Medical Biophysics

Medical Biophysics: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Medicine

Degree Programs

Medical Biophysics

​​MSc​
​PhD

​Combined Degree Programs

​Collaborative Specializations

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

  1. ​Biomedical Engineering
    • Medical Biophysics, MSc, PhD
  2. Cardiovascular Sciences
    • Medical Biophysics, MSc, PhD
  3. Genome Biology and Bioinformatics
    • Medical Biophysics, PhD
  4. Human Development​
    • Medical Biophysics, PhD
  5. Neuroscience
    • Medical Biophysics, MSc, PhD

Overview

The Department of Medical Biophysics is an interdisciplinary graduate department dedicated to fundamental and translational research in biomedicine, with a particular focus on cancer. Research is carried out in the extensive facilities provided in the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Research Institute, and the Hospital for Sick Kids Research Institute, as well as at other hospital locations.

The department accepts students in the biological and life sciences as well as in physics, engineering, and the mathematical sciences. It offers opportunities for research addressing fundamental problems in medical science: projects which cut across the conventional boundaries of biology, physics, engineering, chemistry, and medicine are encouraged. The department focuses on basic and applied research related to cancer, but also addresses neuroscience and cardiovascular medicine. Projects include the following areas: tumour biology, radiobiology, membrane function, proteomics, epigenetics, molecular interactions, gene expression, cell differentiation and growth control, viral and chemical carcinogenesis, cellular and molecular immunology, hematopoiesis, macromolecular structure via x-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy and electron microscopy, the physics and engineering of diagnostic imaging and image-guided therapy, development of imaging and therapy systems using x-rays, ultrasound, nuclear magnetic resonance, light and electron optics. For detailed information, please visit the departmental website.

Contact and Address

Web: http://medbio.utoronto.ca
Email: medbio.info@utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 634-8751 or (416) 634-8755

Department of Medical Biophysics
MaRS Centre, Toronto Medical Discovery Tower
101 College Street, Suite 15-701
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7
Canada

Medical Biophysics: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Ailles, Laurie - PhD
Andrews, David - PhD
Arrowsmith, Cheryl - BSc, PhD
Attisano, Liliana - BSc, PhD
Barber, Dwayne - BSc, PhD
Bjerknes, Matthew - BSc, MSc, PhD
Boutros, Paul - PhD
Boyd, Norman - MD
Bristow, Robert Glen - MD, PhD
Burns, Peter - BSc, PhD
Chakrabartty, Avijit - BSc, MSc, PhD
Chen, Jean - PhD
Chopra, Rajiv - PhD
Cunningham, Charles - BSc, MSc, PhD (Graduate Coordinator, Physics Stream)
Czarnota, Gregory - MD, PhD
Danska, Jayne - AB, PhD
De Carvalho, Daniel - PhD
Done, Susan - BA, MA, MBA, BCh, MB, PhD
Edwards, Aled - BSc, PhD
Filmus, Jorge - MSc, PhD
Foster, Stuart - BSc, MSc, PhD
Fraser, Paul - BSc, MSc, PhD
Gallie, Brenda - MD
Gariepy, Jean - BSc, PhD
Goertz, David - MSc, PhD
Graham, Simon - BSc, PhD
Hakem, Razqallah - PhD (Graduate Coordinator, Biology Stream)
Hedley, David - MD
Henkelman, Mark - BSc, MSc, PhD
Hoffman, Michael - PhD
Huang, Annie - MD
Hynynen, Kullervo - BSc, MS, PhD
Ikura, Mitsuhiko - BSc, PhD
Irwin, Meredith - MD
Iscove, Norman - MD, PhD
Jaffray, David - BSc, PhD
Julius, Michael - BSc, PhD
Jurisica, Igor - PhD, CRC
Kamel-Reid, Suzanne - BA, MA, PhD
Keller, Gordon - BSc, PhD
Kerbel, Robert - BSc, PhD
Khokha, Rama - BSc, MSc, PhD
Kislinger, Thomas - PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Koch, Christine - BSc, MD, PhD
Lerch, Jason - BA, PhD
Lilge, Lothar - DipPhy, PhD
Liu, Fei-Fei - MD
Liu, Geoffrey - BSc, MSc, MD
Liu, Stanley - MD, PhD
Lupien, Mathieu - PhD
Macgowan, Christopher - BSc, MSc, PhD
MacIntosh, Bradley - PhD
Mak, Tak - BSc, MSc, PhD
Malkin, David - MD
Marsden, Philip - MD
Martel, Anne - BSc, PhD
Mcglade-Dolson, Jane - BSc, PhD
Medin, Jeffrey - BSc, PhD
Minden, Mark - MD, PhD
Minkin, Salomon - BSc, MSc, PhD
Moghal, Nadeem - Phd
Moody, Alan - BA, MA, MBBS
Neel, Benjamin - MD, PhD
Nieman, Brian - PhD
Ohashi, Pam - BSc, PhD
Pai, Emil - PhD
Paige, Christopher - BSc, PhD
Penn, Linda - BSc, PhD
Prive, Gil - BSc, PhD
Pugh, Trevor - PhD
Puri, Mira - BSc, PhD
Raught, Brian - BS, MS, PhD
Reedijk, Michael - BSc, MSc, MD, PhD
Ross, Bernard - DipIng, PhD
Rottapel, Robert - BA, MD
Rubinstein, John - BSc, PhD, PhD
Santyr, Giles - PhD
Schimmer, Aaron - MD, PhD
Sled, John - BASc, MSc, PhD (Vice-Chair)
Spaner, David - PhD
Stambolic, Vuk - BSc, MSc, PhD
Stanisz, Greg - PhD
Stefanovic, Bojana - BASc, PhD
Strother, Stephen - BSc, MS, PhD
Tabori, Uri - MBBS
Trudel, Suzanne - MSc, MD
Tsao, Ming-Sound - BSc, MD
Van Der Kooy, Derek - BSc, MA, PhD
Vitkin, Alex - BASc, MASc, PhD
Wilson, Brian - BSc, PhD
Wong, Chong Shun - MD
Woo, Minna Nancy - MD
Woodgett, James - BSc, PhD
Wouters, Bradly - MSc, PhD
Wright, Graham - BSc, MSc, PhD
Yaffe, Martin - BSc, MSc, PhD
Zacksenhaus, Eldad - PhD
Zheng, Gang - MSc, PhD

Members Emeriti

Hill, Richard - BA, PhD
Ottensmeyer, Peter - BASc, MA, PhD
Plewes, Donald - BSc, MSc, PhD
Rauth, A Michael - BSc, PhD
Tannock, Ian - MD, PhD

Associate Members

Akens, Margarete - DVM, PhD
Beatty, Philip - PhD
Bratman, Scott - MD, PhD
Chan, Steven - MD, PhD
DaCosta, Ralph - PhD
Demore, Christine - PhD
Haibe-Kains, Benjamin - PhD
He, Housheng - PhD
Lau, Angus - PhD
O'Reilly, Meaghan - MS
Pang, Geordi - PhD
Reimand, Juri - MSc, PhD
Sadeghi-Naini, Ali - MSc, PhD
Tiedemann, Rodger - MBCHB, PhD
Zarrine-Afsar, Arash - BSc, PhD

Medical Biophysics: Medical Biophysics MSc

Master of Science​

Program Description

The MSc program has two entry streams: 1) physics for students with a background in physical sciences; and 2) biology for students with a background in disciplines such as chemistry, biochemistry and life sciences. 

The objective of the MSc program is for students to acquire written and oral scholarly research skills in Medical Biophysics. Students carry out a research project (which is usually laboratory-based), prepare a research thesis, take graduate-level courses, and attend and participate in research seminars. Students select from a flexible, modular curriculum and participate in department-wide Medical Biophysics Graduate Student Seminars which develop skills in cross-disciplinary communication.

All MSc students carry out a thesis project in a laboratory that they select by means of a rotations program on entry to the department. Through this project they acquire knowledge in the design of experiments and in the interpretation and critical analysis of research findings. Students submit a thesis that reports critically on their research and pass an oral examination. They are guided by a supervisory committee through which they have access to the wide range of expertise in our faculty.

Students participate in student symposium, invited lecture series, and research seminars throughout their program. They are encouraged to reclassify (transfer) into the PhD program through an examination during Year 2, taken about 20 months after entry.

 

Minimum Admission Requirements

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

  • Applicants with diverse academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

  • Applicants holding bachelor's degrees from non-Canadian universities are required to provide Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (General and Subject) with their application.

Program Requirements

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

    • MBP 1015Y Biophysics Seminar (1.0 FCE). Note that students must attend this continuous course until their degree program is completed.

    • six modules, consisting of two modules per course, as follows (1.5 FCEs):

      • Biostatistics module; and Scientific Exposition and Ethics module: MBP 1101H (0.5 FCE)

      • One biology-stream module (0.25 FCE)

      • The balance of 0.75 FCE is chosen from physics- or biology-stream course modules; or (with departmental approval) graduate courses in another department.

      • Modules are taken within courses. See the course list below.

  • Successful completion of an oral examination of the student's research thesis.

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

    • ​MBP 1015Y Biophysics Seminar (1.0 FCE). Note that students must attend this continuous course until their degree program is completed.

    • six modules, consisting of two modules per course, as follows (1.5 FCEs):

      • Biostatistics module; and Scientific Exposition and Ethics module: MBP 1101H (0.5 FCE)

      • Either the Cell and Molecular Biology for Physicists—Introduction module or one biology-stream module; or a graduate course chosen in consultation with the department that provides a foundation in biology (0.5 FCE or 1.0 FCE)

      • The balance is chosen from physics- or biology-stream course modules; or (with departmental approval) graduate courses in another department.

      • Modules are taken within courses. See the course list below.

  • Successful completion of an oral examination of the student's research thesis.

Program Length

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

Time Limit

3 years full-time

Medical Biophysics: Medical Biophysics PhD

​Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The PhD program has two entry streams: 1) physics for students with a background in physical sciences; and 2) biology for students with a background in disciplines such as chemistry, biochemistry and life sciences. 

The objective of the PhD program is to prepare students for a career in biomedical research. It is designed to provide both a broad knowledge of biomedical science and advanced training in basic research at a subspecialty level. Thesis work may address fundamental and/or translational problems in the biology, diagnosis, and therapy of cancer, as well as areas of neuroscience and cardiovascular medicine. By the end of the program, graduates will have acquired the ability to conduct independent theoretical and/or experimental research which makes an original contribution to the field, prepare publications, and give public presentations of their work at national and international venues.

These objectives are met through a combination of coursework, teaching, and research seminars, mentored laboratory research, and preparation of manuscripts for publication. Graduates may attain professorial positions in academic research and teaching institutions, hospital laboratories, and in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and biomedical science and information industries, including startup companies which they have founded.

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

 

Minimum Admission Requirements

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

  • Applicants may be admitted following completion of an MSc degree program in biological, physical, chemical, or medical sciences from a recognized Canadian university or equivalent.

  • Admission to the PhD program is highly selective and attainment of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

Program Requirements

  • All students, regardless of entry option, complete the same program requirements. 

  • Considering the broad range of topics available for thesis research and the different backgrounds of students admitted, each student, in consultation with his or her supervisor, will plan a program of study that provides the appropriate background for the area of investigation.

  • All PhD students will participate in MBP 1015Y0 Biophysics Seminar regardless of whether or not they have previously received credit for it. 

  • Students who transfer/reclassify into the doctoral program will receive credit for all courses taken during their MSc program in Medical Biophysics.  

  • Except by special arrangement, students are required to attend the research institute or campus laboratory and participate full-time until all program requirements are completed.

Biology Stream
  • Coursework. Students must complete 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • MBP 1015Y0 Biophysics Seminar (1.0 FCE). Note that this is a continuous course which students must attend until their degree is completed.

    • 10 modules, consisting of two modules per course, as follows (2.5 FCEs):

      • Biostatistics (0.25 FCE)

      • Scientific Exposition and Ethics (0.25 FCE)

      • At least one biology-stream course module (0.25 FCE)

      • The balance of 1.75 FCE is chosen from physics- or biology-stream course modules; or (with departmental approval) graduate courses in another department.

      • Modules are taken within courses. See the course list below.

  • Students are required to take a PhD Qualifying Examination in Year 2.

  • Successful completion of a Final Oral Examination of the student's research thesis.

Physics Stream
  • Coursework. Students must complete 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • MBP 1015Y0 Biophysics Seminar (1.0 FCE; this is a continuous course which students must attend until their degree is completed)

    • 10 modules selected as follows:

      • Biostatistics (0.25 FCE)

      • Scientific Exposition and Ethics (0.25 FCE)

      • Either Cell and Molecular Biology for Physicists—Introduction (0.25 FCE) or one biology-stream course module; or a graduate course chosen in consultation with the department that provides a foundation in biology (0.5 FCE or 1.0 FCE).

      • The balance is chosen from physics- or biology-stream course modules; or (with departmental approval) graduate courses in another department.

      • Modules are taken within courses. See the course list below.
  • Students are required to take a PhD Qualifying Examination in Year 2.

  • Successful completion of a Final Oral Examination of the student's research thesis.

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

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

Medical Biophysics: Medical Biophysics MSc, PhD Courses

MBP 1102H, MBP 1103H, MBP 1104H, and MBP 1105H each comprise two modules selected from a list of more than 30 that are offered in Medical Biophysics. Each September the department publishes a list of specific modules available to students during the following two academic years.

​MBP 1015Y
Biophysics Seminar​
​MBP 1023H
Clinical Radiation Physics​
MBP 1101H Modules in Medical Biophysics I: Scientific Exposition and Ethics; Biostatistics
MBP 1102H Modules in Medical Biophysics II
MBP 1103H Modules in Medical Biophysics III
MBP 1104H Modules in Medical Biophysics IV
MBP 1105H Modules in Medical Biophysics V