School of Graduate Studies

Queen's University
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School of

Graduate Studies

School of

Graduate Studies

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Pathology & Molecular Medicine

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"It’s a great environment to work in. I had a lot of fun and made good friends. When you’re working in a lab, it can be easy to forget that you’re working to help people. It’s easy to forget what cancer really is. I don’t have that problem.”

Doug Richardson, PhD. 2009

Program Contact

Mark Andrews
Graduate Program Assistant
Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine
Richardson Laboratory & Room 201 
88 Stuart Street. Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.6000 ext. 79558


Program Overview

The Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine is a clinical department with a major research focus in cancer, hemostasis and vascular biology.  Trainees therefore have opportunities to pursue comprehensive training in basic and translational biomedical research, an example being diagnostic, predictive and prognostic biomarker research. 

The graduate programs offer opportunities to pursue advanced degrees under the supervision of an exceptional group of basic, clinical and translational researchers. 

With a focus on cancer – 15 of our 20 investigators are cancer biologists – our department members deliver comprehensive diagnostic laboratory and clinical services to Southeastern Ontario through the Kingston General Hospital, offering great training for the next generation of biomedical research scientists and laboratory physicians.

Queen's therefore is a great setting to learn first-hand how the fast pace of molecular genetic research is changing clinical practise, leading to exciting new diagnostic and treatment approaches for cancer and other diseases. 


Trainees have many opportunities to present their work at local, national and international scientific conferences.  Interactions with clinician-scientists in the context of their translational research programs or exposure to their clinical service roles provides important practical context for our trainee’s own research. The department also provides funding for travel to distant laboratories to acquire specific techniques or skills that can be established in their home labs. 

Multidisciplinary exposure is a major objective of our cancer training experience.  The close relationship between the department and the Cancer Research Institute and it’s three divisions (Cancer Biology and Genetics, Clinical Trials, and Cancer Care and Epidemiology) provides a unique perspective on multidisciplinary research.  This is also formalized in the Collaborative Cancer Graduate Program, which is offered to all trainees engaged in cancer-focused research. 

Career paths – employment opportunities

M.Sc. Graduates: are well suited to employment in Health Care (Hospital clinical labs), pharmaceutical companies, academic labs, and scientific supply companies, as well as roles in administration in academic, health care or government settings.   

  • Teaching positions in academic institutions or the private sector
  • Technical positions in academic institutions or the private sector
  • Marketing positions in private sector companies

Ph.D. Graduates: would be suited for all of these same settings, at a higher level with more leadership roles.

  • Post-doctoral work
  • Research and/or teaching positions at academic institutions or the private sector
  • Venture capital investment advisory roles in the financial sector
Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.Sc.: 2 years

Ph.D.: 4 years

Method of Completion

M.Sc. : Course work, research demonstrating experimental competence and a thesis

Ph.D.: Course work, research making novel contributions to the field of study and a thesis

CIHR Cancer Training and Collaborative Cancer Programs

These programs offer stipend support and a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary training in cancer research that includes basic molecular genetic, translational, pre-clinical drug development and clinical trials studies – as well as opportunities to work collaboratively with pharmaceutical industry partners including term placements in private sector locations.

Fields of study and Supervisors

We recommend that you contact potential supervisors in advance.

Cancer Research and Developmental Biology

  • Sam Basta
  • David Berman
  • Susan P.C. Cole
  • Scott Davey
  • Bruce Elliot
  • Peter Greer
  • David LeBrun
  • Chris Mueller
  • Lois Mulligan
  • Christopher J. Nicol
  • Martin Petkovich
  • Leda Raptis
  • Michael Rauh
  • Mark Ropeleski
  • Waheed Sangrar
  • ​Chandrakant Tayade
  • Paul Young
  • Xiaolong Yang

Human Genetics & Cytogenetics

  • Harriet Feilotter
  • ​Neil Renwick

Hemostasis & Thrombosis Research and Vascular Biology

  • David.P. Lillicrap
  • Donald Maurice
  • Paula James
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

M.Sc.: $21,700 minimum

Ph.D.: $22,700 minimum

For internal, provincial and national competitive award winners, the funding package increases by 2.5%, 5% and 10% respectively.

We encourage all students to apply for additional funding through CIHR, NSERC, OGS, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, CBCF,  the Department of Defence and/or the American Cancer Society.

Entering graduate students who win federal government tri-council awards are automatically provided a $5,000 (Masters) or $7,500 (PhD - will be increased to $10,000 for the 2016/17 academic year) top-up award by Queen’s.

Departmental Awards:The Pathology and Molecular Medicine Graduate Award is available to one outstanding entry-level graduate student in either the M.Sc. or Ph.D. program.

The Robert Kisilevsky Fund for Research Education supports a bursary program for full-time first-year Ph.D. students.

Academic Prerequisites

M.Sc. Program: Honours B.Sc. or equivalent in life sciences, biochemistry, biology, etc. (Students with only a general degree can be admitted for a qualifying year.). The ideal undergraduate background for the program would be one rich in molecular genetics and cell biology, in addition to foundational courses in Chemistry, Mathematics, Physiology, Biology and Biochemistry.  The Queen’s Life Sciences and DBMS programs, or similar programs from other institutions provide excellent backgrounds.

Ph.D. Program: Honours B.Sc. or equivalent with first class standing or M.Sc. or equivalent with research experience

We consider all of your grades, but pay particular attention to the last two years of science-related courses.

Test Requirements

For international students, if required, a TOEFL total score of at least 600 (paper-based) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30); speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30), for a total of 88/120. Applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: February 1 to qualify for internal funding competitions, but we accept applications all year.

Notification of Acceptance: Quickly pending confirmation of a supervisor

Learning Outcomes and Program Milestones
NEW! Fast track to Masters – Combined BScH/MSc (Pathology & Molecular Medicine)

The Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine is very excited to launch a new initiative which offers a combined program of a BScH/MSc (Pathology & Molecular Medicine). This program offers an opportunity for students in the 4th year of their Honours program (Biomedical Discovery and Cancer streams of the Life Sciences program, Biochemistry and Biology programs) to take up to 2 courses at the graduate level which would then allow these students to enter the graduate program with advanced standing. Research begun in the 4th year thesis project could be carried forward as a foundation for the graduate thesis, which would create an opportunity for exceptional students to complete the graduate degree within 4 terms.

Admission to the combined program is a two-step process.

Step 1:

Students will have the option to apply for admission to the combined program (permission to take graduate level courses) in the winter term of the 3rd year, in parallel with the process for admittance to the Honours year and the thesis research project. All applications will then be reviewed by the Pathology & Molecular Medicines Graduate Admissions Committee. Students admitted into this program must have an overall minimum A- average in the previous four completed academic terms of their undergraduate program.

If accepted into the combined program, in Year 4 of the BSc (Honours) program students will be permitted to take up to two 3.0 graduate level courses for a total of 3 or 6 credits towards the 12 credits required for the MSc degree. It is the student’s responsibility to gain admission to these graduate courses following acceptance into the program. These courses will be counted as electives or science options towards completion of the degree requirements in the BSc (Hons) program. Only 1 of these courses may be a combined undergraduate/graduate (400/800) level course. The second (and all subsequent) graduate courses must be graduate only (800 and/or 900 level).

Step 2:

For admission to the MSc program in Pathology & Molecular Medicine with advanced standing, students will be expected to complete the standard SGS application process, have an overall A- average in the previous 2 years of their undergraduate program, and have demonstrated significant research productivity in the 4th year thesis project.


Students should apply in writing via email to the Graduate Assistant Mark Andrews ( and at that time should provide a copy of their transcript, a brief description (1 Paragraph) of their research project, the name of their Project Supervisor, a letter of support from that Project Supevisory, and identify the graduate level courses they hope to enroll in during their 4th year.

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