Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology

Program Overview

The graduate program in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology provides a curriculum of courses and a broad-based multidisciplinary approach to research in mechanisms of human disease leading to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The program emphasizes:

  • Bone and Matrix Pathobiology
  • Cancer
  • Vascular and Cardiovascular Pathobiology
  • Immunopathology, Lymphatics, and Transplantation
  • Neuropathobiology and Endocrine Disorders
  • Microbiology and Infectious Disease

The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology offers excellent research training programs that address the nature and molecular mechanisms of human disease. Over 130 faculty members—on campus and at university teaching hospitals—conduct studies and teach courses related to pathobiology and supervise students in the PhD and MSc programs. The department provides a unique academic research environment that encourages interaction among clinicians, scientists, and student trainees. Students can gain an excellent understanding of how discoveries in basic and clinical research settings lead to more effective strategies in the treatment of human illness.

Research foci include:

  • Antimicrobial Resistance: Surveillance and Mechanisms
  • Bone and Connective Tissue Diseases including Disorders of Mineral Metabolism
  • Cancer Pathogenesis and Prevention
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cell-Matrix Interactions
  • Development: Cell Cycle, Differentiation, Signalling
  • Diabetes
  • Endocrine and Neuroendocrine Disorders
  • Hematopathology and Transfusion Medicine
  • Immunopathology and Transplantation
  • Inflammatory Disorders
  • Lipid Disorders
  • Lymphatic Pathobiology
  • Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Molecular Biomarkers
  • Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • Proteomics and Bioinformatics
  • Protein Structure and Function
  • Toxicology
  • Translational Research
  • Vascular Cell Biology
  • Viral Diseases

Students may also be interested in the combined degree program in Medicine, Doctor of / Doctor of Philosophy (MD/PhD).​

See video: Explore Graduate Programs at the Faculty of Medicine.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MSc, PhD:

1-Jun-2020

MSc, PhD:

1-Jun-2020

Supporting documents deadline MSc, PhD:

15-Jun-2020

MSc, PhD:

15-Jun-2020

Minimum admission average MSc, PhD:

A-

MSc, PhD:

A-

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

Yes

PhD:

Yes

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MSc, PhD:

After

MSc, PhD:

Before (recommended)

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? MSc, PhD:

Yes

MSc, PhD:

N/A

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? MSc, PhD:

Applicant

MSc, PhD:

Applicant

Program length (full-time only) MSc:

5 Sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry

MSc:

5 Sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry


​Master of Health Science​

Program Description

The Master of Health Science (MHSc) in Laboratory Medicine is a two-year professional (coursework and practicum) master’s degree designed to educate and train highly skilled health laboratory scientists in one of two fields: Pathologists’ Assistant (PA) or Clinical Embryology (CE). The program imparts general core knowledge and skills and the specific basic and applied principles of anatomic pathology or of assisted reproductive technology (ART) required to work as laboratory scientists. These principles are the foundation upon which PAs or CEs develop fundamental applied and practical knowledge and skills to function as competent, high-quality clinical scientists. The nature of this graduate program equips trainees to apply their knowledge to complex decision making, to serious ethical issues, and to develop a strong sense of personal accountability and intellectual rigour and independence.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission is based on demonstrated exceptional scholarly achievement, using the following criteria:

    • ​​one-page statement summarizing how this program will contribute to the advancement of the applicant's professional goals, identifying their field of preference

    • curriculum vitae (CV)

    • two letters of reference, one of which should be familiar with the applicant’s scholarly activities.

  • Applicants must have an appropriate BSc degree from a recognized university, with an average of at least B+ in the last two years of study. Applicants must have a demonstrated interest in human biological and life sciences, preferably with a major or specialist program in the life sciences. These programs prepare students for the study of biomedical science, for fluency in biomedical terminology, and for critical evaluation of biomedical literature. Courses in human anatomy and physiology are desirable.

    • All potential students will be interviewed prior to final acceptance into the program. The initial selection of students will be based on a combination of their academic record, individual statement, and letters of reference. These students will be asked to participate in an interview with the program coordinator to determine the fit with the program and student’s goals.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of the following tests:

Program Requirements

Field: Clinical Embryology
  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 9.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 4.0 FCEs taken by all students:

      • LMP 2000H Cell and Molecular Biology (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2001H Biomedical Research Methods (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2002H Clinical Laboratory Management (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2003H Biomedical Ethics (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2004H Biostatistics (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2005Y0 Capstone Project in Laboratory Medicine (1.0 FCE)

      • 0.5 elective FCE chosen from a course offered in LMP or any other graduate department, with approval of the field director.

    • 4.0 FCEs specific to this field:

      • LMP 2100H Advanced Reproductive Physiology and Pathology (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2102H Foundations in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2103H Reproductive Genetics (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2104H Applied Methods in ART (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2105H Innovations in ART (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2106H Current Topics in Causes and Treatment of Infertility (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2107H Applied ART Laboratory Decision Making (0.5 FCE)

      • MSC 1008H Advanced Human Embryology and Teratology (0.5 FCE)

    • 1.5 FCEs of practicum courses

      • LMP 2108H CE Lab Simulation I (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2109H CE Lab Simulation II (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2110H ART Lab Rotations (0.5 FCE)

  • Students who fail a course will be offered remediation in the form of additional readings and assignments by the course director. If a student fails two courses or the offered remediation, they will be required to repeat the year.
Field: Pathologists' Assistant
  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 9.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 4.0 FCEs taken by all students:

      • LMP 2000H Cell and Molecular Biology (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2001H Biomedical Research Methods (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2002H Clinical Laboratory Management (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2003H Biomedical Ethics (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2004H Biostatistics (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2005Y0 Capstone Project in Laboratory Medicine (1.0 FCE)

      • 0.5 elective FCE chosen from a course offered in LMP or any other graduate department, with approval of the field director.

    • 1.5 FCEs specific to this field:

      • LMP 2200H Basic Principles in Human Pathobiology and Pathophysiology (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2201H Anatomy and Pathology of Organ Systems (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2208H Biobanking for Research (0.5 FCE)

    • 4.0 FCEs of practicum courses

      • LMP 2202H Practicum in Surgical Pathology I (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2203H Practicum in Surgical Pathology II (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2204H Practicum in Surgical Pathology III (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2205H Practicum in Surgical Pathology IV (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2206H Practicum in Autopsy Pathology (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2207H Practicum in Forensic Pathology I (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2209H Practicum in Surgical Pathology V (0.5 FCE)

      • LMP 2210H Practicum in Surgical Pathology VI (0.5 FCE)

  • Students who fail a course will be offered remediation in the form of additional readings and assignments by the course director. If a student fails two courses or the offered remediation, they will be required to repeat the year.

Program Length

6 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S)

Time Limit

3 years full-time

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.

​Master of Science​

Program Description

The MSc program emphasizes the development of analytical technologies, the application of basic research techniques in biochemistry, cell biology, clinical biochemistry, experimental pathology, genetics, immunology, and molecular biology to the study of mechanisms of cell and tissue injury and the pathogenesis of disease. The program also emphasizes the nature, mechanisms, therapy, and prevention of microbial diseases in humans, as well as the processes by which pathogenic microbes are spread.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have completed, or be about to complete, one of the following:

    • ​​Pathobiology Specialist program

    • an appropriate bachelor's degree in life sciences from a recognized university

    • professional degree (e.g., MD, DDS, DVM, or equivalent).

  • A minimum A– average over the final two years of undergraduate study.

  • Two strong letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic work. Departmental appraisal forms must be used.

  • Detailed curriculum vitae (CV).

  • Statement of intent (approximately 250 words).

  • Research experience evidenced by publications, abstracts, or presentations is an asset.

  • Successful applicants are selected by the departmental admissions committee on the basis of academic excellence.

  • Admission is finalized when a graduate faculty member agrees to supervise the student's research and guarantees a full stipend for the student.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LMP 1005H Fundamentals of Research Practice (0.5 FCE)

    • LMP 1001H Student Seminar I (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit) and LMP 1002H Student Seminar II (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit).

  • Completion of a thesis (RST 9999Y) under the direction of the student's supervisor, assisted by the advisory committee.

  • The research content of the MSc thesis is expected to generate the equivalent of one paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

  • Residence. Students must be on campus and participating for the duration of their registration in the program.

Program Length

5 sessions (2 years) full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W)

Time Limit

3 years full-time

​Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The PhD program emphasizes the development of analytical technologies, the application of basic research techniques in biochemistry, cell biology, clinical biochemistry, experimental pathology, genetics, immunology, and molecular biology to the study of mechanisms of cell and tissue injury and the pathogenesis of disease. The program also emphasizes the nature, mechanisms, therapy, and prevention of microbial diseases in humans, as well as the processes by which pathogenic microbes are spread.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an MSc degree; 2) transfer from the University of Toronto MSc program; or 3) direct entry following completion of a BSc degree.

A limited number of selected students may enter the combined degree program in Medicine, Doctor of /Doctor of Philosophy (MD/PhD) subject to admission into both the departmental PhD program and the MD program.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Research experience evidenced by peer-reviewed publications, abstracts, or presentations is normally required.

  • Three strong letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic work. Departmental appraisal forms must be used. Normally, one of the referees should be the applicant's research supervisor.

  • A detailed curriculum vitae (CV).

  • Statement of intent (approximately 250 words).

  • Applicants are selected by the departmental admissions committee on the basis of academic excellence. Admission to the program is finalized when a graduate faculty member agrees to supervise the student's research and guarantees a full stipend for the student.

  • A limited number of selected students may enter the MD/PhD program subject to admission into both the departmental PhD program and the MD program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) as follows:

    • LMP 1003H0 Student Seminar III (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • an additional 0.5 elective FCE.

  • The PhD thesis (RST 9999Y) is completed under the direction of the candidate's supervisor, assisted by the advisory committee. The PhD thesis must demonstrate a substantial contribution to laboratory medicine and pathobiology, involving a systematic investigation of disease-related hypotheses. The emphasis is on quality of the science and its presentation. The PhD thesis is normally expected to yield the equivalent of three publications in refereed scientific journals.

  • Residence. Students must be on campus and participating for the duration of their registration in the program.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

0 Course that may continue over a program. Credit is given when the course is completed.

 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

Transfer applicants must:

  • Be enrolled in the MSc program in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. Excellent students with high academic standing (normally a minimum A– average on MSc courses) who have clearly demonstrated the ability to do research at the doctoral level may be considered for transfer to the PhD program. Recommendation of the advisory committee is required.

  • Successfully complete a reclassification transfer exam within 24 months of starting the MSc Program.

  • Successfully complete LMP 1001H Student Seminar I and LMP 1005H Fundamentals of Research Practice at the master’s level.

  • Be concurrently enrolled in LMP 1002H Student Seminar II at the time of writing the reclassification exam.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 2.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LMP 1005H Fundamentals of Research Practice (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • LMP 1001H Student Seminar I (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • LMP 1002H Student Seminar II (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • LMP 1003H0 Student Seminar III (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • an additional 0.5 elective FCE.

  • The PhD thesis (RST 9999Y) is completed under the direction of the candidate's supervisor, assisted by the advisory committee. The candidate normally defends the thesis before a departmental committee, and subsequently before a committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies. Candidates may, with the recommendation of their advisory committee, request a waiver of the departmental defence, subject to approval by the Graduate Coordinator.

  • The PhD thesis must demonstrate a substantial contribution to laboratory medicine and pathobiology, involving a systematic investigation of disease-related hypotheses. The emphasis is on quality of the science and its presentation. The PhD thesis is normally expected to yield the equivalent of three publications in refereed scientific journals.

  • Residence. Students must be on campus and participating for the duration of their registration in the program.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

0 Course that may continue over a program. Credit is given when the course is completed.

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Direct entry is available for highly qualified BSc graduates who have completed the Pathobiology Specialist program or an appropriate undergraduate program in the life sciences from a recognized university with a minimum A average in the final two years and relevant research experience.

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Research experience evidenced by peer-reviewed publications, abstracts, or presentations is normally required.

  • Three strong letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic work. Departmental appraisal forms must be used. Normally, one of the referees should be the applicant's research supervisor.

  • A detailed curriculum vitae (CV).

  • Statement of intent (approximately 250 words).

  • Applicants are selected by the departmental admissions committee on the basis of academic excellence. Admission to the program is finalized when a graduate faculty member agrees to supervise the student's research and guarantees a full stipend for the student.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 2.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LMP 1005H Fundamentals of Research Practice (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • LMP 1001H Student Seminar I (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • LMP 1002H Student Seminar II (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • LMP 1003H0 Student Seminar III (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • an additional 0.5 elective FCE.

  • The PhD thesis (RST 9999Y) is completed under the direction of the candidate's supervisor, assisted by the advisory committee. The candidate normally defends the thesis before a departmental committee, and subsequently before a committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies. Candidates may, with the recommendation of their advisory committee, request a waiver of the departmental defence, subject to approval by the Graduate Coordinator.

  • The PhD thesis must demonstrate a substantial contribution to laboratory medicine and pathobiology, involving a systematic investigation of disease-related hypotheses. The emphasis is on quality of the science and its presentation. The PhD thesis is normally expected to yield the equivalent of three publications in refereed scientific journals.

  • Residence. Students must be on campus and participating for the duration of their registration in the program.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

0 Course that may continue over a program. Credit is given when the course is completed.

Master of Health Science

Program Description

This two-year, course-based program is designed for interprofessional students from diverse backgrounds (such as medicine, life sciences, social sciences, engineering, design, and communications) who want to learn creative problem-solving skills, strategies, and competencies to translate (scientific) knowledge into innovations that improve medicine, health, and care.

Through flexible coursework, team-based, real-world translational challenges, and extensive mentorship and networking, the department facilitates self-directed collaborative “learning by doing”: students gain experience, expertise, and practical insights into development and design processes, regulatory frameworks, and translational networks and strategies to develop, lead, test, and implement innovations. The program’s mission is to challenge students to think differently so that they learn to champion change in their communities and contexts.

This cohort-based program commences in September.

Minimum Admission Requirements​

  • Applicants are admitted on the basis of academic preparation, references, and motivation. All applicants must demonstrate exceptional scholarly achievement and significant research experience.

  • An appropriate bachelor's (BSc) degree or an MD degree from a recognized university, and academic credentials and background preparation appropriate to the area of study with an A– average in at least three of the four years.

  • Applicants with significant research, industry, or government experience in professional health science or related social science, and/or academic research master’s or PhD are also encouraged to apply.

  • The application must be accompanied by:

    • ​​​​a current curriculum vitae (CV)

    • a letter of intent or statement of professional goals

    • three letters of reference.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of the following English-language proficiency tests:

    • ​​​Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based test and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE); or a minimum score of 93/120 on the Internet-based test and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    • Tests must be completed in the year prior to application to the program.

  • Deadline for receipt of applications is May 1 for international students and June 1 for domestic students. Admission spots are limited; not all applicants who meet the prerequisites will be admitted. Applicants are screened for eligibility and short-listed applicants will be interviewed.

Program Requirements

  • ​Within this two-year, five-session program, students must complete a total of 8.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • ​​​​Year 1:

      • LMP 2300Y Foundations in Translational Research (1.0 FCE, Fall and Winter)

      • ​LMP 2320H Overview of Methods in Practices and Contexts (0.5 FCE; Winter)

      • LMP 2322H Information, Media, and Communication Literacy for the Sciences (0.5 FCE, Fall)

      • LMP 2301Y Projects in Translational Research (1.0 FCE, Fall and Winter)

      • LMP 2330Y+ Capstone Project in Translational Research (2.0 FCEs, Summer)

    • Years 1 and 2:

      • 2.0 FCEs: eight modular courses (0.25 FCE each)

    • Year 2:

      • LMP 2330Y+ Capstone Project in Translational Research (Fall and Winter)

      • 1.0 elective FCE with approval from the Program Director.

Program Length

5 sessions full-time (F/W/S/F/W)

Time Limit

3 years

+ Extended course. For academic reasons, coursework is extended into session following academic session in which course is offered.

Sean McCurdy

“It's the people that are remarkable. That's what makes U of T my home.”

Sean McCurdy
Alumnus, PhD (2016), Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
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