Welcome from the Chair

Dr. Timothy Hughes
Dr. Tim Hughes

A warm welcome from Dr. Tim Hughes

We invite you to explore our website and learn more about the Department of Molecular Genetics, which holds a leadership position in Canada and internationally as a premier venue for biomedical and life sciences research and education. We are an engaged and collaborative community that fosters exceptional innovation and discovery. Our faculty, fellows, and students are highly acclaimed for pioneering phenomenal advances in some of the most exciting areas of modern science with a profound impact on human health.

We are situated in five geographic ‘nodes’ within a ten-minute walk from each other: two campus-based venues (the Medical Sciences Building and the Donnelly Centre), two famous hospital-based research institutes (the Hospital for Sick Children Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning and the Mt. Sinai Hospital Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute), and the MaRS Centre (including both the West Tower and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research).

We have over 100 faculty members, including luminaries at the forefront of diverse fields that span the frontiers of biological research and discovery in the 21st Century: Cellular and Molecular Structure and Function; Computational and Systems Biology; Functional Genomics and Proteomics; Genetic Models of Development and Disease; Molecular Medicine and Human Genetics; and Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Disease. Each field has from 20 to 50 affiliated faculty members, providing an enormous breadth and depth of research expertise and training.

Our dynamic community of over 300 graduate students is engaged in our top-flight research M.Sc. and Ph.D. Program in Molecular Genetics. Our computational biology track provides an immersive curriculum towards leadership in the new discipline of computational molecular genetics. We also offer an M.H.Sc in the rapidly growing field of Medical Genomics, as well as a professional M.Sc. in Genetic Counseling, which is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling, and is taught by 40 professorial faculty members, lecturers and instructors.

In addition to its enviable reputation in research and graduate education, the department also provides a rigorous undergraduate specialist and major in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, which combines outstanding courses with laboratory research experience and mentorship. We also offer a major in Genome Biology together with two of our sister departments in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Our graduate and undergraduate programs are vibrant and thriving, and provide an outstanding platform to successfully launch into diverse career paths including those in academia, teaching, consulting, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, scientific writing, patent law, ethics, and policy. We build on the strength of our alumni community to empower our trainees for success and to make amazing things happen in Molecular Genetics.

The Department of Molecular Genetics is fully committed to principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. In alignment with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, we are committed to the principles of allyship, with the acknowledgement that people in positions of privilege must be willing to align themselves in solidarity with marginalized groups. We aim to recruit and support diverse students, staff, and faculty in our vibrant community. 

Ontario’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Changes will likely occur as the province and its municipalities adjust to new data about the virus. In these circumstances, please be advised that the manner of delivery of courses, co-curricular opportunities, programs, and services is subject to change, in accordance with university policies. The University thanks its students, faculty, and staff for their flexibility during these challenging times as we work together to maintain the standards of excellence that are the hallmark of the University.

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the Department of Molecular Genetics operates. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

The Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement recognizing the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. For more information about Land Acknowledgements, visit the Indigenous U of T Land Acknowledgement page.