Cell Biology

Cell Biology group photo
Cell Biology group photo

Globally acclaimed research in cellular biology

New advances in medicine require a precise understanding of the cell, the fundamental unit of the human body. The Department of Cell Biology delivers comprehensive BSc, MSc and PhD educational programs with a focus on training the next generation of scientists and related health professionals. These programs are integrated with a group of research laboratories led by internationally recognized scientists driving new insight into the causes and effects of human disease, and how these might be treated in the future.


Undergraduate Degree Program

The Department of Cell Biology, in conjunction with the Faculty of Science, offers a BSc Honors or Major in Cell Biology. The goal of modern cell biology is to establish a molecular understanding of cells exploiting techniques drawn from molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, microscopy and biophysics.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Cell Biology offers graduate programs leading to the MSc and PhD degrees in cell biology. It offers world-class training in areas like organelle biogenesis, virology, cancer, proteomics, and spinal cord injury. Students engage in independent research, seminars, and courses to develop skills in identifying important problems, critical analysis, and effective communication.


Winter Term 2024
MWF 11:00 - 11:50 A.M.

CELL 302 - Diversity of the Cell

A cross-sectional study of human cells and their specialized functions. The function of neurons, adipocytes, myocytes, epithelial cells, endothelia cells and other cell types will be explored. Prerequisite: CELL 201 or BIOL 201

Sarah Hughes, Deniz Top and Qiumin Tan

Offered in the Fall term

CELL 403 - Principles of Medical Genetics

The rapid expansion of our understanding of the human genome has created new, exciting possibilities to understanding the root causes of human disease and improve health. However, this also leads to real and potential problems — both ethical and practical. This senior-level undergraduate course will consist of four modules each covering different aspects of the scientific theory underlying the practice of Medical Genetics.

Sajid Merchant, Oana Caluseriu, Sherryl Taylor, Karen Niederhoffer, and Peter Kannu

  • Research Excellence

    Cell Biology Associate Professor Dr. Qiumin Tan holds the Canada Research Chair II in Molecular Genetics of Human Disease.

  • Teaching Innovation

    Cell Biology Associate Professor Dr. Paul LaPointe is the Director of Extended Reality for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry Learning Design Studio.

  • Student Engagement

    The Cell Biology undergraduate and graduate students associations host a variety of events throughout the year, encouraging connectivity within the department.

Message from the Chair

Welcome! As one of the newest fundamental research Departments in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Cell Biology has grown steadily to a cohort of 20 faculty members (including our adjunct faculty) leading internationally recognized research laboratories. Our ongoing goal as a group includes leveraging the ‘state-of-the-art’ research taking place in these laboratories to train excellent undergraduate and graduate students for careers in research and related health fields. Join us as we use traditional techniques like biochemistry, physiology or genetics combined with new approaches like systems biology or advanced imaging to understand the fundamental unit of life, the cell, and how cellular defects cause human disease.

Dr. Andrew Simmonds
Professor and Chair

Andrew Simmonds

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