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Graduate Studies Overview

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Graduate program

Our MSc and PhD programs in Biochemistry and Microbiology offer research training in a broad range of life science research areas at the cellular, sub-cellular and molecular levels. Our focus on research and supporting facilities (proteomics, microsequencing and aquatics) provide many exciting opportunities. Financial support is a minimum of $18k per annum with a wide array of graduate awards. Please see our Graduate Handbook for more specific information.

Program coursework is two one-term courses, ongoing involvement in our seminar program, including giving a seminar.

Requirements & eligilibility

Applicants are required to hold a B.Sc. in Biochemistry, Microbiology or an acceptable equivalent before final acceptance can be granted. Priority is given to students with a grade point average (GPA) equivalent to 6.5 (B+ to A-) or better on the University of Victoria 9-point scale; however, the department will consider applications from students who have a minimum GPA of 5.0 (B) on a 9-point scale if they have a demonstrated record of research accomplishment.

Provisional (early) acceptance can be offered to applicants in good standing in their final year of study, subject to fulfillment of the criteria set out above.

Mature students (students who have at least 4 years of relevant research experience) will also be considered for admission.

International applicants, mature students, or applicants with a GPA less than 6.5 or equivalent may strengthen their application by submitting the results of a recent General GRE (Graduate Record Examination) with their application to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): a minimum score of at least 600 is required (100 for the internet based version). An overall score of at least Band 7.0 with no score of less than 6.5 on each academic component of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) will be accepted as an alternative to a TOEFL score. Scores older than two years are not acceptable.

All students must maintain a GPA of 6.0 (B+) or better in their graduate course work to remain in the program.

Entrance to doctoral studies

Applicants holding or expecting to hold a B.Sc. may only apply to the M.Sc. program. To transfer to the Ph.D. program M.Sc. students must apply within 18 months of starting their M.Sc. and pass a candidacy examination that consists of a successful oral defense of a research grant proposal.

Admission to a doctoral degree program normally requires a master's degree in Biochemistry or Microbiology from a recognized institution. Students who wish to enter the Ph.D. program after completion of a M.Sc. degree in this department must apply in the usual manner. One of the referees for this application must be the M.Sc. supervisor as the Department of Graduate Studies Committee must consult with M.Sc. supervisor before deciding on the student’s re-admissibility.

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Congratulations to our graduate students

We are very proud of all of our graduate students. Below are graduate students who have completed their degree requirements and have already convocated, or will at the next convocation ceremony.

Tanya Brown, PhD

Tanya completed her PhD degree requirements in October 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Caren Helbing. Her dissertation is entitled: "PCB-related exposure and effects in ringed seals (Pusa hispida) frequenting a locally-contaminated marine environment in Labrador".

Michelle Parker (Tonkin), PhD November 2014

Parker_Boulanger

Michelle completed her PhD degree requirements in July 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Martin Boulanger. Her dissertation is entitled: "Molecular Strategies for Active Host Cell Invasion by Apicomplexan Parasites".

Yavor Denchev, MSc November 2014

Yavor completed his MSc degree requirements in August 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Caroline Cameron. His thesis is entitled: "Investigating the Role of Pallilysin in the Dissemination of the Syphilis Spirochete Treponema pallidum".

Sarah Goomeshi Nobary, MSc November 2014

Goomeshi Nobary Nov2014

Sarah completed her MSc degree requirements in September 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Martin Boulanger. Her thesis is entitled: "Investigating the molecular basis of tsetse-trypanosome interactions".

Sara Kost, MSc May 2014

Sara completed her MSc degree requirements in December 2013 under the supervision of Drs. Brad Nelson and Robert Burke. Her thesis is entitled: "CD8+FoP3+ T Cells: A new player in the immune response to ovarian cancer".

Pola Wojnarowicz, MSc May 2014

Pola completed her MSc degree requirements in December 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Caren Helbing. Her thesis in entitled: "Thyroid Hormone Disrupting Effects of Municipal Wastewater".

Dylan Evans, MSc October 2013

Dylan completed his MSc degree requirements in May 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Evans. His thesis is entitled: "Structural studies of two anti-carbohydrate antibodies".

Kathryn Gomery, PhD October 2013

Kathryn completed her PhD degree requirements in August 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Evans. Her dissertation is entitled: "Structural insights into antibodies specific for bacterial lipopolysaccharide core and development of protein electron crystallography techniques".

Shawn Salsiccioli, MSc October 2013

Shawn complete his MSc degree requirements in August 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Claire Cupples. His thesis is entitled “DNA mismatch repair and mutation avoidance in the ciliate protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila”.

Amanda Carew, MSc May 2013

Amanda completed her MSc degree requirements in April 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Caren Helbing. Her thesis is entitled: "The sublethal effects of nanosilver on thyroid hormone-dependent frog metamorphosis".

Kathryn Ellard, MSc May 2013

Kathyrn completed her MSc degree requirements in Dec 2012 under the supervision of Dr Juan Ausió. Her thesis is entitled: “Characterizing the interactions between mouse nucleoplasmin and chromosomal proteins”

Brett Eyford, PhD May 2013

Brett completed his PhD degree requirements in February 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Terry Pearson. His dissertation is entitled: " Protein discovery in African trypanosomes: studying differential protein expression throughout the parasite life cycle and identification of candidate biomarkers for diagnosing trypanosome infections".

Ron Finn, PhD May 2013

Ron completed his PhD requirements in Dec 2012 under the supervision of Dr Juan Ausió. His dissertation is entitled: "Characterization of the histone chaperones: somatic nuclear autoantigenic sperm protein (sNASP) and nucleoplasmin (NPM)"

Namat Majaess, MSc May 2013

Namat completed her MSc degree requirements in Dec 2012 under the supervision of Dr Brian Christie. Her thesis is entitled: "A loss of the fragile X mental retardation protein alters the spatial and temporal expression of glutamate receptors in the mouse brain".

Morteza Razavi, PhD May 2013

Morteza completed his PhD requirements in Dec 2012 under the supervision of Dr Terry Pearson. His dissertation is entitled: "Development of immuno-mass spectrometric assay for validation of protein C inhibitor (PCI) as a biomarker for prediction of biochemical recurrence in prostate cancer patients"

Elizabeth Clemis, MSc October 2012

Liz completed her MSc degree requirements in August 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Christoph Borchers. Her thesis is entitled: "Quantitation of spatially-localized protein in tissue samples using MALDI-MRM imaging".

Brock Schuman, PhD October 2012

Brock completed his PhD degree requirements in August 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Evans. His dissertation is entitled: "Structural and functional analysis of glycosyltransferases".

Brenden Smith, MSc October 2012

Brenden completed his MSc degree requirements in June 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Caroline Cameron. His thesis is entitled: "The development of novel antigens for improved syphilis diagnosis".

Jaeline Spowart, MSc October 2012

Jaeline completed her MSc degree requirements in June 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Julian Lum. Her thesis is entitled: "Defining the roles of autophagy in ovarian carcinoma".

Katelin Townsend, MSc October 2012

Katey completed her MSc degree requirements in August 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Julian Lum. Her thesis is entitled: "Understanding CD 8 T cell function under the tumour environment condition hypoxia".

Nathaniel West, PhD October 2012

Nathan completed his PhD degree requirements in May 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Peter Watson. His dissertation is entitled: "Novel roles of the inflammatory cytokine oncostatin-M in breast cancer pathogenesis".

June 2012 Convocation photos

The following grad students completed their degree requirements and convocated June 11, 2012.

Boraston Boulanger Bains Higgins Duplantis

L-R: Dr. Al Boraston and Dr. Marty Boulanger with Drs. Jasleen Bains, Mel Higgins and Barry Duplantis.

Gregg Boraston Duplantis

Dr. Al Boraston (centre) with Drs. Katie Gregg (left) and Barry Duplantis (right).

Brad Williamson and Dr. Azad Esghi were unable to attend convocation.

Jasleen Bains, PhD June 2012

Jasleen completed her PhD degree requirements in September 2011 under the supervision of Dr. Marty Boulanger. Her dissertation is entitled:
"Structural and functional characterization of a hybrid benzoate degradation pathway"

Barry Duplantis, PhD June 2012

Barry completed his PhD degree requirements in November 2011 under the supervision of Dr. Fran Nano. His dissertation is entitled:
"Characterization of a Francisella pathogenicity island-encoded Type VI secretion system and the development of a vaccine candidate"

Katie Gregg, PhD June 2012

Katie completed her PhD degree requirements in November 2011 under the supervision of Dr. Al Boraston. Her dissertation is entitled:
"Carbohydrate processing by bacterial pathogens: structural and functional analyses of glycoside hydrolases"

Azad Eshghi, PhD June 2012

Azad completed his PhD degree requirements in December 2011 under the supervision of Dr. Caroline Cameron. His dissertation is entitled:
"Whole proteome approach to delineate leptospiral pathogenesis"

Melanie Higgins, PhD June 2012

Melanie completed her PhD degree requirements in April 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Alisdair Boraston. Her dissertation is entitled:
"Fucose Utilization in Streptococcus pneumoniae"

Bradley Williamson, MSc June 2012

Brad completed his MSc degree requirements in April 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Juan Ausio. His thesis is entitled:
"Characterizing the interaction between inhibitor of growth (ING) proteins and the nucleosome"

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Grad Student Opportunities

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