Biomedical Science seeks to understand the fundamental processes of life and apply this knowledge to many aspects of medicine and human health. The field of Biomedical Science is broad and includes immunology, cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, physiology, systems biology, microbiology, virology and environmental health. Biomedical scientists play important roles in enhancing our understanding of human health, from molecular to organismal levels. Biomedical scientists study fundamental aspects of biology including mechanisms of disease. They also work in areas that contribute to the development of new therapies and approaches aimed at improving human health.
As a biomedical student at York, you will:
• be able to explore a number of course options related to the expanding field of biomedical science
• lay the foundation for your future career or continuing education in professional programs
• prepare for a career in the many fields related to biomedicine
• have the opportunity to work alongside leading researchers.
The Biology program is York’s longest-established scientific program, boasting internationally-recognised teaching faculty and particular strengths in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Physiology, Ecology and Population Biology, and Genetics. Students may choose to sample courses from a variety of subdisciplines, or they may develop expertise in a particular area through the completion of a more structured “area of concentration”. Focused on developing independent analytical and applied skills through research projects and laboratory investigations, studies in Biology at York will give you a firm grounding in the core concepts of Biology as well as sound scientific training in the techniques and methods of biological research at all scales, from molecules to ecosystems. The Biology program at York offers the following flexible degree paths:
Bachelor of Science (90 credits, normally over three years): A flexible, multi-disciplinary program offering you a broad range of studies in biological topics. In second year you complete a group of core courses, selected from a list that include Plant Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Animal Biology, Genetics, Ecology, Statistics and Organic Chemistry. In the third year you choose from a long list of more specialized courses to complete your degree.,/p>
Honours Programs (120 credits, normally over four years): You may complete a Specialized Honours degree in Biology, or in the Biotechnology, Biomedical Science or Conservation Ecology streams. You may also complete an Honours Double Major, combining your Honours studies in Biology with another Major in Science (for example, Chemistry, Physics, Kinesiology & Health Sciences, or Psychology). In addition, you may choose to combine an Honours Major in Biology with a Minor concentration in another discipline in the Faculties of Science, Arts, Environmental Studies or Fine Arts. Finally, you may combine an Honours Major in another discipline in Science & Engineering, Arts, Fine Arts, or Environmental Studies with an Honours Minor in Biology. York’s flexible, multi-disciplinary approach to Biology education gives our graduates the ability to tackle diverse problems at the forefront of biology. Students in Biology can also choose to complete an iBSc – international Bachelor of Science. Studies in Biology are combined with a foreign language and an international exchange.
Facilities and Opportunities
Students studying in York’s Faculty of Science and Engineering have access to laboratory space, computer facilities and a library dedicated to research in the sciences. The new Life Sciences Building, expected to open this summer, will house state-of-the-art undergraduate laboratories, an advising office and a learning commons dedicated to first-year life science students. Combined with faculty members who are active researchers, these facilities provide students with exposure to cutting edge research.
Students interested in Biomedical Science at York often take advantage of the non-academic offerings of the university as well. York offers students an extensive network of support and community through academic and career counseling but also through its support of student run clubs.
• York’s student-run Pre-med Society hosts seminars and provides information to assist students considering medical school, dental school, and other health-related careers in a non-competitive environment. (see www.yorku.ca/ypms)
• The York University Biology Students Association provides a peer mentoring program and hosts events related to the biological sciences throughout the year. (see www.yorku.ca/yubs/)
• York’s Career Centre hosts a Continuing Education Day each year where representatives from other institutions come to recruit York students to their professional and graduate programs. (seewww.yorku.ca/careers)
The demand for highly skilled people with university level education in biomedical science is growing. Graduates of York’s Biomedical Science program will be prepared for a range of careers outside our idea of traditional science and human health professions.
Biomedical scientists work in universities, hospitals, health departments, biomedical research institutes, government research centres and in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic, biotechnology and other health-related industries.
Some may work in hospital labs, analyzing metabolic disorders, performing diagnostic testing, identifying biomarkers, blood typing, conducting genetic tests, diagnosing tumours or identifying an infectious micro-organism. This type of work is typically done in partnership with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals with the end goal of identifying disease factors and developing the best course of patient treatment.. Others may be working in research roles to understand the biological processes that are disrupted by disease in both humans and animals. Yet others will be developing and testing new treatments for chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis. Some will be in the large and growing industry that supports all this work.
With further study in graduate or professional programs, possible careers include medical physician, dentist, pharmacist, biochemist, clinical physiologist, microbiologist, genetic counsellor, forensic scientist, dietician or careers in law, business, government, policy development, teaching and many others.
If you major in Biomedical Science yout first year courses will probably be:
• Computer Use
• General Education course
In second year you will probably take:
• Cell Biology and Biochemistry
• Genetics and Organic Chemistry
• Animal Biology or Statistics for Biologists
• Physics or Psychologya general education course
Courses you might take in upper years include:
• Animal Physiology
• Human Anatomy and Physiology
• Regulation of Gene Expression
• Biology of Cancer
• Pharmaceutical Chemistry
• Cellular Regulation
• Cell and Molecular Basis of Muscle Physiology
• Vertebrate Endocrinology
• Comparative Chordate Anatomy
• Human Molecular Genetics
• Honours Research Thesis
Career options for Biomedical Science majors include:
• Biology Research – academic, government, industry
• Biomedical Research
• Industry – technical information, product information, sales
• Education – elementary, high school, college, university
• Professional Schools – Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary, Law, Business, etc
• Health Sciences – nurse, chiropodist, biomedical technician, genetic counsellor, diagnostic histologist,
• Postgraduate Studies/Academic Career