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Our Training Programs

High School Students

For one week in spring and fall, high school students have the opportunity to participate in the High School Student Science Week at the HLI. A total of 8 students are invited to participate in various hands-on laboratory sessions and seminars.

Students who participate in the High School Student Science Week are eligible to apply for the Peter D. Paré Scholarship, an eight (8) week summer internship at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (valued at $2,000).

Undergraduate Training

Throughout each year, 45 – 50 undergraduate students are trained at the HLI through co-operative education programs, directed studies programs or various employment opportunities. Students gain hands-on basic science laboratory experience in a research project and are mentored by Principal Investigators and laboratory staff or senior trainees including graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Not only does each student learn, in detail, several laboratory techniques per 4-month or 8-month placement but, more importantly for this formative period of development, students learn the critical logic of designing scientific experiments and interpreting data.

Summer Student Research Program

From May to August, undergraduate students are hired by HLI Principal Investigators to perform various research tasks in their laboratories. During this time, the students learn practical laboratory techniques and are trained in the use of lab equipment. For many students, this program provides an invaluable first-time exposure to the workings of a science lab and is the first step in their career as a scientist. Students present their work in a Research in Progress seminar series and attend professional development seminars as well as lectures on the Introduction to the Pathogenesis of Human Disease graduate level course (Pathology 521). In addition to technical and intellectual training, students learn to present their original work at the end-of-summer Student Research Day.

It is recommended for students to search for funding opportunities as students who arrive with some funding are more likely to be considered. The University of British Columbia offers the Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) and the Faculty of Medicine’s Summer Student Research Program (SSRP).

Graduate Students and Postdocs

Faculty at the HLI provide graduate training for students in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Advanced courses in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Pathophysiology and Pathogenesis of Human Disease are taught by our faculty members.

Post-doctoral Fellows and Visiting Scientists are provided with the opportunity to enhance their research experience by participating in seminars and professional development workshops.

Educational Activities and Curricula

Research in Progress Seminars: (every Monday from September to June at 9:00am, Gourlay Conference Room). Graduate students or post-doctoral fellows present their “research in progress” to other HLI researchers. The idea behind these seminars is for a critical, but supportive audience to give feedback at the conceptual or analytic stage of the trainees’ research program.

HLI Friday Seminar Series: (every Friday September to June at 11:30, Gourlay Conference Room). Each week, the HLI invites guest speakers who are recognized in their field to give a one-hour lecture to introduce the HLI personnel to their research. These sessions are designed to encourage collaboration between groups at the various UBC campuses (Children’s and Women’s, Vancouver Hospital and St Paul’s Hospital) and at collaborating institutions and to bring students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty uptodate on the latest development in the particular area of expertise of the speaker.

Technology Series: As the HLI revolves around technically advanced topics and instrumentation, vendors are often on site to demonstrate, update, and teach short courses on and about their area of expertise. We also host Vendor Information sessions on new equipment. The schedule of events will highlight these upcoming events at the HLI.

Professional Development Series: In collaboration with the UBC Facility of Medicine, we have organized Career Day for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows as well as post-doctoral fellow-specific half day workshops. UBC G+PS has ongoing Professional Development Workshops. There are also numerous one hour and half day workshops at the HLI with topics such as: negotiating skills, grant writing, lab management, poster and oral presentation skills, research ethics, statistics and more.  
For further details on how to register, please contact our Education Coordinator.

Short courses and workshops: Short courses on our equipment/technology platforms and/or experimental design and expertise are offered to technicians, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty members at UBC and collaborating institutions. If you are interested in continuing education on our available technology please contact our Education Coordinator.

Curriculum Courses offered at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation: Three graduate level curriculum courses are offered annually at the Centre:

Medi 560/Path 518: Pulmonary Pathophysiology
September to December, Thursdays 1:30 to 3:00 PM
Course Director: Dr. Najib Ayas (

Medi 570: Cardiovascular Pathophysiology
January to April, Wednesdays 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Course Director: Dr. Honglin Luo (

Path 521: Introduction to the Pathogenesis of Human Disease
June and July, Tuesday to Thursday 9:00 to 10:00 AM
Course Director: Dr. Andrew Sandford (

To register you may contact the Director of each course or you may register through the Experimental Medicine or Pathology Departments.  All lectures are open to non-registered undergraduate and graduate students.  You do not have to be registered to attend lectures and can attend one or all lectures, depending upon your interest.