MEDI courses


June 2020

in May 2020, UBC Graduate Curriculum Committee approved the change to the course requirements therefore as of September 2020, all MSc students may choose to take either MEDI 501 or MEDI 503 as the mandatory course. However, there is an error in the UBC Calendar which reads: “A total of 30 credits are required for completion of the M.Sc. degree. The M.Sc. thesis will account for 18 credits. The remaining 12 credits of coursework must include either MEDI 501 or MEDI 503, and 6 credits of additional courses.” It should read: “The remaining 12 credits of coursework must include MEDI 502, and either MEDI 501 or MEDI 503, and 6 credits of additional courses.” Please make sure to register in MEDI 502 if you are a first year master’s student. 

UBC Enrolment Services will automatically update the description at the next calendar release – February 2021.

Course Requirements

All formal training will normally be given at the graduate level, according to the guidelines published in the University of British Columbia Calendar. The courses outlined below are offered by the Experimental Medicine Program. Normally, all students are required to take 12.0 credits of coursework, which would include MEDI 501 or 503, MEDI 502, and 6.0 credits of additional courses. At least 3.0 credits of these additional courses must be taken at the 500 level. Students are permitted to take a maximum of 3.0 credits at the undergraduate level in courses numbered 300 to 499. In some cases students entering the program with a Master’s degree or transferring from another program may be excused from the coursework requirement if such an exemption is approved by the Program Director and the Research Supervisor. A statistics course (e.g. BIOL 300) is recommended for all students whose previous background in this area is not adequate.

Course Descriptions

(3.0 credits) Molecular and Cellular Biology of Experimental Medicine. Cell and molecular function in normal tissues and in specific disease processes, including genetic, viral, bacterial, immune and physiological disorders. This course is held in the Fall term (Sept.-Dec.) at the Eye Care Centre. See MEDI 501 - 2019 Course Schedule

(3.0 credits) Experimental Medicine Methodology. Laboratory experience with experimental models of human disease; critical review of the relevance. Course includes laboratory rotations, oral presentations and written reviews. This course is held in the Winter (Jan.-Apr.) term at VGH, with host labs at various locations. Course coordinator will contact registered students by email in December.

(3.0 credits) Introduction to Clinical, Patient Oriented and Translational Research. This course aims to provide a foundation for conducting clinical and translational research. The 15 week course (with two 90 minutes sessions/week) covers essential topics such as communication and presentation skills, elements of a systematic review, research design and methods, key concepts in regulatory approval and human ethical oversight in Canada, privacy, knowledge translation, and implementation science. Sessions will be a mixture of didactic lectures, group and online discussion, and group projects. See MEDI 503 Syllabus 2019

(1.5 credits) This course will cover the basics of machine learning and artificial intelligence and some entry-level programming knowledge, with an emphasis on applications and capabilities of data science in the field and student access to realistic datasets for practice. MEDI 504A focuses on the need to address the increasingly important role of data science in health research spanning from basic science (multi-omics), clinical (machine learning and artificial intelligence), population health and health services (large administrative datasets) as well as in our day-to-day professional lives. Note that MEDI 504 (1.5 credits) follows STAT 545A (1.5 credits), which is a pre-requisite.

(1.5 credits) This is a Special Topics course designed to develop literacy and conceptual understanding of data science to enable effective collaboration with data scientists as related to health research spanning the basic, clinical, population, and health services. In this course, we focus on the interpretation and evaluation of Machine Learning analyses in health data.

(3.0 credits) Advanced Topics in Visual Sciences. Fundamental principles of vision from basic physiology to clinical syndromes across the visual pathway spanning the globe, ocular structures including the retina, up to striate and extrastriate cortices. This course is held in the Winter (Jan.-Apr.) at the Eye Care Centre.  For more information, please contact Dr. Ipek Oruc at

MEDI 535 (3.0 credits) Research Seminar. Reviews of research in selected areas of Experimental Medicine pertaining to skin health and disease, which may include presentation of student's own research results.Students from outside the Program require permission from the Experimental Medicine Office. Please contact Dr. Sunil Kalia for information regarding the schedule.

MEDI 548 (2-6 credits, 1 or 2 terms) Directed Studies in Experimental Medicine. A course designed to permit students to undertake an investigation of a topic to be agreed upon by the Research Supervisor, a Course Coordinator and the student. The research proposed must be unrelated to the MSc thesis and the instructor for this course cannot be part of the supervisory team or related to the thesis topic. All students must have the approval of the Director of the Experimental Medicine Program before registering for this course.  To request registration, please download and complete MEDI 548 Course Registration Form

MEDI 560 (3.0 credits) Pulmonary Pathophysiology (Same as PATH 518). A review of current topics in pulmonary pathophysiology at an advanced level suitable for graduate students majoring in Pathology, Medicine, Surgery or Anaesthesiology. Topics will include lung anatomy, ventilation, blood flow, gas exchange and fluid and solute exchange. Physiological abnormalities caused by pathological changes will be examined in detail. (See 2017 MEDI 560 PATH 518 Schedule). This course is offered in the Fall (Sept.-Dec.) term at the iCapture Centre, St. Paul's Hospital.

MEDI 570 (3.0 credits) Cardiology. A review of current topics in cardiology at an advanced level suitable for graduate students majoring in Experimental Medicine, Physiology, Medicine or related fields. Topics will include pathogenesis, abnormal physiology and therapeutic approaches in heart disease including cardiac arrhythmia, heart failure, myocardial infarction, hypertension, atherosclerosis. Physiological abnormalities cause by pathological changes will be examined in detail. See Medi570_Course Overview-2018.

MEDI 590 (3.0 credits) Molecular Medicine. Molecular regulation of cell growth and differentiation. Cytokines and signal transduction mechanisms in the growth and differentiation of germ line, haemopoietic and other eukaryotic cells; action of oncogene and tumour-suppressor gene products; molecular concepts derived from experimental model systems; molecular strategies of cytokine therapy. (MEDI-590 FALL 2018 COURSE SCHEDULE]). This course is offered in the Fall (Sept.-Dec.) term at the Diamond Health Care Centre.

MEDI 549 (18.0 credits) M.Sc. Thesis. Continuing registration required for all M.Sc. students. All students in the Masters program in Experimental Medicine must maintain registration in MEDI 549 for both the Winter and Summer sessions. The 18 credits are not counted until completion of the thesis, and when combined with the required 12 credits of course work will complete the 30 credits required for a Masters degree at UBC.

MEDI 649 Ph.D. Thesis. Continuing registration required for all Ph.D. students. All students in the Ph.D. program in Experimental Medicine must maintain registration in MEDI 649 for both the Winter and Summer Sessions.

Please also click here to see courses offered by other departments (all over UBC).