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MSc Program
PhD Program


Chair and graduate co-ordinator
Frances Sharom
Deparment of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Extension: 52247
E-mail: fsharom@uoguelph.ca

Graduate Faculty
Terry J. Beveridge
Professor, Microbiology

Manfred Brauer
Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Leonid Brown
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Jack P. Callaghan
Assistant Professor, Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences

David Chiu
Professor, Computing and Information Science

James H. Davis
Professor, Physics

John R. Dutcher
BSc Dalhousie; MSc British Columbia; PhD Simon Fraser --Professor, Dept. of Physics

Douglas H. Goff
BSc Guelph; MS, PhD Cornell --Professor, Dept. of Food Science

Saul Goldman
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Christopher G. Gray
Professor, Physics

F. Ross Hallett
Professor, Physics

George Harauz
Professor, Molecular Biology and Genetics

W. Gordon S. Hines
Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

Mark Hurtig
Professor, Clinical Studies

Kenneth R. Jeffrey
Professor, Physics

Robert A.B. Keates
Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Bill Langford
Professor Emeritus, Mathematics and Statistics

Michael I. Lindinger
Associate Professor, Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences

Denis H. Lynn
Professor, Zoology

Dev Mangroo
Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

A. Rodney Merrill
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

K. Peter Pauls
Professor, Crop Science

Glen Pyle
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Frances J. Sharom
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

William R. Smith
Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

Lawrence L. Spriet
Professor, Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences

E. Donald Stevens
Professor, Zoology

Jeffrey J. Thomason
Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Jack T. Trevors
Professor, Environmental Biology

Christopher Whitfield
Professor, Microbiology

Janet M. Wood
Professor, Microbiology

Rickey Y. Yada
BSc, MSc, PhD British Columbia --Professor, Food Science

Simon Yang
Assistant Professor, Engineering

The following members of Brock University are members of the program:
D.H. Bruce
Professor, Biological Sciences

A. Joffre Mercier
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

R. Peter Rand
Professor, Biological Sciences

Sandra Peters
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Edward Sternin
Associate Professor, Physics

The following members of the University of Toronto are members of the program:
William McIlroy
Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy

The following members of Wilfrid Laurier University are members of the program:
Ross E. Cressman
Professor, Mathematics

        The organization and administration of the graduate program in biophysics are the responsibility of the Biophysics Interdepartmental Group (BIG). The group consists of those members of the graduate faculty whose research interests lie wholly or partly in biophysics. Biophysics spans all areas of the life sciences from molecular biology to physiology and uses the ideas and techniques of the physical sciences to solve biological problems. The specific sub- disciplines of the BIG are molecular, cellular, and physiological biophysics.

MSc Program

Admission Requirements:
        Students may be admitted to a MSc program in biophysics from a range of undergraduate programs, including physics, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or mathematics. Students may be expected to complete certain further undergraduate courses. To be considered for admission, applicants should meet the minimum requirements of a four-year honours degree with a 73% (B) average during the final two years of study. Applicants should briefly indicate their research interests and, if possible, their preferred advisors. Completed applications should be submitted by the end of March for consideration for funding. Students are generally admitted in September.

Degree Requirements:
        Students in the MSc program will be under the guidance of an interdepartmental advisory committee. They will register in both the biophysics program and in the department most appropriate to their background and research topic (usually the department of their adviser). A total of 1.5 credits are required. These credits are usually obtained through three graduate courses, although in some cases advisory committees may require an extra course(s). A maximum of two of the courses may be at the undergraduate level and each undergraduate course credit will be credited as half a graduate course credit. Only undergraduate courses with numbers 300 or greater will be counted for graduate credit. An average of 70% (B-) or better must be obtained in the prescribed courses. Further information may be obtained from the chair of the group.

PhD Program

        The PhD program can involve experimental or theoretical aspects of molecular, cellular, and physiological biophysics.

Admission Requirements:
     Applicants for the PhD program should have a recognized master's degree in an appropriate field, with a 77% (B+) average in their postgraduate studies. Applicants should briefly indicate their area of research interest and preferred adviser(s). It is often beneficial for applicants to talk with potential advisors before submitting an application.
     Direct admission to the PhD program may be permitted for applicants holding a bachelor's degree with high academic standing. Students enrolled in the master's degree program who achieve a superior academic record and show a particular aptitude for research may be permitted to transfer to the PhD program. The application to transfer should be made to the chair of the biophysics program between the end of the second semester and the end of the fourth semester of work towards the master's degree.

Degree Requirements:
        1.5 graduate course credits related to the student's subdiscipline (molecular biophysics, cellular biophysics or physiological biophysics) are required if the student has completed the degree requirements for the MSc in the Biophysics (BIG) program at Guelph. Two graduate course credits, one of which must be related to the student's subdiscipline, will be required for students transferring into biophysics from another program or another institution. The advisory committee may require additional courses for any student. As early as feasible, but no later than the final semester of the minimum duration, a PhD student is required to complete a qualifying examination to assess her or his knowledge of the subject. This examination should normally be taken within the first five semesters of registration as a PhD student. When the qualifying examination and the course work are satisfactorily completed, the submission and successful defense of an acceptable thesis on an approved topic completes the requirements for the PhD Biophysics.


Course/(Credit Value) Term Course Description
Concepts in Biophysics (0.5)
    This course will emphasis basic concepts in molecular, cellular and physiological biophysics arising from key journal publications and their impact on present day research trends.
Biophysics Seminar (0.0)
    Public seminar presented by all PhD students in the Biophysics program. This seminar is to be presented within four semesters from entry to the program. The course is optional for MSc students. Prerequisite BIOP*6000.
Cellular Biophysics (0.5)
    The physics of cellular structure and function; membrane theories, diffusion and active transport, bioelectric phenomena; intracellular motion, thermodynamics; selected topics of current interest and seminar.
Molecular Biophysics (0.5)
    Physical methods of determining macromolecular structure: energetics, intramolecular and intermolecular forces, with application to lamellar structures, information storage, DNA and RNA, recognition and rejection of foreign molecules.
Selected Topics in Experimental Biophysics (0.5)
Special Topics in Biophysics (0.5)
Interuniversity Graduate Course in Biophysics (0.5)
    This graduate course is offered using the combined biophysical resources of the Universities of Brock, Guelph, McMaster and Waterloo. Three topics constitute the equivalent of a one-semester 3 hr./week graduate course. Information about the course and the selection of individual topics can be obtained from the departmental course co-ordinator. Registration and credit will occur in the semester of the last module.

Courses in Related Subjects:
Department of Biomedical Sciences:
BIOM*6110 Advanced Microscopy for Biomedical Sciences (0.5) BIOM*6160 Cellular Biology (0.5)
BIOM*6190 Tissue Culture Techniques in Biomedical Sciences (0.5)

Department of Botany:
BOT*6402 Regulation and Control of Plant Growth (0.5)
BOT*6405 Modern Approaches to Plant Ultrastructure (0.5)

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry:
CHEM*7120 X-ray Crystallography (0.5)
CHEM*7300 Proteins and Nucleic Acids (0.5)
CHEM*7360 Regulation in Biological Systems (0.5)
CHEM*7370 Enzymes (0.5)
CHEM*7380 Cell Membranes and Cell Surfaces (0.5)
CHEM*7460 Quantum Chemistry (0.5)

School of Engineering:
ENGG*6110 Food and Bio-Process Engineering (0.5)
ENGG*6130 Physical Properties of Biomaterials (0.5)
ENGG*6150 Bio-Instrumentation (0.5)

Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences:
HBNS*6900 Research Project (1.0)

Department of Mathematics and Statistics:
MATH*6071 Biomathematics (0.5)
STAT*6761 Survival Analysis (0.5) STAT*6850 Advanced Biometry (0.5)
STAT*6950 Statistical Methods for the Life Sciences (0.5)
STAT*6960 Design of Experiments and Data Analysis for the Life Sciences (0.5)

Department of Microbiology:
MICR*6040 Advanced Microbial Physiology (0.5)
MICR*6130 Molecular Biology of Viruses (0.5)

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics:
MBG*6100 High Resolution Microscopy for Molecular Biologists (0.5)

Department of Physics:
PHYS*7010 Quantum Mechanics I (0.5)
PHYS*7040 Statistical Physics I (0.5)
PHYS*7450 Selected Topics in Experimental Physics (0.5)
PHYS*7480 Microprocessors in the Physics Laboratory (0.5)

Interdisciplinary Courses:
UNIV*6000 Structure and Function of Muscle (0.5)
UNIV*6010 Regulation of Muscle Metabolism (0.5)


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