"I chose medicine because of its culture of constant learning to solve problems. In medicine, you never stop learning, and new problems force you to find information, critically evaluate it, and apply it."

- David Antle, PhD, Class of 2020

Medical students have many opportunities to engage in research and work with some of Canada's top medical researchers throughout their 4 years in the MD Program. There are opportunities through the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry's Office of Research, as well as opportunities in the MD Program. All medical students have an opportunity to showcase their research at the annual excellence in Medical Student Research event held each fall.

The 2nd Annual EMSR Student Conference

Take a look at the topics from this year at

MD/PHD Program - There are several options for students considering the MD/PhD program. Traditionally, students have completed their PhD in between the preclinical years and the clinical years of med school (between 2nd and 3rd year). More recently, some students have elected to complete PhDs they started at the beginning of medical school. The program also has a pilot project for students who wish to complete their PhD while working on their core MD Program. There are also opportunities for students to carry on research after they complete their PhD.

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MD with Special Training in Research (STIR) - This program gives students a taste of academic medicine. Once accepted, students complete a minimum of 24 weeks in either basic or clinical research under faculty supervision throughout the first 2 years of medical school.

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Summer Students Research Program - This program provides opportunities for undergraduate medical students to work with faculty members on clinical and basic-science research projects throughout the summer.

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Master of Science in Translational Medicine -This is a new option for students in our program. The MSc is designed to prepare you to conduct or understand translational research and improve manuscript and grant preparations. The program will prepare you to be able to apply scientific principles in translational and clinical research and care. The program can be completed during your time in medical school and upon completion, you obtain a master's degree.

  • Courses Offered

    MED 602 Translational Research Training Program, Module I

    The course aim is to understand principles of preclinical (animal and human tissue-based) research and models of human disease that promote translation to early phase clinical trials.

    MED 604 Translational Research Training Program, Module II

    The course aim is to understand the principles in the conduct of early-phase versus large clinical trials and the requirements for successful translation of preclinical research: traditional and novel trial designs, endpoints, statistical challenges, regulatory and funding challenges, structure of translational teams and knowledge translation will be discussed.

    MED 606 Translational Research Training Program, Module III

    The course aim is to recognize the role of biomarkers (genetic, biochemical and imaging) in clinical research, including early phase trials and clinical care. Principles for the discovery of novel biomarkers at the preclinical and clinical level will be discussed.

    MED 608 Translational Research Training Program, Module IV

    The course aim is to discuss the principles of candidate drug targets in disease and drug design. The importance of drug target validation at the cellular level, preclinical level and in clinical studies as well as the financial and social implications of drug development will be discussed.

  • Description of Training

    This 2 year master's degree in Translational Medicine will develop your skillset as a clinician and researcher. Training will include:

    -Novel early and later-phase clinical trial designs
    -Principles of outcomes research
    -Drug target identification, validation and drug development
    -Incorporating molecular pathways to clinical problem solving
    -Biomarker (genetic, biochemical, imaging) discovery and validation
    -Principles of animal and human ethics and conflicts of interest in research
    -Quality assurance
    -Grant-writing to secure funding
    -Manuscript writing

    Through small class sizes, the Translational Medicine program uses clinical examples to learn research methodology. There are four courses which present topics on translational research through a dynamic mix of short lectures, debate sessions, one-on-one and group discussions, along with student presentations on topical research oriented questions. MD students will be working with residents and other graduate students in this program.

    Students can expect to spend on average, 1 hour per week attending classes over the course of a term (Thursdays 4-5pm); 1-2 hours per week reading and preparing class assignments. Trainees away on electives can join through live broadcasting of the class (e-Class). Completing 3 out of the 4 courses offers enough credits to complete the class requirements for a Master's degree. There is also a requirement for the completion of a supervised thesis, the work toward this can be completed during protected time during the academic year and in the summers after the first and second years of the program. Students may also be able to attend to obtain credits toward a PhD or a Master's program from a different Department. You can also attend without obtaining credits towards a specific degree (open studies).