Faculty at the GSC hold appointments in various Departments of the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. The GSC has trained hundreds of individuals since 1999 and has an international reputation for standards of excellence in genomics and bioinformatics research and education.
Students & Trainees
The BCCRC Graduate Student and Post Doctoral Society (GrasPods) is a trainee-run society whose mission is to further enrich the wonderful training environment at BC Cancer by providing academic, social and personal well-being support for their members.
GrasPods events include:
- Academic Workshops
- Trainee Lunches
- Jobs in Science Interview Series
Graduate Studies Programs
Graduate Studies in Bioinformatics
The Bioinformatics Graduate Program offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees to students doing research in the field of bioinformatics. This interdisciplinary graduate program, administered by the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, combines training in both biological and computational methodologies.
The strategic objectives of the program are:
- To build on BC’s growing reputation and excellence as a leader in bioinformatics, genomics and population-based approaches to health care
- To integrate bioinformatics with basic biology to further the current research excellence in other life science sectors in the province
Genome Science and Technology Program
This is a multidisciplinary graduate program combining training in genomics, with intensive training in new leading-edge genome science technologies, such as high-throughput techniques that acquire information from DNA sequence (genomics), protein expression and interactions (proteomics), and gene expression patterns (transcriptomics) to exploit information for a better understanding of biology. Designed and taught by leading scientists in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Canadian Bioinformatics Workshops
Bioinformatics.ca is the portal to bioinformatics activities in Canada and the home for the Canadian Genetic Disease Network (CGDN)- sponsored Canadian Bioinformatics Workshops series hosted nation-wide.
Interdisciplinary Oncology Program
Studies leading to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are available through the Interdisciplinary Oncology Program in the Faculty of Medicine. The Interdisciplinary Oncology Program offers advanced study and research in a variety of fields relating to oncology. Those fields include: molecular and cellular biology, genetics, biophysics, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical sciences, radiological sciences, immunology, molecular pathology, sociobehavioural studies, epidemiology and health economics.
Students enrolled in university co-op programs such as those at University of British Columbia, University of Victoria or Simon Fraser University may apply to the GSC. These are usually decided in early January for May (Summer), May for September (Fall) and September for January (Spring).
A limited number of summer positions for undergraduate students are usually available. Most of these are dependent on the receipt by the candidate of a competitive summer Studentship funded by the BC Cancer Foundation, the UBC Faculty of Medicine or NSERC. Students should check with the different agencies for eligibility and deadlines.
It is also possible for advanced undergraduate students at UBC to do a directed studies project or honours thesis during the academic year (eg. Medical Genetics 448) under the supervision of GSC faculty.
Dr. Marco Marra, PhD, FRS(C), FCAHS, OBC
Dr. Marco Marra has been instrumental in bringing genome science to Canada, working across diverse programs of research that have addressed pressing problems and key opportunities of relevance to Canada and Canadians. He has spent much of his career leading teams to conduct large-scale, high-throughput genomics projects with the aim of comprehensive identification of the gentic changes that drive cancer. He believes that better integration of informatics and biology in genome analysis and a strong interface between the lab and the clinic can change outcomes for cancer patients.
Dr. Steven Jones, PhD, FRS(C), FCAHS
Dr. Jones’ research program is firmly entrenched in genome science to better understand the complete mutational landscape of cancers. His primary aim is to help uncover the diversity of genetic and genomic events that accrue to give rise to cancers, and which also encourage their evolution and maintain their progression. His laboratory extensively analyzes Next Generation genome and transcriptome data to achieve these goals. Dr.
Dr. Robert Holt, PhD
Dr. Holt has over 200 publications, approximately 118,412 citations, and an H-index of 110. Dr. Holt has been listed in the top 1 per cent of Web of Science cited researchers by Clarivate Analytics in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson, PhD
Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson is a distinguished scientist at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre. Her laboratory group investigates the genetic basis of cancer susceptibility. One of her primary interests is lymphoid cancers, which include Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and myeloma. Through collaboration with members of the Cancer Control Research Group at BC Cancer including Dr. John Spinelli, Dr. Brooks-Wilson studies the interaction between genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers in causing lymphoid cancers.
Dr. Gregg Morin, PhD
Dr. Gregg Morin received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1988. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University and an assistant professorship at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Morin was the Director of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Geron Corporation. In 2004, he joined Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre where he is currently the Head of Proteomics.
Dr. Aly Karsan, MD
Genomic and epigenomic aberrations that evolve with aging result in a greatly increased risk of developing blood cancers called leukemias. These aging changes also make leukemias more resistant to therapy. Dr.
Dr. Martin Hirst, PhD
Dr. Hirst is a Distinguished Scientist and Head of Epigenomics at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at BC Cancer, Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Director of the Michael Smith Laboratory at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
Dr. Sharon Gorski, PhD
Dr. Gorski completed a PhD in Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO in 1999. She then conducted postdoctoral studies at the BC Cancer where she utilized genomics approaches to study cell death and cell survival pathways. Dr. Gorski is currently a Distinguished Scientist at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at BC Cancer and a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University.
Dr. Marianne Sadar, PhD
Dr. Sadar has served in leadership roles internationally and was the first Canadian to serve as Chair of the USA Army’s Department of Defence’s Programmatic Panel for Prostate Cancer Research. She was President of the Society of Basic Urologic Research (USA) and a board member of education, research, and scientific advisory committees and boards for American and Canadian non-profit societies. Of note, Dr. Sadar was appointed to the Board of Trustees for Canada’s National Museum of Science and Technology by the Minister of Heritage.
Dr. Isabella Tai, MD/PhD, FRCP(C)
Dr. Isabella Tai is interested in understanding the mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance, metastasis and tumour progression in gastrointestinal cancers. Her group uses genomic and proteomic approaches to identify genetic markers that could be suitable for colorectal cancer screening, and to identify unique signatures that correspond to drug resistance in colorectal cancers.
Dr. Inanc Birol, PhD
Dr. Ryan Morin, PhD
Dr. Ryan Morin has been studying the genetic nature of lymphoid cancers using genomic methods for more than a decade. During his doctoral training at the University of British Columbia and BC Cancer, he pioneered the use of transcriptome and whole genome sequencing to identify driver mutations in non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Over the course of his training, he published a series of papers describing some of the most common genetic features of diffuse large B-cell (DLBCL) and follicular lymphomas including EZH2, KMT2D, CREBBP and MEF2B.
Dr. Laura Evgin, PhD
Dr. Laura Evgin’s research is focused on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modified T cells and their use in conjunction with oncolytic viruses (OVs). OVs can help to overcome the myriad of immunosuppressive mechanisms employed by solid tumours to evade the immune system and which limit CAR T efficacy. She employs CRISPR to generate CAR T cells that can withstand the onslaught of inflammatory factors they are faced with when combined with oncolytic virus therapy.
Dr. Adi Steif, PhD
Dr. Adi Steif’s research is focused on developing and applying computational methods for high-throughput genomics, with a particular interest in characterizing disease mechanisms and evolution in the context of cancer. New measurement technologies are enabling large-scale genetic, transcriptomic and epigenetic profiling of tissues at the single cell level. Working alongside experimental collaborators, Dr. Steif uses statistical machine learning approaches to derive biological insights from these high-dimensional datasets in the presence of noise and measurement bias.