Research in molecular genetics is increasingly driven by data and technology.  Students trained in computer science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, engineering, and other quantitative disciplines are having a major impact on biology, and are increasingly in demand.

The Quantitative Biology in Molecular Genetics (QBMG) program is aimed at training Quantitative Biologists, who will apply quantitative scientific techniques with origins from physics, math or computer science to address biological research questions.

The QBMG program recognizes that translating quantitative training into biology can be challenging. Hence, our program provides numerous mechanisms to ensure that students with quantitative training can reach their goals of using their highly valued skills to solve fundamental problems in biology.  We provide a welcoming environment for students with diverse quantitative backgrounds and provide them with the tools and mentorship needed to succeed in high-pace cutting-edge interdisciplinary fields. 

The QBMG Curriculum

  •  Background reading/study: Once accepted into the QBMG track, students will be assigned reading and study to be carried out over the summer preceding their arrival in our program. It is expected that QBMG students will be highly self-motivated and will carry out substantial study prior to commencing graduate studies in the Department.
  • The Genetics Rapid Immersion Program (GRIP):  Also over the summer preceding formal entry, QBMG students will gain background and hands-on experience with a variety of ‘wet lab’ techniques within the broad field of molecular genetics. 
  • Topics in Molecular Biology, Genomics, and Computational Biology:  In the Fall of the first year, students will be exposed to diverse current research topics relevant to quantitative biology.
  • Graduate Computational Biology: In the Winter of the first year, students will take a more intensive course in computational biology.
  • Foundations course in molecular biology: In the Fall of their second year, all QBMG graduate students who have not taken an equivalent course as part of their Bachelor’s degree will audit or formally enroll in MGY311, our undergraduate foundations course in molecular biology.
  • Rotations: Students will undertake three five-week rotations within any Molecular Genetics laboratory. Rotations will take place in the first fall semester and students will join their thesis lab in January.
  • Thesis topic: Students will have the opportunity to choose any thesis topic within the many fields of study represented in the department.
  • Annual retreats, and other social and scientific events aimed at promoting communication and scientific exchange between QBMG students and other Molecular Genetics students at all stages of their Ph.D. training.

Admission Requirements for the QBMG Track

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a quantitative science.
  • An undergraduate average of A- or higher (or equivalent).
  • Completion of the online application form, indicating “QBMG” in the “Proposed Area of Study” in the “Areas of Study” sections.
  • Research experience - wet or dry, biological or non-biological.
  • At least two letters of reference.
  • A letter of intent (be sure to explain your interest in the QBMG program).
  • A successful interview.

 All successful QBMG applicants will be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program.