Biochemistry

Biochemistry: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Medicine

Degree Programs​

Biochemistry

​​​​M​Sc
​​PhD

Combined Degree Programs

Collaborative Specializations

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

  1. Biomedical Engineering
    • Biochemistry, MSc, PhD
  2. Developmental Biology
    • Biochemistry, MSc, PhD
  3. Genome Biology and Bioinformatics
    • Biochemistry, PhD
  4. Neuroscience
    • Biochemistry, MSc, PhD

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: http://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
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
Enenkel, Cordula - PhD
Ensminger, Alexander - BS, PhD
Ernst, Oliver - PhD
Forman-Kay, Julie - BSc, PhD
Gilbert, Penney - 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
Kapus, Andras - MD, PhD
Kay, Lewis - PhD
Keeley, Frederick - BSc, PhD
Kelley, Shana - BA, PhD
Kim, Peter - PhD
Klip, Amira - ScD
Lewis, Peter - BSc, PhD
Lingwood, Clifford - BSc, PhD
Maclennan, David - BSc, MSc, PhD
Manolson, Morris - BS, PhD
Maynes, Jason - BSc, DrMed
McQuibban, Angus - BSc, MSc, PhD (Graduate Coordinator)
Melnyk, Roman - PhD
Moraes, Trevor - BS, MSc, PhD
Moran, Laurence - BSc, PhD
Nodwell, Justin - PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Ohh, Michael - BSc, PhD
Pai, Emil - PhD
Palazzo, Alexander - PhD
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
Rubinstein, John L - BSc, PhD
Schuurmans, Carol - PhD
Screaton, Robert - PhD
Segall, Jacqueline - BSc, PhD
Sharpe, Simon J - 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
Zamble, Deborah - 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
Fairn, Gregory - BSc, PhD
Julien, Jean-Philippe - PhD
Kahr, Walter - MD
Lemaire, Mathieu - MD, PhD
Maxwell, Karen - PhD
Mennella, Vito - PhD
Muise, Aleixo - MD
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/specialist BSc program in biochemistry/molecular biology. Applicants with strong academic credentials in honours/specialist programs in disciplines related to biochemistry/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 are generally required to have an MSc degree in biochemistry or in a closely related subject area and must arrange for general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results to be sent to the department.

  • Applicants from outside Canada whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must provide TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TWE (Test of Written English) 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 IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 7 is also acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • Complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

  • Complete a 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE) from the following list:

    • BCH 2024H0 Focused Topics in Biochemistry;

    • JTB 2020H Applied Bioinformatics;

    • JBB 2025H Protein Crystallography; or

    • JBB 2026H Protein Structure, Folding,​​ and Design.

  • Participate in BCH 2020Y0 Master's Seminar Course in Biochemistry.

  • Thesis and successful completion of an oral examination on his or her 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 at different times.

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 to the four-year and transfer options 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 are generally required to have an MSc degree in biochemistry or in a closely related subject area with high academic standing and must arrange for General Record Examination (GRE) results to be sent to the department.

  • Applicants from outside Canada whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must provide TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TWE (Essay Writing) 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 IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 7 is also acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • Students who have completed an MSc degree must successfully complete of a qualifying examination within the first 18 months of the program.

  • Complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

  • Complete 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from Biochemistry or cognate departments in graduate-level courses; at least 0.5 FCE must be from the following list:

    • BCH 2024H0 Focused Topics in Biochemistry;

    • ​JTB 2020H Applied Bioinformatics;

    • JBB 2025H Protein Crystallography; or

    • JBB 2026H Protein Structure, Folding, and Design.

    ​Students may fulfil the 1.5-FCE course requirement entirely from this list.

  • ​​Participate in BCH 2022Y0 Doctoral Seminar Course in Biochemistry.

  • Submit a thesis 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; 5 years transfer-from-master's

Time Limit

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

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

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

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 who obtained a degree outside Canada are generally required to have an MSc degree in biochemistry or in a closely related subject area with high academic standing and must arrange for General Record Examination (GRE) results to be sent to the department.

  • Applicants from outside Canada whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English must provide TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TWE (Essay Writing) 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 IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 7 is also acceptable.

  • The latter two categories require the student to successfully complete a qualifying examination within the first 18 months.

Program Requirements

  • Students must successfully complete a qualifying examination within the first 18 months of the program.

  • Complete any courses that were a condition of acceptance.

  • Complete 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from Biochemistry or cognate departments in graduate-level courses; at least 0.5 FCE must be from the following list:

    • BCH 2024H0 Focused Topics in Biochemistry;

    • ​JTB 2020H Applied Bioinformatics;

    • JBB 2025H Protein Crystallography; or

    • JBB 2026H Protein Structure, Folding, and Design.

    ​Students may fulfil the 1.5-FCE course requirement entirely from this list.

  • ​​Participate in BCH 2022Y0 Doctoral Seminar Course in Biochemistry.

  • Submit a thesis 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. The course is graded when completed.

 

Biochemistry: Biochemistry MSc, PhD Courses

For course details and availability, consult the Biochemistry we​bsite.

​BCH 1371H
Laboratory Course in Biochemistry (BCH 371)§​​
​BCH 1422H
Membrane Proteins: Structure and Function—Lectures (BCH 422H)§
​BCH 1426H
Regulation of Signalling Pathways—Lectures (BCH 426H)§​
​BCH 1440H
​Protein Biosynthesis—Lectures (BCH 440H)§
​BCH 1441H
Bioinformatics (BCH 441H)§
​BCH 1471Y
Advanced Biochemistry—Laboratory (BCH 471Y)§ (prerequisite is BCH 371§ or equivalent)​
​BCH 2020Y0
​Master's Seminar Course in Biochemistry (Credit/No Credit)
​BCH 2022Y0
​Doctoral Seminar Course in Biochemistry (Credit/No Credit)
​BCH 2024H0
​Focused Topics in Biochemistry
​JBB 1425H
​Structural Biology: Principles and Practice—Lectures (BCH 425H)§
​JBB 2025H
Protein Crystallography—Lectures​
​JBB 2026H
Protein Structure, Folding, and Design​
​JBI 1428H
Molecular Immunology—Lectures (JBI 428H)§
​JBL 1507H
​Biochemistry of Inherited Disease
JNP 1017H+
​Current Topics in Molecular and Biochemical Toxicology
​JNP 1018H+
​Molecular and Biochemical Basis of Toxicology​
​JNR 1444Y
​Fundamentals of Neuroscience: Cellular and Molecular—Lectures (PSL 444Y)§
​​JTB 2020H
Applied Bioinformatics​

§ Arts and Science undergraduate course

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

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