Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs
Dr. Wisnovsky's lab studies the cell surface glycome, a dense network of sugar molecules that coats the surface of every living cell. The glycome plays a fundamental role in regulating the activity of our immune system, helping immune cells to distinguish normal, healthy cells from abnormal cells and invading pathogens. In diseases like cancer, the structure of the cell-surface glycome becomes profoundly altered, allowing tumour cells to escape immune detection. Dr. Wisnovsky's group applies cutting-edge CRISPR genomic screening technologies to better understand the complex genetic mechanisms that regulate these changes in cellular glycosylation. The overarching goal of his research is to identify druggable pathways that can be targeted to modulate the cell-surface glycome, generating new therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease.
We are actively recruiting creative and motivated researchers to join our group! Wisnovsky lab trainees can expect to receive training in basic molecular biology and immunology techniques as well in cutting-edge areas like high-throughput functional genomics and next-generation sequencing. We aim to equip trainees with the scientific, communication and leadership skills needed to achieve all their goals.
Prospective graduate students should send a copy of their CV and undergraduate transcripts to Simon. Depending on interest, they should also consult the UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Masters and/or PhD program application timeline and requirements.
Prospective postdoctoral researchers interested in joining the group should send Simon a CV, cover letter and contact information for three references. We especially welcome applications from researchers with prior experience in genetic screening and/or immunology.
We are also happy to consider research associate positions for individuals who have recently received or are about to receive their undergraduate degree and who are interested in an intensive, full-time research experience prior to applying to graduate or medical school. Please email Simon a cover letter, CV and two references if you are interested.
Finally, we welcome applications from undergraduate students looking to gain lab experience. Please email Simon directly about possible opportunities.
The Wisnovsky lab is committed to maintaining a diverse, inclusive and collegial working environment. We welcome researchers of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities.
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
ADVICE AND INSIGHTS FROM UBC FACULTY ON REACHING OUT TO SUPERVISORS
These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.