Message from the LMP Graduate Coordinator
The Graduate Program in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP) offers a unique educational opportunity for students seeking MSc or PhD degrees in the Life/ Biomedical Sciences. Thesis research is centered on questions that address mechanisms of disease, and is supervised by graduate faculty who are leaders in their fields. We currently have over 170 faculty members participating in our program, and the diversity of studies represented is remarkable – ranging from oncology, infectious diseases, and neuropathology to immune/ blood disorders to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Close connections of the department with the University of Toronto’s teaching hospitals sets the stage for translational projects that combine basic science and clinical research. These interactions are highly effective, leading to new discoveries that accelerate progress in personalized medicine and health. For example, access to huge collections of patient tumour samples, together with genome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis have recently allowed LMP graduate faculty and students to make unprecedented gains in our understanding of tumour heterogeneity and the identification of tumour class-specific biomarkers. Discoveries like these open the door to development of innovative therapeutic strategies.
Our program emphasizes robust interaction among students and faculty in all areas of Pathobiology. Graduate coursework, student seminars, faculty lectures, and the annual LMP Graduate Research Conference organized by our graduate student association – CLAMPS, all provide great opportunities for learning about the latest advances across the biomedical research spectrum. Students who wish to further enhance training in their specific discipline can do so by participating in hospital-based seminar groups, U of T collaborative programs, and by attending/ presenting at scientific conferences. LMP students are strongly encouraged to attend conferences and the department provides travel awards to students presenting their work at national and international meetings.
The overall success of our program is evidenced by the quality and impact of our students’ publications, and by their competitiveness for external awards. The top-tier Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, for example, has been awarded to 16 LMP nominees over the past seven years. LMP student delegates presenting their thesis research at the CIHR-sponsored national poster competition, hosted each June by the University of Manitoba, have garnered a total of 18 prizes (including nine gold and six silver) since 2008. In addition to these metrics, the program’s success is apparent from the career paths of our graduate alumni who go on to positions in academia, hospital settings as clinician-scientists, government, and the private sector. Indeed, it has been especially rewarding to see some of our graduates return to Toronto, join our faculty, and now participate actively as teachers and research supervisors in our Graduate Program.
To those students recently accepted to or continuing in our program we are delighted to have you here. To students who are considering graduate studies in Pathobiology, we invite you to check out our website to see what Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto can provide for your career development. We would be pleased to answer any of your questions.
Harry Elsholtz, PhD