BiochemistryDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Supervisor: Dr. Murray Huff
Where is “home” for you?
Port Moody, British Columbia. It’s in the lower mainland, just outside Vancouver.
Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
I decided to come to Western for my graduate degree for my lab and supervisor. I completed my honors thesis project in Murray Huff’s laboratory. When applying for grad school, I interviewed with other labs at different schools and I realized I already had a good mentor and a good research environment that Western and Robarts provided, so I decided to stay.
What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Choose your project and your lab carefully. Make sure it’s something that you are interested in and would be willing to commit up to five years of life. Also make sure that you can imagine working with the people in your lab because of the same reasons. Grad school is a huge commitment and a lot of work. I wouldn’t make any impulsive decisions because you don’t know what is next for you. Not liking your project or working in an environment not right for you will make grad school more difficult than it should be.
What idea would you like to share with the Western graduate community?
Make work-life balance a priority. It will help prevent you from feeling burnt out part way through your degree. I find that it also helps me work more efficiently when I am at work.
Do you belong to any university or community groups?
Yes. I am a member of the Western Climbing Club. It’s a lot of fun and they are very welcoming of beginners. It’s a great environment.
What are you most passionate about?
Other than a passion for research and science, I would say something that I am passionate about is connecting with people. I think that taking the time to talk and listen to other people speaks a lot about you as a person. It also helps you get behind an idea or project when you have an emotional connection.
What one thing would you like people to know about you?
I am a very approachable person and would always be willing to try and help someone out.
Program ContactMegan Luckovitch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Graduate Program Administrator
Department of BiochemistryWestern University
Medical Sciences Rm 342
London, Ontario N6A 5C1
t. 519-661-2111 ext. 86850
Biochemistry is used to study living systems at the molecular level. The research of our PhD students spans a variety of interconnected fields that aim to understand and treat human disease and improve human health and well-being.
Several groups are studying human genetics, genome dynamics and epigenetics, and the regulation of gene expression, including the regulatory roles of RNA. Others are focused on protein structure and function, proteomics, and cellular signalling. Computational approaches and bioinformatics are becoming increasingly integrated into biochemical research. And new technologies are enabling efforts to engineer biological systems for research and biotechnology, ushering in the exciting new era of synthetic biology that includes the editing and synthesis of genomes, genetic code expansion, and the creation of new biosynthetic pathways and even new organisms.
The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program creates career-ready graduates with the Power Skills necessary to excel in their studies and achieve their future goals. Assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth and focus on what you want to get out of your time here at Western. To learn more, visit www.uwo.ca/ownyourfuture.
- 12 Terms
- Full-time study
Applicants are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships (if eligible):
- Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
- BSc in biochemistry, biology, genetics, chemistry, cell biology, microbiology, physiology or closely related disciplines.
- Minimum 78% GPA in the undergraduate and master's degree; 85% for direct entry to the PhD program.
English Language Proficiency
Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:
- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum acceptable score is 600 for the paper and pencil version, 250 for the computer version, or 90 for the internet version with no individual score below 22. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].
- The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). Minimum acceptable score is 6 out of 9.
- The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). Minimum acceptable score is 80 on each section and an overall score of 85.
- The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL Assessment). Minimum acceptable score is 60.
- February 1 - Fall or Summer Term
- June 1 - Fall Term
- October 15 - Winter Term
Acceptance notifications begin as soon as your application is completed and reviewed.
Fields of Research
- Genome Dynamics, Epigenetics, and Gene Expression
- Human Genetics and Clinical Biochemistry
- Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics
- Signal Transduction and Intercellular Communication