The UBC Department of Medical Genetics is an inspiring and productive community of scholars of genetics and genomics; an outstanding provider of knowledge, technical expertise, and compassionate care for our patients. The Department is composed of dozens of faculty members at the forefront of their fields who use cutting edge genetic, epigenetic, genomic, and bioinformatic methodologies to gain insight into diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative and neurological disorders, and other genetic diseases. Research is highly interactive and often involves local, national, and international collaborations which further enrich the research experience.
Individual labs conduct clinical and/or translational research and basic experimental research engaging a wide variety of approaches including the use of model organisms such as mice, flies (D. melanogaster), worms (C. elegans), and yeast (S. cerevisiae).
The mission of the Department of Medical Genetics is to pursue basic and clinical research for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of genetic disease. Our goal is to be a world leader in the research, clinical practice and teaching of Genetic Medicine.
Research in the Department of Medical Genetics covers the study of human genetics with areas of focus in mammalian development, regulation of gene expression, genetic diseases due to single gene or complex inheritance, birth defects, reproduction, cancer, immunology, genomics, bioinformatics, ethics and population health.
Medical Genetics Rotation Program: MSc and PhD applicants who have applied for the September-start, and who are highest ranked by the Medical Genetics Admissions Committee, will be offered the opportunity to join the Medical Genetics Rotation Program. The four top-ranked applicants offered these positions will also receive one-year Rotation Program Awards. Rotation Program students rotate through three different laboratories before choosing a final, thesis lab. Rotations are for nine-weeks each, from September to April. The Rotation Program is open to Canadians, Permanent Residents of Canada, and international applicants.
The MSc program in Medical Genetics is a research-based, thesis-based program which generally takes two - three years to complete. Graduates find employment in the public and private sector, and also pursue further studies in the field of Medical Genetics. Following is a brief sample of occupations that our graduates are pursuing:
Industry / Clinical Careers:
Over the past decade, advances in genomic medicine and genetic technology have been dramatic. Genetic counsellors have an integral role to play in helping patients and other healthcare professionals understand the options, benefits and limitations of this rapidly changing landscape. Established in 1996, the University of British Columbia’s Genetic Counselling Program is dedicated to equipping the next generation of genetic counsellors with the skills, knowledge and mindset to flourish as part of an inter-disciplinary team and work across a broad range of health care settings and specialties. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, graduates are eligible for certification and/or licensure across North America.
Based in the heart of Vancouver at Children's and Women's Health Centre of British Columbia, the tertiary care provider for clinical medical genetics services, UBC's Genetic Counselling Program is one of only five programs in Canada, and the largest.
The program balances strong academic grounding and direct clinical experiences with independent research, preparing graduates for the dynamic field of genetic counselling.
With only six students accepted into the program every year, students receive close mentorship and one-on-one support from award-winning faculty in the Department of Medical Genetics.
Program curriculum and learning opportunities are constantly evolving to equip students with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed and adapt to advances in the field of genomic medicine.
Students have the opportunity to gain a specialized skillset and work toward a genetic counselling degree with diverse clinical placements including prenatal, pediatrics, oncology, cardiology, neurology and psychiatric genetics.
Starting in the first week, students learn through a combination of direct classroom and hands-on experience working with genetic counselors, medical geneticists and other health care professionals.
Through collaboration with the College of Health Disciplines, UBC's Genetic Counselling program also offers students a number of inter-professional health education experiences, including:
Our graduates have gone on to pursue stimulating careers in genomic research, private industry, public and private clinical services, as well as policy development.
Many of our alumni and faculty have become international leaders in the field, including President of the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC) and the National Society of Genetic Counsellors (NSGC), as well as board members on the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC), American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), CAGC, and NSGC.