Turin Mark Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, First Nations, Bella Bella, Heiltsuk, Indigeneity Any time / year round Some financial support is available
Turvey Stuart Microbiome cohort studies, Primary Immune Deficiencies Any time / year round

Genetics of Susceptibility to Childhood Infection

Until very recently, clinical immunologists have focused most attention on patients with a ‘noisy clinical phenotype’—multiple, severe and recurrent infections. Indeed, the origin of primary immunodeficiencies is generally attributed to Bruton’s 1952 description of X-linked agammaglobulinemia in a boy whose repeated pneumococcal... Read More

Some financial support is available
Van de Panne Michiel simulation of human movement, computer animation, robotics, deep reinforcement learning, motor control, computer graphics Any time / year round

simulation of agile human motion, robotics, motion planning, sensorimotor control, dexterous manipulation, computer animation, machine learning, computer graphics, novel interfaces

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Van Petegem Filip Ion channels, electrical signaling, Cardiac arrhythmia, Epilepsy, Calcium signaling, Structural Biology, electrophysiology Any time / year round

1) Muscle excitation-contraction coupling:
How does an electrical signal in a muscle cell get transmitted into contraction? We investigate the membrane proteins involved in this process (L-type calcium channels, Ryanodine Receptors), as well as the various proteins that modulate these channels. Projects include solving crystal and cryo-EM structures of these channels in complex with... Read More

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Van Raamsdonk Catherine Human Cancer Genetics, Developmental Genetics, Mouse Genetics and Transgenesis, Mutation, Cell Migration, Melanocytes 2018, 2019

Identification and validation of somatic and germline mutations in human cancer. Cell migration in development and metastasis. Investigation of the developmental biology of neural crest lineages using transgenic mice. Culturing, FACS sorting, and transcriptome analysis of melanocytes from the skin, eyes, and metastatic sites. Testing therapeutics and signaling pathways for uveal melanoma.

Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Van Willigenburg Stephanie algebraic combinatorics, Coxeter group, quasisymmetric function, Schur functions and generalizations, chromatic symmetric function 2019
Vedam Saraswathi Home Birth, Place of Birth, Provider Attitudes, Respectful Maternity Care, Midwifery, Interprofessional relationships, Person-Centered Care, Patient Autonomy, Institutional Racism in Maternity Care, Maternal and Newborn Outcomes, Maternity care for diverse populations, Transdisciplinary engagement in health care 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Active analysis and knowledge translation projects: qualitative and quantitative data generated by participatory maternity care research: Changing Childbirth in BC, Giving Voice to Mothers - US, Access and Integration Maternity Care Mapping study (links between regulatory frameworks and disparities)

Some financial support is available
Veenstra Gerry racial health inequalities, social class and health, intersectionality and health, Bourdieusian field theory, lifestyle practices and health, culture and class 2018, 2019, 2020 Applicants need to be self-funded
Vilarino-Guell Carles Multiple sclerosis, Neuromyelitis optica, Neurological disorders Any time / year round

- Study of the genetic factors contributing to the onset of familial multiple sclerosis and its clinical presentations.

- Biological and behavioral characterization of the first animal model of multiple sclerosis based on human etiology.

Vincent Amanda ocean conservation, threatened marine species, especially seahorses and their relatives, marine protected areas, small-scale fisheries, nonselective fisheries, especially trawling, wildlife trade, community-based conservation, citizen science, multilateral environmental agreements 2018, 2019, 2020

India - costs and benefits of trawl fisheries
China - threatened species and spatial planning
Southeast Asia - emergence of biomass trawling
IndoPacific - ecology and conservation of the seahorse Hippocampus kuda
global - CITES and marine conservation
... and other projects compatible with my group's priority interests

von Bergmann HsingChi Assessment, PBL, Teacher Beliefs & Identity, Opportunity to Learn, HPS 2018

Health Science Education
Assessment and Competency Based Education

Some financial support is available
Vora Siddharth Craniofacial Biology, Developmental Biology, Orthodontics, Cleft lip and/or palate, Tooth development Any time / year round
Wachs Anthony Fluid mechanics, Particle-laden flows, Non Newtonian flows, Heat and mass transfer, Numerical simulation, High performance computing, Multi-scale modelling Any time / year round

* Development of massively parallel codes for granular and particle-laden flow simulation
* Multi-scale modeling of particle-laden flows
* Shape effect in granular and particle-laden flows
* Heat and mass transfer in fluidized beds

Some financial support is available
Wang Siyun Food Safety Any time / year round Outstanding candidates can expect a full funding package offer
Wang Fei Educational administration and leadership, social justice and diversity, comparative policy studies, the role of the school principals 2018

My research lies in the areas of educational leadership and administration, social justice and diversity, “subversive” leadership, leadership in cross-cultural settings, and educational policy studies. I explore how principals negotiate policies and practices that they consider socially unjust to students and how they “creatively” cope with conflicts between moral and ethical obligations and... Read More

Wang Yanwen public policy, public health, technology, financial decision making 2018, 2019, 2020