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Medical Genetics (MSc)

Course Description

Graduate Program

The Department of Medical Genetics Graduate Program is a leading program that attracts students from all over Canada and the world. The Program offers Master’s and Doctoral programs that take place in Vancouver, one of the world’s most livable cities, at locations affiliated with the University of British Columbia, an institution which is consistently ranked among the world’s best universities.

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). Prospective students with interests in the investigative areas below have an opportunity to pursue world class research in labs affiliated with the Medical Genetics Graduate Program.

Areas of Research

- Developmental genetics and birth defects
- Epigenetics and chromosome transmission
- Genomics and bioinformatics
- Genetic epidemiology and human gene mapping
- Neurogenetics and immunogenetics
- Stem cells and gene therapy
- Pharmacogenomics
- Clinical genetics, genetic counselling, ethics and policy

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Medical Genetics
- Subject: Life Sciences
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Medicine

Visit the Medical Genetics (MSc) page on the University of British Columbia website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Ryan Huff

Research Description
The Marra lab analyzed the genomes and transcriptomes of tumors from a cohort of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and frequently observed loss of function MLL2 mutations. Synthetic lethality (SL) refers to a loss of cell viability in the event two or more genes are mutated, whereas cell viability is unaffected by mutually exclusive mutation of either of these genes. I hope to identify MLL2 SL interactions, which could reveal candidate novel therapeutic targets for a large proportion of NHL patients.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I decided to pursue a graduate degree because I enjoy the challenge of developing methods and hypotheses for the purpose of answering unresolved questions. I find it very exciting and satisfying to make novel discoveries, and be able to contribute in a small way to our collective knowledge of the genetics of cancer.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I decided to study at UBC because I was interested in studying the pathogenesis and genetics of cancer, and UBC provided unique opportunities to pursue these research interests. Carrying out my degree at UBC has allowed me to work with world-renowned experts at the Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Research Centre, one of the world leading centers in cancer genetics.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Consider off-campus research settings and take advantage of all the opportunities that graduate school at UBC offers.


International Tuition Award - No. of awards TBC

International Tuition Awards assist international graduate students with their tuition fees if they are registered full-time in research-oriented master’s and doctoral programs.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Up to $3,200 per annum


Students must hold a valid Student Authorization (Study Permit).

Application Procedure

Students do not need to apply, as all international students who are eligible are automatically considered for this scholarship. Awards are assigned on the Student Information System, and, once assigned, can be viewed by logging onto the Student Service Centre.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

First-class standing in recent, upper-level genetics, biochemistry, and biostatistics courses. You should also have relevant lab research experience.

Course Fees

Tuition per year: Canadian $4,615.35, International $8,108.40

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of British Columbia
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