Biochemistry

Biochemistry: Introduction

Faculty Affiliation

Medicine

Degree Programs

Biochemistry

MSc and PhD

Combined Degree Programs

STG, MD / PhD

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in participating degree programs as listed below:

Overview

Biochemistry is the study of the molecular events underlying biological processes. Consequently, it makes fundamental contributions to all disciplines concerned with living systems.

The Department of Biochemistry offers modern facilities for research in a wide variety of areas including the relationship between structure and biological function in proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids as well as complex multicomponent systems such as membranes and subcellular organelles.

Contact and Address

Web: biochemistry.utoronto.ca
Email: carrie.harber@utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 978-2702
Fax: (416) 946-8228

Department of Biochemistry
University of Toronto
Room 5207, Medical Sciences Building
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8
Canada

Biochemistry: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Adeli, Khosrow - DipChem, MSc, PhD
Andrews, David - PhD
Attisano, Liliana - BSc, PhD (Interim Chair and Graduate Chair)
Baker, Robert - BSc, PhD
Bazett-Jones, David - BSc, MSc, PhD
Bear, Christine - BSc, MSc, PhD
Brown, Grant - BSc, PhD
Callahan, John - BSc, MSc
Chakrabartty, Avijit - BSc, MSc, PhD
Chan, Hue Sun - BSc, MA, PhD
Davidson, Alan Richard - BSc, PhD
Deber, Charles - BSc, PhD
Ensminger, Alexander - BS, PhD
Ernst, Oliver - PhD
Fairn, Gregory - BSc, PhD
Forman-Kay, Julie - BSc, PhD
Glover, John - BSc, MSc, PhD
Grinstein, Sergio - BSc, PhD
Houry, Walid - BS, MS, PhD
Howell, Lynne - BSc, PhD
Ingles, C. James - BSc, PhD
Isenman, David - BSc, BSc, PhD
Jorgensen, Annelise - MSc, PhD
Kahr, Walter - MD
Kapus, Andras - MD, PhD
Kay, Lewis - PhD
Keeley, Frederick - BSc, PhD
Kelley, Shana - BA, PhD
Kim, Peter - PhD
Klip, Amira - ScD
Lee, Hyun - PhD
Lee, Warren - MD, PhD
Lewis, Peter - BSc, PhD
Lingwood, Clifford - BSc, PhD
Maclennan, David - BSc, MSc, PhD
Manolson, Morris - BS, PhD
Maynes, Jason T. - BSc, DrMed
McQuibban, Angus - BSc, MSc, PhD
Moraes, Trevor - BS, MSc, PhD
Moran, Laurence - BSc, PhD
Muise, Aleixo - MD
Nodwell, Justin - PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Ohh, Michael - BSc, PhD
Pai, Emil - PhD
Palazzo, Alexander - PhD (Graduate Coordinator)
Parkinson, John - BS, PhD
Pomes, Regis - PhD
Prive, Gil - BSc, PhD
Rand, Margaret - BSc, PhD
Reithmeier, Reinhart - BSc, PhD
Rini, James - BSc, PhD
Robinson, Brian - BSc, PhD
Rotin, Daniela - BSc, MSc, PhD
Rubinstein, John - BSc, PhD, PhD
Segall, Jacqueline - BSc, PhD
Sharpe, Simon J. - BSc, PhD
Sicheri, Frank - BSc, PhD
Siu, Chi-Hung - BA, PhD
Smibert, Craig - BSc, PhD
Stagljar, Igor - BS, PhD
Steipe, Boris - MD, PhD
Trimble, William - BSc, PhD
Williams, David - BSc, MSc, PhD
Yip, Christopher - BSc, PhD

Members Emeriti

Anwar, Rashid - BSc, MSc, PhD
Gurd, James - BA, PhD
Lane, Byron - BA, PhD
Marks, Alexander - MD, PhD
Murray, Robert - MS, MD, MB, PhD
Packham, Marian - PhD
Painter, Robert - BSc, PhD
Sarkar, Bibudhendra - BPhm, MPharm, PhD
Schachter, Harry - BA, MD, PhD
Williams, George - BSc, DSc, DSc, FRSC

Associate Members

Andreopoulos, Stavroula - BSc, MSc, PhD
Julien, Jean-Philippe - PhD
Patterson, Sian - PhD
Watts, Joel - PhD

Biochemistry: Biochemistry MSc

Master of Science

Minimum Admission Requirements

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

  • Normally, a minimum B+ average in the last two years of study in an honours or specialist BSc program in biochemistry or molecular biology. Applicants with strong academic credentials in honours or specialist programs in disciplines related to biochemistry or molecular biology are also considered.

  • Applicants arrange for personal reference forms from three individuals familiar with their academic performance.

  • Applicants who obtained a degree outside Canada or the United States are generally required to have an MSc degree in Biochemistry or in a closely related subject area.

  • Applicants who obtained a degree outside Canada must arrange for general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results to be sent to the department.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction was not English must provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Written English (TWE) scores:

    • paper-based TOEFL: minimum 580 score and 5 on the TWE

    • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum 93/120 score and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

  • In the absence of TOEFL results, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7.0 is also acceptable.

Program Requirements

Students must complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

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

    • BCH2020Y0 Seminar Course in Biochemistry Level 1 (1.0 FCE)

    • BCH2101H Scientific Skills for Biochemists (0.25 FCE)

    • at least 0.25 elective FCE.

  • Students must submit a thesis (RST9999Y; Credit/No Credit) and successfully complete an oral examination on their research and related aspects of biochemistry.

  • Normally, MSc students are expected to participate as full-time students and to maintain full-time status in their laboratories until thesis completion and final defence.

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.

** Students may begin the program in the Fall or Winter.

Biochemistry: Biochemistry PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Students are accepted into the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an MSc degree in biochemistry or a cognate discipline; 2) transfer (reclassification) from the University of Toronto MSc program; or 3) following completion of a BSc degree (direct entry) if, in the opinion of the Biochemistry Graduate Committee, the student has an outstanding academic record.

 

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 Biochemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must arrange for personal reference forms from three individuals familiar with their academic performance.

  • Applicants are generally required to have an MSc degree in biochemistry or in a closely related subject area with high academic standing.

  • Applicants who obtained a degree outside of Canada must arrange for General Record Examination (GRE) results to be sent to the department.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction was not English must provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Written English (TWE) scores:

    • paper-based TOEFL: minimum 580 score and 5 on the TWE

    • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum 93/120 score and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

  • In the absence of TOEFL results, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7.0 is also acceptable.

Program Requirements

Students must complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • BCH2022Y0 Seminar Course in Biochemistry Level 2 (1.0 FCE)

    • BCH2101H Scientific Skills for Biochemists (0.25 FCE). If previously taken students must take a substitute 0.25 FCE course approved by the graduate coordinator.

    • 0.75 elective FCE.

  • Students must successfully complete a qualifying examination within the first 24 months (ideally 18 months) of the program. To be eligible to write this qualifying examination, students must:

    • complete BCH2101H

    • be concurrently registered in BCH2022Y0

    • complete at least 0.25 elective FCE; after completing the qualifying examination, students must complete the remaining 0.5 elective FCE.

  • Submit a thesis (RST9999Y; Credit/No Credit) and defend it at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Normally, PhD students are expected to participate as full-time students and to maintain full-time status in their laboratories until thesis completion and final defence.

Program Length

4 years full-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time

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 Biochemistry. Excellent students with high academic standing, who have clearly demonstrated the ability to do research at the doctoral level, may be considered for transfer to the PhD program. Recommendation by the student’s supervisory committee is required.

  • Transfer applicants must successfully complete a reclassification (transfer) examination within 18 to 24 months of starting the program.

Program Requirements

Students must complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • BCH2020Y0 Seminar Course in Biochemistry Level 1 (1.0 FCE)

    • BCH2022Y0 Seminar Course in Biochemistry Level 2 (1.0 FCE)

    • BCH2101H Scientific Skills for Biochemists (0.25 FCE)

    • 1.25 elective FCEs.

  • To be eligible to write the reclassification examination, students must:

    • complete BCH2101H

    • be concurrently registered in BCH2022Y0

    • complete at least 0.25 elective FCE; after completing the reclassification examination, students must complete the remaining 1.0 elective FCE.

  • Submit a thesis (RST9999Y; Credit/No Credit) and defend it at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Normally, PhD students are expected to participate as full-time students and to maintain full-time status in their laboratories until thesis completion and final defence.

Program Length

5 years full-time

Time Limit

7 years full-time

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 to highly qualified BSc graduates who completed a Biochemistry 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 Biochemistry's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must arrange for personal reference forms from three individuals familiar with their academic performance.

  • Applicants who obtained a degree outside Canada or the United States are generally required to have an MSc degree in biochemistry or in a closely related subject area with high academic standing.

  • Applicants who obtained a degree outside of Canada must arrange for General Record Examination (GRE) results to be sent to the department.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction was not English must provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Written English (TWE) scores:

    • paper-based TOEFL: minimum 580 score and 5 on the TWE

    • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum 93/120 score and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

  • In the absence of TOEFL results, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7.0 is also acceptable.

Program Requirements

Students must complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • BCH2020Y0 Seminar Course in Biochemistry Level 1 (1.0 FCE)

    • BCH2022Y0 Seminar Course in Biochemistry Level 2 (1.0 FCE)

    • BCH2101H Scientific Skills for Biochemists (0.25 FCE)

    • 1.25 elective FCEs.

  • Students must successfully complete a qualifying examination within 18 to 24 months of the program. To be eligible to write this qualifying examination, students must:

    • complete BCH2101H

    • be concurrently registered in BCH2020Y0

    • complete at least 0.25 elective FCE; after completing the qualifying exam, students must complete the remaining 1.0 elective FCE.

  • Submit a thesis (RST9999Y; Credit/No Credit) and defend it at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Normally, PhD students are expected to participate as full-time students and to maintain full-time status in their laboratories until thesis completion and final defence.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

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

Biochemistry: Biochemistry MSc, PhD Courses

For course details and availability, consult the Biochemistry website.

BCH2020Y0
Seminar Course in Biochemistry Level 1 (Credit/No Credit)
BCH2022Y0
Seminar Course in Biochemistry Level 2 (Credit/No Credit)
BCH2024H0
Focused Topics in Biochemistry
JBB2025H
Protein Crystallography — Lectures
JBB2026H
Protein Structure, Folding, and Design
JBL1507H
Biochemistry of Inherited Disease
JNP1017H+
Current Topics in Molecular and Biochemical Toxicology
JNP1018H+
Molecular and Biochemical Basis of Toxicology
JNR1444Y
Fundamentals of Neuroscience: Cellular and Molecular — Lectures (PSL444Y)§

Modular Courses

Each modular course is worth 0.25 full-course equivalent (FCE).

BCH2101H Scientific Skills for Biochemists
BCH2102H Biomolecular Dynamics and Function
BCH2103H Current Topics in Prion Biology
BCH2104H The Biochemistry of Translational Medicine
BCH2105H Cystic Fibrosis: The Cause, The Treatment
BCH2106H Membrane Proteomics in Biomedical Research
BCH2107H Introduction to Biomolecular Simulations
BCH2109H Engineering Vaccines: Development to Deployment
BCH2110H Eukaryotic Signaling
BCH2111H Post-transcriptional Control of Gene Expression
BCH2112H From Chaperones to CRISPR-Cas: the Incredible Genius of Phages
BCH2113H Advances in Precision Medicine
BCH2114H Frontiers in Drug Discovery
BCH2115H Applying Modern Evolutionary Thinking to Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology
BCH2116H Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Modern Life Sciences
BCH2119H Advances in Epigenetics
BCH2120H Studies of Tissue Barriers: Regulation of Phenotype and Transport Across the Epithelium and Endothelium
BCH2121H Lipid Metabolism in Health and Disease: Mechanisms of Diabetic Dyslipidemia in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
BCH2122H The Use of High Content Screening in Biomolecular Medicine
BCH2123H Protein Structure Prediction and Homology Modelling
BCH2124H Molecular Chaperones and Cellular Protein Homeostasis
BCH2125H Structure and Dynamics of Biomacromolecules Using Solid State NMR Spectroscopy
BCH2126H Subcellular Social Networks: Inter-Organelle Contact Sites
BCH2127H Advances in Optical Microscopy: From Single Molecules to Four-Dimensional Imaging
BCH2128H Scientific Thinking and Practice
BCH2129H Genome Instability: Basic Science to Human Disease
BCH2130H Cancer Biology
BCH2131H Genomics of Infectious Disease
BCH2132H Modelling Human Diseases from Cells to Organoids
BCH2133H Tyrosine Kinase Signaling
BCH2134H Cytoskeletal Dynamics
BCH2135H Mitochondria and Metabolism in Human Health and Disease
BCH2136H Biological Condensates
BCH2137H Bug v. Host
BCH2138H Advanced Electron Microscopy
BCH2139H Islet Biology I: Gene to Cell to Organ to Disease
BCH2140H Islet Biology II: Beyond Glucose Control: Molecular Targets, Diagnostics and Cutting-Edge Technologies
BCH2141H Advanced Methods in Biomolecular Interactions
BCH2200H Design Thinking for Scientists
BCH2201H Professional Development
BCH2202H Intro Programming in R
BCH2203H Intro Programming in Python
BCH2204H Advanced Programming in R
BCH2205H Advanced Programming in Python
BCH2206H Interdisciplinary Science
BCH2207H Collaborative Science: Student Centered Interdisciplinary Studies

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed, or credit is given when the course is completed.

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

§ Arts and Science undergraduate course.