New Clinical Science and Translational Medicine program a first in Canada

Faculty of Medicine
Better healthcare
Research and innovation

By Michelle Read

Writer, Faculty of Medicine

scientists performing research in a laboratory
The hands-on program invites those with an ambition to 'create, translate and innovate' to grow their career potential in the emerging field of clinical and translational research.

Graduates specializing in the emerging field of clinical and translational research are being snapped up by health care, industry and academia—exposing a great need for highly skilled personnel.

Starting this fall, an innovative, first-in-Canada program at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine is expected to be a massive draw for students aspiring to become specialists in translational medicine, the dynamic intersection of biomedical and clinical research.

The Clinical Science and Translational Medicine (CTM) graduate program will prepare graduates to address real-world clinical challenges by bridging the gap between biomedical or social science research and their application in the field of human health and diseases.

Dr. Nadine Wiper-Bergeron

“CTM’s research will make uOttawa leaders in building the future of health care, partnering clinical training excellence with capacity-building in translational research and innovation.”

Dr. Nadine Wiper-Bergeron

— Interim vice-dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Feeding the need for specialists

Trainees in the CTM program will work and study at the intersection of basic, clinical, and translational research. Graduates—armed with competencies in developing innovative approaches to complex biomedical questions in one of eight specialized concentrations—will be in high demand.

The CTM program offers students not only the opportunity to do cutting edge translational research with clinicians and PhD scientists, but also an individualized student plan, allowing students to build on strengths and develop new skills to make them truly competitive in today’s workforce,” says Dr. Nadine Wiper-Bergeron, interim vice-dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the Faculty of Medicine, who is spearheading the program’s launch.

The dean of medicine addresses a group of students outdoors
The dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Bernard Jasmin, welcomes learners to an exciting new year of study at Orientation 2023.

Building on the vast success of the Faculty’s current undergraduate Translational and Molecular Medicine (TMM) program, the multidisciplinary, competency-based graduate CTM program hopes to attract BSc graduates, from TMM and Sciences at uOttawa as well as from other universities. It will also be of particular appeal to medical residents seeking to become specialists in translational research at the graduate level.

Many of our medical residents are interested in developing key research skills while training,” explains Dr. Wiper-Bergeron. “This program allows these learners to earn graduate degrees and to actively contribute to research in their specialties.”

In addition to becoming experts in their selected concentration, graduates acquire an essential combination of methodological rigor, clinical knowledge and professional skills which spans the spectrum of CTM research, from bench to clinic to commercialization. This is crucial in ensuring that the research performed by participants can be translated into timely, practical applications that benefit patients, populations and health care professionals.

Dr. Wiper-Bergeron says the research outputs of the program are expected to impact the standard of care in Canada.

“CTM’s research will make uOttawa leaders in building the future of health care, partnering clinical training excellence with capacity-building in translational research and innovation,” she says.

logo with text Clinical Science and Translational Medicine program

Unique program a Canadian first

Trainees will graduate with extensive career options due to the program’s unique features and the array of competencies it develops.

This combination of features distinguishes it from all other graduate-level programs not only at the Faculty of Medicine and uOttawa, but across all Canadian universities.

A Canadian First: The CTM Program at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine

1. Individualized study plan and personalized guidance for personal career aspirations
2. Competency-based evaluation
3. Emphasis on interdisciplinarity in clinical and translational research
4. Development of competencies useful for a variety of different careers 
5. Collaborative training model
6. PhD level plus choice of two MSc program options: 1-yr with research project or 2-yr thesis-based

7. Wide range of specializations in a variety of clinical fields, including eight concentrations:

  • medical imaging and radiation sciences
  • cardiovascular medicine
  • clinical psychiatry
  • musculoskeletal sciences
  • interdisciplinary social studies in medicine
  • quality and patient safety
  • pharmaceutical sciences
  • artificial intelligence and computational sciences

Because CTM is housed at the faculty level rather than the departmental level, it facilitates high-level involvement and collaboration among uOttawa’s many academic and clinical departments, research institutes, teaching hospitals and professional schools, boosting its multidisciplinary aspect.

For example, the Faculty’s new School of Pharmaceutical Sciences will lead the pharmaceutical sciences concentration. School director Dr. Alain Stintzi, who led the creation of the CTM program, saw an opportunity to compound the research strengths of the school.

“The CTM program is specifically designed to equip graduates with the expertise to navigate the intricate processes of translating biomedical discoveries from the lab to the patient's bedside,” says Dr. Stintzi. “CTM empowers students to integrate this crucial knowledge into their research from the very beginning, significantly enhancing the translational potential of their discoveries.

“This program prepares students to drive innovation in pharmaceutical science and pioneer the next generation of therapies.”

Dr. Alain Stintzi

“This program prepares students to drive innovation in pharmaceutical science and pioneer the next generation of therapies.”

Dr. Alain Stintzi

— Director, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Leading Innovation for a Healthier World

The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has been leading the development of a multitude of new academic programs, promising a more diverse range of opportunities to new health education students. While several programs are being revitalized and developed, CTM is a flagship program that promises to modernize graduate studies in medicine. Approved by the University of Ottawa Senate in January 2024, CTM is ready to receive its first cohort in September 2024.

Innovative graduate programs are essential in achieving the objectives of the Faculty of Medicine’s Strategic Plan, Leading Innovation for a Healthier World, by 2025. The new CTM program aligns with the Faculty’s strategic priority of promoting interactions among its diverse learner groups to foster interdisciplinary research inquiry, and to promote collaborations between its biomedical and clinical scientists—addressing not only the needs of learners, but those of the community.

Training specialists to bring work at the bench to the patient bedside is a guiding star for the Faculty in improving population health and patient outcomes. In identifying and addressing gaps in biomedical training, the Faculty of Medicine is again showcasing its agility and responsiveness to the evolving educational landscape.


Ready to create, translate, innovate?

The CTM program launches in September 2024; the application portal is now open, and an open house is in the works.

Explore the degrees:

Master of Science, Clinical Science and Translational Medicine

Doctorate in Philosophy, Clinical Science and Translational Medicine

Read the Faculty’s 2023 Progress Report to learn more about the Faculty’s dedication to innovation through new educational programs, including the 2023 inauguration of its PharmD program.

Support the Faculty of Medicine today! 

Use the “Other designation” field on our online donation form to support the 'Faculty of Medicine Scholarship for Graduate Research' fund.