Genomics and Individualized Therapy

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC is an emerging leader in the field of genomics and individualized drug therapy. From understanding how a patient's genetic makeup affects the way their body metabolizes drugs to creating genetically informed guidelines for better therapy, our researchers are advancing the way we are able to care for the human body.


Pharmacogenomics and individualized therapy refers to the practice of using an individual’s genetic information to guide the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of diseases, and to maintain wellness. An example of this kind of therapy would be incorporating the genetic variance of a patient’s drug metabolism genes when prescribing the type and amount of a given drug in an effort to avoid adverse reactions. Through pharmacogenomics, we are able to sequence and analyze whole genomes, and study both how our body metabolizes drugs and how genetic variance affects drug metabolism, thereby gaining a deeper understanding of how this variance guides better therapy and reduces adverse events.

Pharmacogenomics and individualized therapy make it possible to simplify the number of medications patients receive and avoid complications arising from interactions between drugs. This shift to smarter, genetically informed treatment empowers patients with more information and responsibility about their health, and places the community pharmacist as a pivotal health care provider. 

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC is emerging as a leader in this field. Our faculty’s research interests in drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenetics and the evaluation of pharmaceutical outcomes are converging with modern advances in genomic technology to realize the promise of pharmacogenomics. The Faculty is home to a comprehensive suite of analytical equipment that supports research with the tools to fully study how drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolized and excreted. Here you will also find the UBC Sequencing Centre at Pharmaceutical Sciences, a state-of-the-art facility that provides concept-to-completion sequencing, bioinformatics analysis and clinical applications for researchers in academia and industry.

Genomics and Individualized Therapy Researchers

Name Position Contact
Thomas Chang
Professor and Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
(604) 822-7795
Tim Chen
Assistant Professor
(604) 827-2075
Abby C. Collier
Associate Professor
(604) 827-2380
Michael Coughtrie
Professor and Dean
(604) 827-2178
Britt Drögemöller
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Mary H. H. Ensom
(604) 875-2886
Guri Giaever
Associate Professor
(604) 827-1789
Mark J. Harrison
Assistant Professor
(604) 827-0687
Tara L. Klassen
Assistant Professor
(604) 827-3845
Marc Levine
(604) 822-5027


Latest News Genomics and Individualized Therapy

Mission Possible

March 30, 2016


By Julia Kreger

It was 2:20 p.m. Florida time on June 28, 2015, and so far, the weather was co-operating.

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Yeast provides genetic clues on drug response

March 6, 2015

Source: UBC News

Why do people respond differently to the same drug? For the first time, researchers have untangled genetic and environmental factors related to drug reactions, bringing us a step closer to predicting how a drug will affect us.

Read more