The BMI department confers MSc and PhD degrees in either Biochemistry (BCH) or Microbiology and Immunology (MIC).

At the MSc level, there are both thesis-based and project-based options. Students enrolled in either BCH or MIC can participate in the collaborative programs in both Human and Molecular Genetics and in Bioinformatics. Both graduate programs also participate in the Faculty of Medicine’s M.D./Ph.D. program.

Professors in BMI can supervise students in either graduate program, although some traditionally supervise students in one or the other, or both. Please follow the links to the individual graduate and/or collaborative programs to find professor affiliations.

Important information regarding the Ph.D. Admission Scholarship quota system: for the 2022-2023 academic year

Ph.D. Admission Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who successfully transfer from the MSc to Ph.D. program and achieve a minimum score of 44 (where poor=1, fair=2, good=3, very good=4 and excellent=5). To view the Transfer Exam Evaluation Form please click here.

3D render biological cell

Microbiology and Immunology

The microbiology and immunology program offers both M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees, which are offered through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Our faculty members are either directly appointed at the University of Ottawa, or are cross appointed in various other organizations such as the Ottawa Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the various federal research organizations such as the National Research Council of Canada, Health Canada and Agriculture Canada. Due to the close ties with hospitals and research organizations, students have a rich experience in working in various organizations that work on fundal discoveries and/or clinical and applied studies. Our aim is to create a strong academic environment to foster the career development of graduate students, and our close ties with the various research centres in Ottawa provides an excellent avenue for this. The program includes several major fields of scientific endeavor such as microbial physiology and genetics, molecular biology of viruses, stem cell biology, host pathogen interactions and cellular and molecular immunology. These research fields involve studies on bacteria, virus, immune cells, stem cells and cancer cells with an emphasis on cellular biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, system biology, pathogenesis and emerging pathogens.

In the first year an introductory course on host-pathogen interactions is mandatory to all M.Sc. students which updates all the selected students in the various facets of microbiology and immunology.We also offer several advanced courses such as “Advanced Immunology”, “Advanced Virology” and “Advanced Bacteriology”, which are taken by M.Sc. and Ph.D. students to develop advanced understanding of these disciplines. In addition, students can also take other courses that are offered by other graduate programmes to suit their needs.

Dr. Thien-Fah Mah
Tel: 613-562-5800 ext. 8712

Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Studies Committee:
Dr. Thien-Fah Mah, Dr. Marc André Langlois, Dr. Robin Parks, Dr. Seung-Hwan Lee, Dr. Paul MacPherson, Dr. Nicolas Pineault.

For information about Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Programs, please contact [email protected]

Female scientist in a lab studying DNA


Graduate students in the Biochemistry program at the University of Ottawa have the opportunity to study under the supervision of over 100 world class researchers working on both fundamental and translational problems in the molecular, cellular and systems biology of human disease.  Research in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology falls under the general areas of cancer biology, metabolic disease, proteomics and lipidomics, immunology, viral and bacterial pathogenesis, structural biology, pharmacology, bioinformatics, stem cells, neuroscience, and much more.  Researchers are located within the Faculty of Medicine at Roger Guindon Hall, as well as at affiliated research institutes throughout the City of Ottawa.

We offer a vibrant graduate program to roughly 100 students all working towards M.Sc. or Ph.D. degrees.  We provide cutting edge training through in-lab research, graduate courses, work-in-progress seminars, and workshops, etc.  The department provides financial assistance for students to attend national and international conferences.  Students will have the opportunity to work in a supportive and collegial environment and will be exposed to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.  Training in the Biochemistry graduate program prepares students for careers as researchers in academic settings, for scientist and administrator positions in government and industry, and for careers in health-related disciplines.

Interim Program Director:
Dr. Emilio Alarcon
Tel: (613) 761-5000 ext. 14010

Biochemistry Graduate Studies Committee: Drs. Emilio Alarcon (Interim Director), Mathieu Lavallée-Adam, Mireille Khacho, Miroslava Cuperlovic-Culf, Douglas Gray, Morgan Fullerton, Martin Pelchat, Thomas Lagace, Alexandre Blais. Student representative: Karina Lajoie.

For information about Graduate Programs in Biochemistry, please contact [email protected]

DNA strands

Human and Molecular Genetics (Collaborative)

The Faculty of Medicine offers a collaborative program in Human and Molecular Genetics at the master's and doctoral levels. The primary graduate programs in Biochemistry (BCH), Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM) and Neuroscience (NSC) collaborate in offering the specialization. The degree awarded specifies the primary program and indicates "specialization in Human and Molecular Genetics.“  Within the context of the parent graduate program (BCH, CMM, or NSC), the student selects a thesis supervisor, cross-appointed to the HMG program and undertakes a research project that encompasses some aspect of human and/or molecular genetics.

Completion of the human genome has had a profound impact through disease gene identification and diagnosis, expression profiling, elucidation of cellular circuitry and molecular networks, evolution and human migration, bioinformatics, and the generation of novel molecular tools for research. By all accounts, molecular genetics transcends all areas of biology and it will continue to influence medical research and revolutionize clinical practice as we move toward “personalized” medicine.  The ultimate goal is to train students for a career in teaching and research in an academic or private sector setting.

Dr. Christina Addison
Tel: 613-737-7700 ext. 70329 (Office)

Mathematical symbols and numbers floating above a laptop keyboard

Bioinformatics (Collaborative)

The collaborative program in bioinformatics combines the research strength of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. The Institutes offer graduate programs leading to the master’s (MSc and MASc) and doctoral (PhD) degrees in several fields (biology, chemistry, earth sciences, etc.).

Bioinformatics is an emerging and increasingly important scientific discipline dedicated to the pursuit of fundamental questions about the structure, function and evolution of biological entities through the design and application of computational approaches. Fundamental research in these areas is expected to increase our understanding of human health and disease which translates into innovation in industry. Bioinformaticians today must be able to appreciate significant research in other fields and therefore require an understanding of the basic principles of other disciplines. To meet this challenge Carleton University and the University of Ottawa offer a collaborative program leading to a master of science degree in the primary program with specialization in Bioinformatics or, in the case of computer science, a master of computer science degree with specialization in Bioinformatics.

Dr. Mathieu Lavallée-Adam
Tel: 613-562-5800 ext. 8224