Molecular Genetics

Molecular Genetics: Introduction

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

Medicine

Degree Programs

Genetic Counselling

MSc

Medical Genomics

MHSc

Molecular Genetics

MSc
PhD

Combined Degree Programs

STG, MD / PhD​​

Collaborative Specializations

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

  1. Developmental Biology
    • Molecular Genetics, MSc, PhD
  2. Genome Biology and Bioinformatics
    • Molecular Genetics, PhD

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

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
Brown, Martha - BSc, MSc, PhD
Brumell, John - BSc, PhD
Campos, Eric - PhD
Caudy, Amy - PhD
Chan, Hue Sun - BSc, MA, PhD
Chen, Xin - 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
Duan, Shumin - PhD
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
Guan, Min-Xin - 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
Ke, Yuehai - PhD
Kim, Philip - BS, PhD
Kim, Tae-Hee - PhD
Krause, Henry - BSc, PhD
Lavoie, Brigitte - PhD
Lefebvre, Julie - PhD
Li, Xiao-Ming - MD
Li, Yun - PhD
Lipshitz, Howard - PhD
Liu, Jun - PhD
Liu, Wei - PhD
Lu, Weiguo - PhD
Ma, Jun - PhD
Maass, Philipp - PhD
Meneghini, Marc - BSc, PhD
Meyn, Michael - MD
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
Pai, Emil - 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
Ray, Peter - PhD
Reinke, Aaron - PhD
Rini, James - BSc, PhD
Roder, John - 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
Shu, Qiang - MD
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
Taipale, Mikko - PhD
Van Der Kooy, Derek - BSc, MA, PhD
Wilde, Andrew Rhys - BSc, PhD
Wilson, Michael - BSc, PhD
Wrana, Jeff - PhD
Wu, Zhi-Ying - PhD
Yang, Xiaohang - PhD
Yuen, Ryan - PhD
Zhang, Zhaolei - BS, PhD
Zhen, Mei - PhD
Zhou, Tianhua - PhD
Zhu, Shankuan - 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
Carnevale, Amanda - MSc
Carroll, Johanna - BA, PhD
Chitayat, David - MD
Cytrynbaum, Cheryl - MSc
Druker, Harriet - MSc
Dupuis, Lucie - MSc
Gallinger, Bailey - MSc
Gibbons, Clare - BS, 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, Dr. William M Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy
Liston, Eriskay - BA, MSc
Martin, Nicole - BSc, MS
McCuaig, Jeanna - MS
Mendoza, Roberto - MD
Miller, Kristen - MSc
Miron, Ioana - MSc
Murphy, Jillian - BSc, MSc
Myles Reid, Diane - BSc, MSc
Nanda, Sonia - BS, MSc
Owens, Gillian - MSc
Quercia, Nada - BS, MSc
Semotiuk, Kara - BSc
Semotok, Jennifer - PhD
Shugar, Andrea - BSc, MS
Shuman, Cheryl - MSc
Silver, Rachel - BSc, MSc
Steele, Leslie - BSc, MSc
Steiner, Martina - PhD
Styles, Erin - BSc, PhD
Sweeney, Frederic - PhD
Szuto, Anna - MSc
Thompson, Islay - MSc
Uster, Tamarah - BSc, MS
Volenik, Alexandra - MSc
Watkins, Nicholas - MSc
Weksberg, Rosanna - MD, PhD
Yoon, Grace - MD
Zahavich, Laura - MSc

Molecular Genetics: Genetic Counselling MSc

Master of Science

Program Description

The MSc program is a full-time professional degree program that prepares students with the academic and clinical skills to provide genetic counselling. Graduates may work as part of a health-care team to gather relevant medical and family histories, to guide further investigations, and to communicate probable or established diagnoses, mode of inheritance, natural history, risk of recurrence, and associated options. This program has been accredited by the American Board of 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.

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with standing equivalent to a University of Toronto B+, both cumulatively and in the final year.

  • Prerequisite courses in biology, molecular biology/genetics, biochemistry, embryology/developmental biology, statistics, and psychology.

  • The development of strong interpersonal skills as evidenced by extracurricular activity is sought in both the application and interview processes.

  • Conditional acceptance may be granted to outstanding applicants lacking the above prerequisite courses; in such instances, the courses deemed necessary must be completed with a B+ standing prior to admission.

Program Requirements

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

    • 8.5 FCEs in coursework with a minimum B standing. Lectures, meetings, and rounds must be attended at a minimum of 85% of scheduled occurrences.

    • 0.5 FCE in labs

    • 1.0 FCE in tutorials

    • 1.0 FCE independent research project

    • 2.0 FCEs in clinical practicums

  • There is no thesis requirement. The independent research project consists of a limited clinical research study, an extensive literature review from a novel viewpoint, or a new case presentation involving clinical, cytogenetic, and molecular workup. Students must present the independent research project both orally and in a written format suitable for publication.

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

  • Students are required to organize an intervening summer rotation in a geographic location of their choice.

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 theory and practical aspects of generating and analyzing 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. The course is graded when completed.

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

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

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 1420H
Regulation of Gene Expression​
​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.