Molecular Genetics

Molecular Genetics: Introduction

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

Medicine

Degree Programs

Genetic Counselling

MSc

Medical Genomics

MHSc

Molecular Genetics

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 Molecular Genetics is administered from the Medical Sciences Building and has nearly 100 faculty members whose labs are located within the Medical Sciences Building, the MaRS Centre, the Donnelly Centre, the Hospital for Sick Children, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

Faculty members run a variety of research programs in diverse areas such as genetic models of development and disease; molecular medicine and human genetics; cellular and molecular structure and function; molecular microbiology and infectious disease; computational and systems biology; functional genomics and proteomics.

Contact and Address

Web: www.moleculargenetics.utoronto.ca
Email: graduate.coordinator@utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 978-8359
Fax: (416) 978-6885

Department of Molecular Genetics
University of Toronto
Medical Sciences Building
Room 4398, 1 King's College Circle
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8
Canada

Molecular Genetics: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Abelson, Sagi - PhD
Andrews, Brenda Jean - BSc, PhD
Andrulis, Irene - BA, PhD
Aubin, Jane - BSc, PhD
Awadalla, Philip - PhD
Bader, Gary - BSc, PhD
Blencowe, Benjamin - BSc, PhD
Boone, Charlie - BSc, PhD
Boulianne, Gabrielle - BSc, PhD
Brill, Julie - PhD
Brown, Martha - BSc, MSc, PhD
Brumell, John - BSc, PhD
Campbell, Kieran - PhD
Campos, Eric - PhD
Chan, Hue Sun - BSc, MA, PhD
Ciruna, Brian - BSc, PhD
Claycomb, Julie - BS, BA, PhD (Graduate Coordinator)
Cochrane, Alan - BSc, PhD
Cohn, Ronald – MD
Collins, Richard - BSc, PhD
Cordes, Sabine - BS, PhD
Cowen, Leah - BSc, PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Culotti, Joseph - PhD
Davidson, Alan Richard - BSc, PhD
Delgado Olguin, Paul - BSc, PhD
Dennis, James - PhD
Derry, Brent - BSc, MSc, PhD
Dick, John - PhD
Dirks, Peter Benjamin - MD, PhD
Dowling, James - MD
Durocher, Daniel - PhD
Edwards, Aled - BSc, PhD
Egan, Sean - PhD
Ellis, James - PhD
Emili, Andrew - DPM, PhD
Ensminger, Alexander - BS, PhD
Ernst, Oliver - PhD
Frappier, Lori - PhD
Fraser, Andrew - BSc
Funnell, Barbara - PhD
Gallie, Brenda - MD
Gingras, Anne-Claude - BSc, PhD
Gray-Owen, Scott - BS, PhD
Greenblatt, Jack - BSc, PhD
Hopyan, Sevan - BSc, MD, PhD
Huang, Xi - PhD
Hudson, Thomas J. - MD
Hughes, Timothy - BSE, BMus, PhD
Hui, Chi-Chung - PhD
Hurd, Thomas Ryan - BSc, PhD
Joshi-Sukhwal, Sadhna - BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc
Justice, Monica - PhD
Kafri, Ran - BSc, MSc, PhD
Kaplan, David - BA, PhD
Kay, Lewis - PhD
Kim, Philip - BS, PhD
Kim, Tae-Hee - PhD
Krause, Henry - BSc, PhD
Lavoie, Brigitte - PhD
Lefebvre, Julie - PhD
Li, Yun - PhD
Lipshitz, Howard - PhD
Liu, Jun - PhD
Maass, Philipp - PhD
Meneghini, Marc - BSc, PhD
Miller, Freda - BSc, PhD
Moffat, Jason - BSc, PhD
Moran, Michael - BSc, PhD
Morris, Quaid - BS, PhD
Muffat, Julien - PhD
Navarre, William - BSc, PhD
Okamoto, Kenichi - BS, MA, PhD
Osborne, Lucy - PhD
Park, Jeehye - PhD
Parkinson, John - BS, PhD
Pearson, Bret - BS, PhD
Pearson, Christopher - PhD
Pelletier, Laurence - BSc, MSc, PhD
Protze, Stephanie - PhD
Ramalho-Santos, Miguel - PhD
Reimand, Juri - MSc, PhD
Reinke, Aaron - PhD
Rini, James - BSc, PhD
Rommens, Johanna - BSc, PhD
Rossant, Janet - PhD
Rost, Hannes - PhD
Roth, Frederick - PhD
Roy, Peter John - BSc, PhD
Scherer, Stephen - PhD
Schramek, Daniel - PhD
Scott, Ian - BSc, PhD
Segall, Jacqueline - BSc, PhD
Sicheri, Frank - BSc, PhD
Sidhu, Sachdev - BSc, DPhil
Smibert, Craig - BSc, PhD
Sondheimer, Neal John - MD, PhD
Spence, Andrew - BSc, PhD
Stagljar, Igor - BS, PhD
Stein, Lincoln - BA, MD, PhD
Steipe, Boris - MD, PhD
Van Der Kooy, Derek - BSc, MA, PhD
Wilde, Andrew Rhys - BSc, PhD
Wilson, Michael - BSc, PhD
Wrana, Jeff - PhD
Yuen, Ryan - PhD
Zhang, Zhaolei - BS, PhD
Zhen, Mei - PhD

Members Emeriti

Becker, Andrew - MD, PhD
Carver, Jeremy - BA, PhD
Sadowski, Paul - MD, PhD
Siminovitch, Louis - BSc, BSc, PhD

Associate Members

Aronson, Melyssa - BS, MS
Babul-Hirji, Riyana - BSc, MSc
Care, Melanie - BSc, MSc
Carroll, Johanna - BA, PhD
Chitayat, David - MD
Cytrynbaum, Cheryl - MSc
Druker, Harriet - MSc
Dupuis, Lucie - MSc
Fung, Charlotte - MSc
Gallinger, Bailey - MSc
Gibbons, Clare - BS, MSc
Graham, Tracy - MSc
Hewson, Stacy - MSc
Hill, Jessica - BSc, MSc, PhD
Hoang, Ny - MSc
Injeyan, Marie - MSc
Kaiser, Amy - BA
Klatt, Regan - BSc, MSc
Lemmens, Trudo - LLM, DCL
Liston, Eriskay - BA, MSc
Lorentz, Justin - MSc
Martin, Nicole - BSc, MS
McCuaig, Jeanna - MS
Mendoza, Roberto - MD
Miron, Ioana - MSc
Murphy, Jillian - BSc, MSc
Myles Reid, Diane - BSc, MSc
Nanda, Sonia - BS, MSc
Quercia, Nada - BS, MSc
Semotiuk, Kara - BSc
Shugar, Andrea - BSc, MS
Shuman, Cheryl - MSc
Silver, Rachel - BSc, MSc
Staines, Andrea - MSc
Steele, Leslie - BSc, MSc
Steiner, Martina - PhD
Styles, Erin - BSc, PhD
Szego, Michael - BSc, MHSc, PhD
Uster, Tamarah - BSc, MS
Watkins, Nicholas - MSc
Weksberg, Rosanna - MD, PhD
Yoon, Grace - MD

Molecular Genetics: Genetic Counselling MSc

Master of Science

Program Description

The MSc program is a full-time degree program (non-thesis) that prepares students with relevant academic knowledge and clinical skills so that upon graduating, they may work as highly competent genetic counsellors in a variety of practice settings. Genetic counsellors are employed in many areas of healthcare, providing genetic assessment and counselling to individuals and families with, or at risk for, a genetic disorder. There is also an increasing demand for genetic counsellors to join genetic/genomic testing laboratories, industry, public health settings, etc. Genetic counsellors are often involved in academic activities including teaching and research, administrative leadership roles, advisory roles for government and/or support organizations, and other precision medicine leadership capacities. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

Minimum Admission Requirements

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

  • A four-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university with a minimum B+ average, both cumulatively and in the upper years.

  • Successful completion or proof of current enrolment of undergraduate courses at a recognized university in biology, molecular biology/genetics, biochemistry, embryology/animal developmental biology, statistics, and psychology.

  • The development of strong interpersonal and communication skills, as evidenced by experience in a counselling setting (volunteer or paid).

  • All applicants must register with the National Matching System (NMS); instructions are provided in the department's application procedures.

Program Requirements

  • Students must complete 13.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 10.0 FCEs in coursework with a minimum B– standing. Lectures, meetings, and rounds must be attended at a minimum of 90% of scheduled occurrences.

    • 1.0 FCE independent research project. Students are expected to develop and implement a research study designed and carried out by them under the supervision of a faculty member. The independent research project must be relevant to the field of genetic counselling and/or clinical genetics. Students must present the independent research project both orally and in a written format suitable for publication.

    • 2.0 FCEs in clinical practicums.

  • Students spend a minimum of 21 months over a two-year period in full-time attendance.

  • Students are required to complete an intervening summer rotation (six weeks duration).

Program Length

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

Time Limit

3 years full-time

Molecular Genetics: Genetic Counselling MSc Courses

Required Courses

​MSC 2010Y
​Molecular Medicine in Human Genetic Disease​
​MMG 1120Y+
Clinical Rotations I​
​MMG 1122Y
Issues in Genetic Counselling I​
​MMG 1124Y
​Principles of Effective Counselling
​MMG 1126Y
​Clinical Issues in Pregnancy and Child Development
​MMG 1128Y
​Risk Calculation and Research Methodology
​MMG 1130Y
Tutorial in Molecular Genetics​
​MMG 1132H
Laboratory Skills​
​MMG 1220Y
​Clinical Rotations II
​MMG 1222Y
Issues in Genetic Counselling II​
​MMG 1224Y
​Advanced Principles of Effective Counselling
​MMG 1226Y
​Concepts in Clinical Genetics
​MMG 1228Y
​Independent Research Project
​MMG 1230H
​Cancer Genetic Counselling

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

Molecular Genetics: Medical Genomics MHSc

Master of Health Science

Program Description

The professional master’s program in Medical Genomics is a fast‐paced, content‐dense degree program delivered over five continuous sessions. This program will provide medical trainees, clinicians, research scientists, and laboratory professionals with the theory and practical knowledge necessary to incorporate the generation, analysis, and interpretation of genomics data into research and medical practice. Preferred applicants have relevant research and/or clinical experience and can demonstrate an immediate and substantive use of this degree in professional practice.

Minimum Admission Requirements

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

  • An appropriate BSc degree with high academic standing from a recognized university, with a B+ average or better. Applicants would normally possess an undergraduate degree displaying competence in genetics, molecular biology, or related fields.

    or

    An appropriate MD degree with high academic standing from a recognized university, with a B+ average or better.

  • Applicants will complete an application package including:

    • all previous university transcripts

    • a transcript summary form for either the clinical or laboratory stream

    • curriculum vitae (CV)

    • statement of interest (one to two pages maximum), including how this program will have an impact on future career path

    • three letters of reference from professional, academic, or other qualified referees.

  • Interview (15 minutes).

Program Requirements

Students must complete a total of 9.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

  • Year 1:

    • MMG 3001Y Advanced Human Genetics (2.0 FCEs, Fall and Winter)

    • MMG 3002Y Biological Statistics (1.0 FCE, Fall)

    • MMG 3003Y Genomics Methodologies (2.0 FCEs, Winter and Summer).

  • Year 2:

    • MMG 3004Y Communication of Genetic Information (1.0 FCE, Fall)

    • MMG 3005Y Ethical and Legal Implications of Genomics (1.0 FCE, Fall)

    • MMG 3007Y Clinical Practicum in Medical Genomics, an elective for clinical-stream students and trainees in patient-facing medical fields (1.0 FCE; Credit/No Credit, Winter)
      or
      MMG 3008Y Practicum in Modern Genomics, an elective for laboratory professional-stream students in clinical/research science careers (1.0 FCE; Credit/No Credit, Winter).

  • MMG 3006Y0 Future Directions in Medical Genomics (1.0 FCE, Credit/No Credit).

Program Length

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

Time Limit

3 years

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

Molecular Genetics: Medical Genomics MHSc Courses

Required Courses

​MMG 3001Y (2.0 FCEs)
Advanced Human Genetics
​​MMG 3002Y
​Biological Statistics
​​MMG 3003Y (2.0 FCEs)
​Genomics Methodologies
​​MMG 3004Y
Communication of Genetic Information
​​MMG 3005Y
​Ethical and Legal Implications of Genomics
​​MMG 3006Y0
​Future Directions in Medical Genomics (Credit/No Credit)

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

Required Elective (choose one)

​MMG 3007Y
Clinical Practicum in Medical Genomics (Credit/No Credit)
​​MMG 3008Y
​Practicum in Modern Genomics (Credit/No Credit)

Molecular Genetics: Molecular Genetics MSc

Master of Science

Program Description

The MSc program offers research training in a broad range of genetic systems from bacteria and viruses to humans. Research projects include DNA repair, recombination and segregation, transcription, RNA splicing and catalysis, regulation of gene expression, signal transduction, interactions of host cells with bacteria and viruses, developmental genetics of simple organisms (worms and fruit flies) as well as complex organisms (mice), molecular neurobiology, molecular immunology, cancer biology and virology, structural biology, and human genetics and gene therapy.

Minimum Admission Requirements

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

  • Normally, a BSc or MD degree or equivalent with excellent academic credentials in molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, and/or biochemistry. Applicants trained in other quantitative sciences (math, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, etc.) are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Successful completion of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs): MMG 1001H, MMG 1002H, MMG 1011H, and MMG 1021H.

  • A thesis on a research project.

  • Defence of the thesis at an oral examination.

  • Students are required to spend 12 months in full-time attendance.

Program Length

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

Time Limit

3 years

Molecular Genetics: Molecular Genetics PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The PhD program offers research training in a broad range of genetic systems from bacteria and viruses to humans. Research projects include DNA repair, recombination and segregation, transcription, RNA splicing and catalysis, regulation of gene expression, signal transduction, interactions of host cells with bacteria and viruses, developmental genetics of simple organisms (worms and fruit flies) as well as complex organisms (mice), molecular neurobiology, molecular immunology, cancer biology and virology, structural biology, and human genetics and gene therapy.

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, MD, or equivalent 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 Molecular Genetics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An MSc degree in Molecular Genetics, or equivalent, from the University of Toronto or another recognized university. As a condition of admission, applicants who have completed their MSc outside of the Department of Molecular Genetics may be required to complete additional course requirements.

  • Normally, an MSc degree or equivalent with wet or dry lab experience related to molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, and/or biochemistry is required. Applicants trained in other quantitative sciences (math, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, etc.) are also strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Attainment of minimum admission standards does not guarantee acceptance into the PhD program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Successful completion of 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs): MMG 1031Y0 and MMG 1041H0.

  • A thesis on a research project.

  • Students who enter the doctoral program after completing a master's program must spend a minimum of two sessions in full-time attendance.

  • Successful completion of a Qualification Examination in Year 2. The Qualifying Exam consists of the submission of a written proposal and an oral examination. If a student is unsuccessful at the first attempt at the Qualifying Exam, there are three possible outcomes:

    • the student may retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks without revision of the written proposal;

    • the student may submit a revised written proposal and retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks;

    • or the student may withdraw from the program.

​Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

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

 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

  • Transfer applicants must be enrolled in the Department of Molecular Genetics MSc program.

  • Students must have successfully completed MMG 1001H, MMG 1002H, MMG 1011H0, and must have completed or be enrolled in MMG 1021H0 in order to qualify to transfer to the PhD program.

  • Transfer applicants must successfully complete a reclassification transfer exam within 24 months of being initially enrolled in the MSc program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Successful completion of 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs): MMG 1031Y0 and MMG 1041H0.

  • A thesis on a research project.

  • Students who transfer to the doctoral program from a master's program must spend a minimum of two sessions in full-time attendance.

  • Successful completion of a Qualification Examination in Year 2. The Qualifying Exam consists of the submission of a written proposal and an oral examination. If a student is unsuccessful at the first attempt at the Qualifying Exam, there are three possible outcomes:

    • the student may retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks without revision of the written proposal;

    • the student may submit a revised written proposal and retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks;

    • or the student may withdraw from the program.

​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 Molecular Genetics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Students with a BSc degree, an MD degree, or equivalent may be accepted directly into the PhD program.

  • Normally, a BSc degree or equivalent with academic credentials and wet or dry lab experience related to molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, and/or biochemistry is required. Applicants trained in other quantitative sciences (math, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, etc.) are also strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Attainment of minimum admission standards does not guarantee acceptance into the PhD program.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Successful completion of 3.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs): MMG 1001H, MMG 1002H, MMG 1011H0, MMG 1021H0, MMG 1031Y0, and MMG 1041H0.

  • A thesis on a research project.

  • Students who enter the doctoral program from a bachelor's program must spend a minimum of three sessions in full-time attendance.

  • Successful completion of a Qualification Examination in Year 2. The Qualifying Exam consists of the submission of a written proposal and an oral examination. If a student is unsuccessful at the first attempt at the Qualifying Exam, there are three possible outcomes:

    • the student may retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks without revision of the written proposal;

    • the student may submit a revised written proposal and retake the oral exam within four to eight weeks;

    • or the student may withdraw from the program.

​Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

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

Molecular Genetics: Molecular Genetics MSc, PhD Courses

​JBB 1425H
Structural Biology: Principles and Practice​​
​JBB 2025H
​Protein Crystallography
​JDB 1024Y
​Topics in Developmental Biology
​JDB 1025H
Developmental Biology​
​JDB 1026Y
​Student Seminars in Developmental Biology
​MMG 1001H
​Foundational Genetic Approaches I
MMG 1002H
Foundational Genetic Approaches II
​MMG 1011H0
Student Seminars I
​MMG 1021H0
Student Seminars II
MMG 1031Y0
Student Seminars III
MMG 1041H0
Topics in Molecular Genetics II
​MMG 1425H
Signal Transduction and Cell Cycle Regulation​
​MMG 1451H
​Genetic Analysis of Development: Yeast and Worms

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