Medical Biophysics

Medical Biophysics: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Medicine

Degree Programs

Medical Biophysics

MSc and PhD

​Combined Degree Programs

​Collaborative Specializations

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

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. Medical Biophysics research themes include biomedical imaging, cancer diagnosis and therapy, cancer mechanisms and models, cardiovascular sciences, data science and computational biology, image-guided therapy and device development, neuroscience, stem cells and regenerative medicine, and structural biology. For detailed information, please visit the departmental website.

Contact and Address

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

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

Medical Biophysics: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Akens, Margarete - DVM, PhD
Arrowsmith, Cheryl - BSc, PhD
Attisano, Liliana - BSc, PhD
Billia, Filio - BSc, MSc, MD, PhD
Bjerknes, Matthew - BSc, MSc, PhD
Boyd, Norman - MD
Bratman, Scott - MD, PhD
Bristow, Robert Glen - MD, PhD
Burns, Peter - BSc, PhD
Chakrabartty, Avijit - BSc, MSc, PhD
Cunningham, Charles - BSc, MSc, PhD (Vice-Chair)
DaCosta, Ralph - PhD
Danska, Jayne - AB, PhD
De Carvalho, Daniel - PhD
Demore, Christine - 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
Haibe-Kains, Benjamin - PhD
Hakem, Raz - PhD (Graduate Coordinator, Downtown)
He, Housheng - PhD
Hedley, David - MD
Henkelman, Mark - BSc, MSc, 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
Keller, Gordon - BSc, PhD
Kerbel, Robert - BSc, PhD
Khokha, Rama - BSc, MSc, PhD
Kislinger, Thomas - PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Leong, Hon - MSc, PhD
Lilge, Lothar - DipPhy, PhD
Lin, Fa-Hsuan - PhD
Liu, Fei-Fei - MD
Liu, Geoffrey - BSc, MSc, MD
Liu, Stanley - MD, 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
Moody, Alan - BA, MA, MBBS
O'Brien, Catherine - BSc, MSc, DrMed, PhD
O'Reilly, Meaghan - MS, PhD
Pai, Emil - PhD
Paige, Christopher - BSc, PhD
Penn, Linda - BSc, PhD
Prive, Gil - BSc, PhD
Pugh, Trevor - PhD
Raught, Brian - BS, MS, PhD
Reedijk, Michael - BSc, MSc, MD, PhD
Reimand, Juri - MSc, PhD
Ross, Bernhard - DipIng, PhD
Rottapel, Robert - BA, MD
Rubinstein, John - BSc, PhD, PhD
Santyr, Giles - PhD
Schimmer, Aaron - MD, PhD
Sled, John - BASc, MEng, PhD (Vice-Chair)
Spaner, David - PhD
Stambolic, Vuk - BSc, MSc, PhD
Stanisz, Greg - PhD (Graduate Coordinator, Uptown)
Stefanovic, Bojana - BASc, PhD
Strother, Stephen - BSc, MS, PhD
Tabori, Uri - MBBS
Taylor, Michael - BSc, DrMed, PhD
Tsao, Ming-Sound - BSc, MD
Uludag, Kamil - PhD
Van Der Kooy, Derek - BSc, MA, PhD
Vitkin, Alex - BASc, MASc, PhD
Wilson, Brian - BSc, PhD
Wong, Chong Shun - MD
Woodgett, James - BSc, PhD
Wouters, Bradly - MSc, PhD
Yaffe, Martin - BSc, MSc, PhD
Zacksenhaus, Eldad - PhD
Zheng, Gang - MSc, PhD

Members Emeriti

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

Associate Members

Bailey, Colleen - PhD
Chan, Steven - MD, PhD
Diamandis, Phedias - BS, MD, PhD
Goubran, Maged - PhD
Harding, Shane - PhD
McIntosh, Chris - PhD
Ramaswamy, Vijay - MD
Sadeghi-Naini, Ali - MSc, PhD
Tiedemann, Rodger - MBChB, PhD
Wang, Bo - BS, MS, PhD

Medical Biophysics: Medical Biophysics MSc

Master of Science​

Program Description

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 from diverse academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Program Requirements

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

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

    • MBP 1200H Scientific Exposition and Ethics (0.25 FCE).

    • MBP 1201H Biostatistics (0.25 FCE).

    • One of the following two options:

      • a biology-stream module (0.25 FCE) or

      • a graduate course (0.25 FCE) chosen in consultation with the department that provides a foundation in biology.

    • The balance of 0.75 FCE is chosen from any of the other 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 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.

 

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 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 their 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.

  • Coursework. Students must complete a total of 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.

    • MBP 1200H Scientific Exposition and Ethics (0.25 FCE).

    • MBP 1201H Biostatistics (0.25 FCE).

    • One of the following two options:

      • a biology-stream module (0.25 FCE) or

      • a graduate course (0.25 FCE) chosen in consultation with the department that provides a foundation in biology.

    • The balance of 1.75 FCE is chosen from any of the other course modules; or (with departmental approval) graduate courses in another department.

  • Students must complete all required coursework by the end of Year 3 in order to achieve candidacy. Upon achieving candidacy, completion is noted on the student's transcript.

  • Students must take a PhD Qualifying Examination in Year 2.

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

Program Length

4 years full-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time

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

 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

  • Applicants may be accepted into the PhD program via transfer from the University of Toronto Medical Biophysics MSc program with an A– average and by successfully defending a research proposal during a reclassification oral examination within 20 months in the program.

Program Requirements

  • 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. See the course requirements above for the PhD program. Students must have an A– average in these courses.

  • Students will defend a research thesis at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination conducted by Medical Biophysics and the School of Graduate Studies.

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

  • Coursework. Students must complete a total of 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.

    • MBP 1200H Scientific Exposition and Ethics (0.25 FCE).

    • MBP 1201H Biostatistics (0.25 FCE).

    • One of the following two options:

      • a biology-stream module (0.25 FCE) or

      • a graduate course (0.25 FCE) chosen in consultation with the department that provides a foundation in biology.

    • The balance of 1.75 FCE is chosen from any of the other course modules; or (with departmental approval) graduate courses in another department.

    • Students must complete all required coursework by the end of Year 4 in order to achieve candidacy. Upon achieving candidacy, completion is noted on the student's transcript.

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

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

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 Medical Biophysics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Outstanding students may be admitted directly to the PhD program following completion of a BSc degree with an A– average in biological, physical, chemical, or medical sciences from a recognized Canadian university or equivalent.

  • Applicants holding bachelor’s degrees from non-Canadian universities must provide Graduate Record Examination scores (General and Subject) with their application.

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

Program Requirements

  • Students must successfully defend a research proposal during a qualifying oral examination within 18 months of entry into the program.

  • Students will defend a research thesis at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination conducted by the Department of Medical Biophysics and the School of Graduate Studies.

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

  • Coursework. Students must complete a total of 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.

    • MBP 1200H Scientific Exposition and Ethics (0.25 FCE).

    • MBP 1201H Biostatistics (0.25 FCE).

    • One of the following two options:

      • a biology-stream module (0.25 FCE) or

      • a graduate course (0.25 FCE) chosen in consultation with the department that provides a foundation in biology.

    • The balance of 1.75 FCE is chosen from any of the other course modules; or (with departmental approval) graduate courses in another department.

    • Students must complete all required coursework by the end of Year 4 in order to achieve candidacy. Upon achieving candidacy, completion is noted on the student's transcript.

  • Students must take a PhD Qualifying Examination in Year 2.

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

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

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

Medical Biophysics: Medical Biophysics MSc, PhD Courses

Each September the department publishes a list of specific modules available to students during the following two academic years. Please consult with the department.

​MBP 1015Y0 (1.0 FCE)
Biophysics Seminar​
MBP 1200H (0.25 FCE) Scientific Exposition and Ethics
MBP 1201H (0.25 FCE) Biostatistics
MBP 1300H (0.25 FCE) Quantitative Cancer Genomics
MBP 1301H (0.5 FCE) Radiation Oncology: Clinical and Experimental Radiobiology
MBP 1302H (0.25 FCE) Structural Biology and Proteomics
MBP 1303H (0.25 FCE) Cell Signaling and Metabolism
MBP 1304H (0.25 FCE) Predictive Oncology and Therapeutics
MBP 1305H (0.25 FCE) Experimental Models for Cancer Research
MBP 1306H (0.25 FCE) Cancer Epigenetics
MBP 1307H (0.25 FCE) Development, Stem Cells, and Cancer
MBP 1308H (0.25 FCE) Radiation Biology and DNA Repair
MBP 1309H (0.25 FCE) Clinical Imaging for Physical Scientists
MBP 1310H (0.25 FCE) Cancer Immunotherapy
MBP 1311H (0.25 FCE) Tumour Microenvironment
MBP 1400H (0.25 FCE) Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging
MBP 1401H (0.25 FCE) Advanced Ultrasound
MBP 1402H (0.25 FCE) Biological Imaging
MBP 1403H (0.25 FCE) Biophysics of Focused Ultrasound, Thermal Biophysics
MBP 1404H (0.25 FCE) Cell and Molecular Biology for Physicists – Introduction
MBP 1405H (0.25 FCE) Introduction to Bio-Microscopies
MBP 1406H (0.25 FCE) Introduction to Biophotonics
MBP 1407H (0.25 FCE) Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Overview
MBP 1408H (0.25 FCE) Medical Device Commercialization Essentials
MBP 1409H (0.25 FCE) Medical Device Innovation and Entrepreneurship
MBP 1410H (0.25 FCE) Nanotechnology for Medicine
MBP 1411H (0.25 FCE) Overview of Medical Imaging
MBP 1412H (0.25 FCE) Ultrasound – Overview
MBP 1413H (0.25 FCE) Advanced Biostatistics
MBP 1414H (0.25 FCE) Reading Special Topics

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