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:

1-Jun-2020

MSc, PhD:

1-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 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 and an interview with a member of the departmental graduate faculty.

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:

    • Students who have not previously completed LMP 1404H Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Disease (0.5 FCE), or an approved equivalent, will be required to take this course in Year 1. Students exempted from LMP 1404H will take a departmental half course (0.5 FCE) as a substitute. The student's advisory committee may recommend additional courses.

    • Students must enrol and participate in a credit/no-credit course, LMP 1001Y Graduate Seminars in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (1.0 FCE), which must be taken throughout the program. Students must present at least once in LMP 1001Y prior to defending their thesis.

    • Students must attend the LMP Monday Seminar Series, a departmental guest lecture series that immediately follows the student seminar course LMP 1001Y.

  • Completion of a thesis under the direction of the student's supervisor, assisted by the advisory committee.

  • Within 12 to 18 months of entry, students will be advised by their committee to do one of the following:

    • write and orally defend a thesis on research completed,

    • transfer to the PhD program, or

    • withdraw from the MSc program.

  • 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.
 

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.

  • Two routes of entry are available:

    1. Track A:

      • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Direct entry is available for highly qualified BSc graduates having 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. These students are encouraged to apply directly to the PhD program.

      • Excellent students with high academic standing (normally 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. Transfer to the PhD program is based on the student’s performance at an assessment examination, which is held 12 to 18 months after the start of the MSc program. The student’s supervisor will schedule the assessment examination. The examining committee consists of at least si​x members of the graduate faculty:

        • ​the Graduate Coordinator (or a representative from the graduate faculty of the department) who chairs the examination committee,

        • the student's advisory committee, and

        • two other graduate faculty members, one of whom is a member from another graduate department.

    2. Track B: ​MSc graduates and applicants with an MD, DDS, DVM (or equivalent) degree are eligible for t​he PhD program. An A– average or higher is required in graduate courses or in an appropriate BSc program if there were no course requirements in the MSc program.

  • 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 and successful performance at an interview with a member of the departmental graduate faculty. 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.

  • Excellent students with high academic standing (normally 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. Transfer to the PhD program is based on the student's performance at an assessment examination, which is held 12 to 18 months after the start of the MSc program. The student's supervisor will schedule the assessment examination. The examining committee consists of at least six members of the graduate faculty:

    • ​​​​the Graduate Coordinator (or a representative from the graduate faculty of the department) who chairs the examination committee,

    • the student's advisory committee, and

    • two other graduate faculty members, one of whom is a member from another graduate department.

  • 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 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • Students must enrol and participate in a credit/no-credit course, LMP 1001Y Graduate Seminars in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (1.0 FCE), which must be taken throughout the program. Students must present at least twice in LMP 1001Y prior to defending their thesis.

    • Students must attend the LMP Monday Seminar Series, a weekly departmental guest lecture series that immediately follows the student seminar course LMP 1001Y.

    • Students who have not previously completed LMP 1404H Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Disease (0.5 FCE) or an approved equivalent are required to take this course in Year 1 of their PhD program. The student's advisory committee may recommend additional courses. Students exempted from LMP 1404H take an approved departmental half course (0.5 FCE) as a substitute.

    • Three half-course equivalents (1.5 FCEs), of which at least one half course is from Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. Exception: students having completed the undergraduate Pathobiology Specialist Program (or equivalent) are required to take only two additional half courses (0.5 FCe).

    • Coursework should be completed in the first two years of the program, the continuing seminar course excepted. The latter half of the program is focused on research.

    • Students who take additional graduate courses during the MSc program and who continue their graduate studies in the PhD program may request a transfer credit up to one full-course towards doctoral course requirements. Credit for courses must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator; certain restrictions may apply.

  • Prior to the start of Year 3, the advisory committee may recommend that a PhD student transfer to the MSc program. The student may also request the transfer.

  • The PhD thesis 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

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's; 7 years direct-entry

Dean Carcone

“There is nothing more exciting than uncovering answers to new or fundamental questions.”

Dean Carcone
Alumnus, MA (2016), Counselling & Clinical Psychology
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