Ph.D. in Molecular Biology
option Systems Biology
The program offers Ph.D. training in molecular biology, systems biology option, from the Université de Montréal.
The Ph.D. Program in Molecular Biology, Systems Biology option, offers you the opportunity to lead a research project by adopting a multidisciplinary approach that integrates, in the context of fundamental and translational cancer research, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, immunology, bioinformatics, genomics, medical physics, and the more clinical aspects of biomedical research.
This top-notch training is aimed at creating strong scientists with varied expertise who can act as leaders in expanding the frontiers of knowledge in this very vast area.
Lasting approximately 5 years, this program enables you to acquire the concepts and the practice of systems biology, while remaining focused on fundamental or translational research. This training prepares you for meeting the challenge of operating at the interface of several complementary disciplines in order to study complex questions related to multigenetic diseases.
The courses must be taken during the first two years of the Ph.D. program.
BIM7021A, B, C, D – Lectures in Cancer Biology (3 elective courses)
Through a series of weekly lectures given by internationally renowned Investigators from various fields of biomedical research, these courses aim to 1) expose you to different techniques and experimental systems in molecular, cell and structural biology, 2) improve your ability to understand and summarize research results presented in scientific articles and seminars, 3) exercise your critical judgment with respect to results and conclusions presented in scientific articles and seminars, and 4) improve your scientific communication skills.
BIM6070 – Professional Practice of Research
This course is an introduction to the scientific method in research and to the experimental approach. Furthermore, this course initiates you to the scientific critical review process, to the writing of a scientific article, to the writing of a research project and to the preparation of a grant proposal. This course also encourages you to think about the ethical issues involved with biomedical research by encouraging you to identify and discuss the ethical questions and matters that may arise. Finally, guest speakers present you with some career possibilities related to biomedical research.
BIM7015 – Research Seminar
As part of this course, you will present, in the form of a 40-minute seminar, your Ph.D. research project. This course is aimed at teaching you methods to summarize your research work, to make an oral presentation of the results and to discuss the project.
Summer School in Systems Biology
Students wishing to complete their training may also take several courses offered as part of the Summer School in Systems Biology.
The Summer School in Systems Biology offers a series of theoretical and practical courses unique to the Institute and available for Master’s and Ph.D. programs in systems biology. Its particularity is that it is centered around IRIC’s students and that it is ensured by the Institute’s Investigators.
The courses are subdivided into two categories: theoretical courses involving topics related to fundamental and translational cancer research and laboratory courses that will enable you to put the knowledge acquired into practice.
Through its rich and dynamic programming, the Summer School makes it possible to put directly into practice the knowledge passed along by distinguished Investigators, to develop autonomy in the laboratory and to become familiar with the scientific equipment and resources offered at IRIC. As a result, you can begin or continue your research activities with confidence. A good knowledge of English is required to attend to Summer School.
Summer School - Theoretical courses
The theoretical courses cover a variety of topics related to the cell and molecular biology of cancer, the molecular genetics of eukaryotes, immuno-oncology, model organisms and experimental approaches based on systems biology such as biophysics, nanotechnologies, proteomics, etc.
BIM6064A – Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer (required)
The BIM6064A course offers theoretical training in cellular and molecular cancer research making it possible to understand the mechanisms of gene expression and cell cycle control by signalling pathways and their dysregulation in cancer. This course includes the following presentations:
- Transcriptional regulation and cancer (by Sylvie Mader)
- Epigenetic regulation of gene expression and cancer (by Julie Lessard)
- Biology of miRNAs (by Gerardo Ferbeyre)
- Gene expression: post-transcriptional regulation and cancer (by Katherine Borden)
- Signalling pathways (by Gregory Emery)
- Signalling and cell cycle progression (by Sylvain Meloche)
- DNA replication and chromosomal integrity (by Lea Harrington)
- Molecular genetics of cancer (by Trang Hoang)
BIM6064B – Molecular Genetics of Eukaryotes (elective)
The BIM6064B course offers theoretical training on the molecular genetics of eukaryotes and the use of biological models for the study of cell signalling and cancer. It makes it possible to understand the contribution of the genetics of biological model systems in studying cancer. This course includes the following presentations:
- Thinking like a geneticist (by Alain Verreault)
- Yeasts: genetics of unicellular eukaryotes (by Martine Raymond)
- Eukaryotic cells in culture: genetics of cancer (by Guy Sauvageau)
- Working like a biochemist (by Benjamin Kwok)
- Fundamentals in light and fluorescence microscopy (by Etienne Gagnon)
- Caenorhabditis elegans: signalling in multicellular organisms (by Jean-Claude Labbé)
- Drosophila melanogaster: genetics of higher eukaryotes (by Marc Therrien)
- The mouse: analyzing the function of genes in mammals (by Philippe Roux)
BIM6064C – Approaches in Systems Biology (required)
The BIM6064C course offers theoretical training on system biology approaches for the analysis of cell signalling and molecular genetics. It makes it possible to know the approaches in systems biology and their contribution to the advancement of knowledge in cancer biology and molecular genetics. This course includes the following presentations:
- Functional approaches by loss of function (by Sébastien Carréno)
- Post-translational modifications (by Philippe Roux)
- Genetic screens (by Vincent Archambault)
- Biophysical analysis of the structure of macromolecules (by Kathy Borden)
- Proteomics (by Pierre Thibault)
- Structural biology (by Matthew Smith)
- How to write a scholarship application (by Sylvie Mader)
- Nanotechnology in biology (by Delphine Bouilly)
- Synthetic biology (by Mike Tyers)
BIM6064D - Immuno-oncology: From the Laboratory to the Clinic (elective)
The BIM6064D course offers theoretical training on therapeutic targeting, drug development, clinical research in leukemia and breast cancer, the use of stem cells in cancer therapy, and immunotherapy. It makes it possible to acquire basic concepts in immunology and oncology and presents various examples of applications of laboratory research in the clinical and drug discovery fields. In addition to the visit of IRIC’s Histology and High-Throughput Screening Core Facilities, this course includes the following theoretical presentations:
- Malignant hemopathies (by Jean Roy)
- Chromosomal aberrations/Laboratory tests in clinical hematology (by Josée Hébert)
- How to set up clinical trials in cell therapy (by Denis-Claude Roy)
- Drug development and high-throughput screening (by Benjamin Kwok)
- Stem cells and cancer treatment (by Guy Sauvageau)
- Breast cancer, clinical tests and histology (by Louis Gaboury)
- Pharmacological modulation of cell signalling: membrane receptors (by Michel Bouvier)
- General concepts of immunology and antigen presentation (by Claude Perreault)
- Function of T cell and cancer immunotherapy (by Etienne Gagnon)
- Innate immunity (by John White)
Summer School - Practical courses
Laboratory courses present various techniques related to molecular biology, cell analysis, protein expression and purification, analysis of the biochemical and biophysical properties of proteins, functional genomics, bioinformatics and the use of model organisms. During these practical courses, you carry out several research projects requiring the use of IRIC’s core facilities.
BIM6065A – Practice in Molecular Biology (required)
The BIM6065A course offers laboratory training and its goal is to teach basic techniques in molecular biology in order for them to be used simply, quickly and effectively. Its main objectives are hands-on training involving in vivo-directed mutagenesis, DNA sequencing and bioinformatics techniques and gene-targeting approaches by Gibson assembly and CrispR-Cas9 technologies.
BIM6065B – Genetic Models of Cancer (elective)
The BIM6065B course offers practical laboratory training in cell analysis by flow cytometry and microscopy using model organisms (e.g., transgenic mice, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster). Its goal is to teach you 1) cell analysis techniques using various model organisms, 2) mouse transgenesis, 3) basic flow cytometry methods and data analysis, and 4) basic methods in confocal microscopy and dissection microscopy. This course includes training using various IRIC Core Facilities, (e.g., Flow Cytometry, Bio-Imaging, transgenesis), lectures (e.g., bio-imaging software), theoretical presentations and practical work leading to various assignments and written reports.
BIM6065C – Bioinformatics Analysis (required)
The BIM6065C course offers theoretical and practical training in bioinformatics analysis and its goal is to familiarize you with 1) databases, 2) network analysis techniques, and 3) modelling of the structure of macromolecules. It includes theoretical presentations and tutorials leading to various assignments.
BIM6065D – Functional Genomics (elective)
The BIM6065D course offers theoretical and practical training in functional genomics, DNA microarrays, gene expression analysis and large-scale chromatin immunoprecipitation. Its goal is to teach you 1) high-throughput sequencing techniques, and 2) DNA microarray hybridization techniques, data analysis, and the analysis of large-scale chromatin immunoprecipitation. This course includes theoretical presentations and practical work leading to various assignments.
BIM6065E – Biochemistry of Proteins (required)
The BIM6065E course offers practical laboratory training in the field of biochemistry of proteins. It follows course BIM6065A and its goal is to teach you 1) techniques to express and purify proteins (FPLC chromatography) and 2) techniques to study the chemical and biophysical properties of proteins (mass spectrometry, circular dichroism and ultracentrifugation). This course includes practical work using IRIC’s Proteomics and Biophysics Core Facilities, theoretical presentations, group discussions and written assignments.
A Université de Montréal program
This collaborative program allows you to benefit from not only the expertise and support of over thirty professors, Investigators and scientific professionals from IRIC, but also of Investigators from various departments of the Université de Montréal, the CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM) and the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre (CRHMR).