Graduate Program (interdisciplinary)

Graduate Program

Opportunities

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Toxicology at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) offers Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees with specialization across a wide range of toxicological expertise.

The interdisciplinary nature of the U of S Toxicology Program, along with the diverse interests of a large number of graduate faculty in the U of S Toxicology Group, provides students with a wide array of potential research opportunities.

Applicants to the Toxicology Graduate Program must possess a recognized undergraduate degree in the life or natural sciences. Undergraduate training should include basic courses in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, and statistics. Courses in environmental chemistry, ecology, and pharmacology or toxicology are desirable.

For more information on the Toxicology Graduate Program, refer to the Graduate Student Handbook.

To Apply

The U of S Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Toxicology is highly regarded by potential employers, including industry, consulting firms, government agencies, and academia. Graduates are well prepared for professional careers in toxicology and are highly successful in finding suitable employment or pursuing further postgraduate training.

Applications are now accepted online at: http://www.usask.ca/cgsr/.  Please note - *No application deadline*

Funding

All graduate students are guaranteed full funding

Minimum stipends:

  • Ph.D. $21,600
  • M.Sc. $18,600

Earn extra as a teaching assistant

Basic health insurance coverage guaranteed

Graduate Core Courses

ACB 821.3 Advanced Topics in Developmental Biology

Description

Current topics on various mycotoxins that occur in feedstuffs as they relate to animal health and agricultural production. Fungal producers, chemical and physical properties of the toxins, toxicokinetics, biological effects and mechanisms(s) of action, and means of control. The course will include lectures by instructors and guest lecturers for the first 11 lectures. The remaining lectures will be given by graduate students on specific topics related to mechanisms and effects of mycotoxins on growth performance and health of production animals. Each student is responsible for two lecture slots. In addition, the students will write a short review paper on a current issue related to mycotoxins and animal health.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (2L)

ANSC 898.3 Current Topics in Mycotoxins & Animal Health

Description

Current topics on various mycotoxins that occur in feedstuffs as they relate to animal health and agricultural production. Fungal producers, chemical and physical properties of the toxins, toxicokinetics, biological effects and mechanisms(s) of action, and means of control. The course will include lectures by instructors and guest lecturers for the first 11 lectures. The remaining lectures will be given by graduate students on specific topics related to mechanisms and effects of mycotoxins on growth performance and health of production animals. Each student is responsible for two lecture slots. In addition, the students will write a short review paper on a current issue related to mycotoxins and animal health.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (2L)

APMC 825.3 Carcinogens and Mutagens

Description

Provides some understanding of carcinogens and mutagens, their mechanism of action at organismic, cellular, and molecular levels, and of their testing and assessment. Short seminar discussions of current developments will be included.

Permission of the department required.
 
Prerequisite(s):
One course in each of biochemistry, cell biology (e.g., ANAT 201), and general microbiology.

BIOE 850.3 Synchrotron X‐Ray Imaging

Description

Will introduce some synchrotron specific imaging modalities such as K‐edge subtraction, diffraction enhanced imaging, and phase contrast imaging with connections made to conventional imaging. The first part of the course will cover x‐ray interactions, detection, dose estimation and source properties (conventional and synchrotron).

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
1/2 (3L)
Permission of the department required.
 

BIOL 875.3 Ecotoxicology Theory & Practice

Description

This course examines how principles and theories in ecology can better inform ecotoxicology problems at multiple levels of biological organization (individuals to ecosystems). Much of the science of this relatively young discipline has traditionally lacked a conceptual basis and major recent advances are being drawn from ecological theories, models and approaches to strengthen the field. Students will examine current advanced topics and contemporary approaches that add ecological relevance and predictive strength to both field and laboratory ecotoxicology studies.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (3L)
Prerequisite(s):
At least 1 undergraduate or graduate course in Ecotoxicology or permission from instructor – attendance of BIOL 475 undergraduate lectures may satisfy this prerequisite.

BIOL 898.3 Physiological Toxicology

Description

Designed to explore the fundamental aspects of how aquatic animals function and respond when exposed to natural and/or anthropogenic stresses. The primary emphasis is placed on understanding the physiological mechanisms by which aquatic animals acclimate or adapt to a challenging environment as well as the physiological perturbations induced by stressors that lead to the onset of toxicity.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (1L)
Permission of the department required.
 
Prerequisite(s):
Animal Physiology and Environmental Toxicology at Undergraduate level

ENVS 832.3 Risk Assessment & Negotiation of Environmental Issues

Description

This course helps students develop a comprehensive understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of environmental issues, and will teach them the roles that science and society have in the assessment and management of such issues. The class will elucidate the perspectives of the different stakeholders using classic and interactive elements.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (1L)

ENVS 898.3 Chemical Risk Assessment

Description

The safe and sustainable management of chemicals requires a precise assessment of the risk posed by those chemicals. While many chemicals pose hazards to the environment the application of risk assessment techniques can be used to identify concerns and can provide strategies for minimizing those risks. Similarly, when chemicals are already in the environment the development of appropriate clean‐up strategies requires the use of risk assessments to identify clean‐up goals and procedures. Accurate risk assessments are based on a combination of appropriate sampling design and collection, appropriate and accurate chemical analysis and application of appropriate risk assessment paradigms. This class will
address all aspects of the risk assessment process by looking at several case studies.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (3L)

GEOL 851.3 Synchrotron Hard X‐ray Absorption Spectroscopy

Description

The course will describe the physical principles, experimental technique and data analysis of X‐rayabsorption spectroscopy. Frequent reference to practical applications will be included, and relevant synchrotron technology will also be reviewed. This course will equip the student with a practical working knowledge of the technique and its capabilities.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (3L)
Permission of the department required.
 

MCIM 820.3 DNA Repair & Mutagenesis

Description

Explores the process of DNA damage, repair, mutagenesis and impacts on cell survival, molecular evolution and human diseases. Emphasis is given to molecular, cellular, genetic and biochemical analysis of each repair pathway in various organisms. Students are expected to be familiar with the technologies and strategies in the investigations.

PHAR 848.3 Advanced Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Description

Qualitative and quantitative aspects of drug absorption, disposition, metabolism and excretion, and drug pharmacodynamics. The course emphasizes the use of pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic equations and the analysis of the data.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (3L‐2P)
Permission of the department required.
 
Prerequisite(s):
Basic course in pharmacokinetics

PHAR 854.3 Metabolic Transformation of Xenobiotics

Description

An advanced study of the basic principles of the metabolism of foreign compounds in mammals. The xenobiotics covered will include drugs, food additives, agricultural chemicals, and industrial chemicals. The detoxification and toxicological implications of metabolism are emphasized.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
1/2 (3L)

PHAR 865.3 Analytical Mass Spectrometry

Description

This course will cover modern state‐of‐the‐art mass spectrometry techniques and their usefulness in research and discovery. The course will examine instrumentation‐related topics, such as ionization sources, mass analyzers and hybrid tandem mass spectrometers. The advantages of each technique will be highlighted and discussed. A second portion of the course will focus on mass spectra interpretation and the various applications of applied mass spectrometry, namely structural elucidation, quantification, proteomics, and related biomedical and environmental applications. The course will also include practical demonstration of the use of tandem mass spectrometry.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (2L)

SLSC 819.3 Remediation & Reclamation of Contaminated Sites

Description

This course explains how one characterizes a contaminated terrestrial site, the risks associated with that site and identify remediation technologies that will mitigate the risks associated with the contaminated site. It will discuss how contamination interacts with industrial processes to created degraded landscapes and natural processes that help ameloriate this degradation of the ecosystem. Discussion of remediation will focus on the use of in situ and ex situ technologies for contaminated soil ecosystems and how these technologies reduce risk to not only soil, but also human and aquatic receptors.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
1 (2L)

TOX 810: Radiation and Radionuclide Toxicology

Description
Describes the basic properties of ionizing radiation, the interaction of radiation with matter, radiation detection, units and dosimetry. Discusses the natural radiation environment, radioactivity and its distribution and accumulation by chemical and biological processes. Presents the biological effects of radiation, particularly carcinogenesis, both at the epidemiological and molecular level.
Credit units:
.3
Term description:
1/2(3L)
Prerequisite(s):
Minimum of one university-level course in any four of physics, chemistry, microbiology, statistics, cell biology, or ecology.

TOX 820.3: Exposure Assessment

Description
The objectives of this course is to discuss how exposure to chemical hazards is estimated and evaluated from a modeling and observational approach. Students will become familiar with applications of local, regional and global environmental fate models and how this links to human and ecosystem exposure. Following this, techniques and approaches used to evaluate exposure to human populations will be explored with an emphasis on how spatial and global trends influence human susceptibility to hazards.
Credit units:
.3
Term description:
1/2(3L)
Prerequisite(s):
None

TOX 821.3: Human Health Chemical Risk Assessment

Description
Human health risk assessment is now playing a major role in the environmental management of chemicals, from both operational and regulatory perspectives. The quantitative assessment of potential health risk is now routine for chemicals in ambient air, indoor air, drinking water, commercial and country foods, soil, indoor dust, and innumerable consumer products (drugs, medical and dental devices and materials, pesticides, cosmetics, natural health products (nutriceuticals), tobacco products, nutritional supplements, building materials, paints and coatings, etc).
Prerequisite(s):
None

TOX 840: Wildlife Toxicology

Description
Intended to provide a broad exposure to general principles of terrestrial toxicology, with an emphasis on mammalian, avian and amphibian species. Topics to be covered include: effects of common environmental contaminants on wildlife populations; factors affecting soil toxicity, contaminant bioavailability, and fate; common in vitro and in vivo methods to assess toxicity and sublethal exposure (biomarkers); and ecological risk assessment.
Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2(3L)
Prerequisite(s):
TOX 300 and TOX 301, or permission of instructor.

TOX 842.3: Biochemical Toxicology

Description
To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of various biochemical mechanisms of toxicity, from both biomedical (human) and ecotoxicological perspectives. The focus will be on applying basic knowledge of biochemisty and physiology to the science of toxicology. Classes will involve discussions on topics related to the text and supplemental journal articles.
Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2(3L)

TOX 843.3: Environmental Chemodynamics

Description
Supplies students with an understanding of the processes that control the movement of organic and inorganic contaminants in the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere and will also provide an understanding of the methods used to monitor environmental behavior of potentially toxic contaminants in biotic and abiotic matrices.
Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2(3L)
Prerequisite(s):
One course in ecology or environmental biology and one course in general or environmental chemistry, or permission of the instructor and student's advisor/advisory committee.

TOX 844.3: Toxicology Techniques

Description
Provides theoretical background and hands-on experience in methods and techniques typically applied by toxicology professionals in academia, industry, and government. It is a modular course that covers a broad spectrum of procedures, ranging from proper handling of field equipment to biological test methods and analytical processing of samples. This course conforms to the academic requirements and standards of graduate courses, including the rules of Academic Honesty and Student Appeals in Academic Matters.
Credit units:
.3
Term description:
1/2(3L)
Permission of the department required.
 
Prerequisite(s):
Successful completion of Laboratory Safety course and GSR 962.

TOX 850.5: Aquatic Toxicology

Description
Will present a comprehensive overview of the technical aspects of predicting, monitoring, and evaluating the effects of toxic substances in aquatic systems. The class will cover levels of organization from sub-cellular to ecosystem. It is designed as an in-depth coverage of Aquatic Toxicology for students pursuing graduate degrees in the aquatic sciences. Students will be exposed to materials which will be useful in setting exposure standards and assessing hazards to aquatic ecosystems due to point or non-point releases of toxic substances. This course conforms to the academic requirements and standards for graduate courses, including the rules of Academic Honesty (see http://www.usask.ca/honesty/ ) and Student Appeals in Academic Matters (see http://www.usask.ca/university_council/reports/12-06-99.shtml ).
Credit units:
.3
Term description:
1(3L-2P)
Formerly:
TOX 898.3
Prerequisite(s):
Permission of the Toxicology Graduate Program

TOX 860.3: Applied Toxicology

Description
Provides students an opportunity to evaluate practical problems associated with various aspects of toxicology. Students will be presented with specific toxicological questions or concerns which will be examined using research information and library facilities.
Credit units:
.3
Term description:
1&2(1L-S/T)
Prerequisite(s):
Registration in the Toxicology Graduate Program or permission of the instructor.
Note:
Recommended additional credit units in TOX.

TOX 898.3 Advanced Quantitative Approaches

Description

This course will provide students with advanced knowledge and tools required to design, evaluate and interpret toxicological studies, including the processing and interpretation of ecotoxicogenomic data. Students will learn how to identify putative causes of adverse effects, design experiments to evaluate these causes and how to estimate, and communicate about, how toxicant concentrations are linked to adverse effects. The course will include test designs at the organism, population and ecological levels of organization by using examples drawn from human and ecological toxicological disciplines. A specific focus on the use of molecular tools in examining ecotoxicological effects will provide the background and skills for employing ecotoxicogenomic approaches.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (2L)
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s):
TOX 300, TOX 301; and one of STAT 245, STAT 246 or PLSC 214

TOX 898.3: Environmental Effects Assessment & Monitoring

Description

This course will introduce students to key principles for designing robust environmental effects studies from industrial activities on the landscape. It will cover a selection of appropriate ecological effects and measurable parameters (endpoints) that can be used for both pre‐construction environmental assessments in regulatory approval applications and post-construction environmental effects monitoring programs, with an emphasis on mechanisms of physical and chemical effects on invertebrates, fish and wildlife.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
Spring (2 week short course)

TOX 990: Seminar

Description
Reviews of literature and recent investigations. Graduate students are required to attend and to present seminars.

TOX 994: Research

Description
Students writing a Master's thesis must register for this course.

TOX 996: Research

Description
Students writing a Ph.D. thesis must register for this course.

VBMS 833.3 Subclinical Toxicology

Description

Discusses subclinical manifestations to toxic agents. The emphasis will be on immunological and behavioral alterations produced by a variety of chemical agents. Animal models and testing methods used to evaluate the effects will be discussed, along with various public health considerations and significance.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
1/2 (3L‐1S)
Permission of the department required.
 
Prerequisite(s):
Registration in the Toxicology Graduate Program

VBMS 855.3 Integrative Cardiovascular Physiology & Toxicology

Description

The course will build on the content of VBMS 840 (Vascular Physiology & Toxicology) which is focused strictly on vascular tissue, examine ventricular/arterial coupling as well as how cardiac, pulmonary, renal, endocrine and/or neural systems integrate with cardiovascular responses for homeostatic control of blood pressure, examine how these homeostatic mechanisms are altered in pathological processes associated with major human diseases and toxic agents encountered by humans. Relative emphasis on disease versus toxicants will be adjusted according to students’ backgrounds each year.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (1L)
Permission of the department required.
 
Prerequisite(s):
VBMS 840

VTPA 841.3 Toxicologic Pathology

Description

Covers mechanisms of toxicology as well as basic pathology, focusing on several major organ systems. The students' understanding of how clinical, environmental or pharmacological toxicants damage specific organs will be supported through didactic instruction, case studies, web‐based cases, directed readings and structured group discussion.

Credit units:
.3
Term description:
2 (1L‐1S‐2P)
Permission of the department required.
 
Prerequisite(s):
VTPA 342 & 343, or equivalent; or, TOX 402 & PATH 205.

Student Awards

In addition to standard graduate scholarships and fellowships, the Toxicology Graduate Program and the Toxicology Undergraduate Program provide the following special awards opportunities to full-time students. Selection of recipients of the awards is made by the Toxicology Awards Committee in April of each year. The awards are typically presented at the Toxicology Group Annual General Meeting, which is generally held each May. A brief list of the awards and their dollar value is given below, followed by a more in-depth description and recent award winners.

Undergraduate student awards

  • The Dr. Chatur Sisodia Graduate Scholarship ($1,000)
  • The H.B. (Bruno) Schiefer Student Travel Award ($1,000)
  • Toxicology Graduate Student's Association Travel Award ($500)
  • NuRx Non-Clinical Services Alberta Innovates Technology Futures Student Poster Competition Award ($300, $200, $100)

Doug Hancock Memorial Award

This award and a statistic textbook was awarded to Toxicology graduate student Erin Maloney 2015-16.

Presenting the award, Dr. Janz, Toxicology Centre.


The Dr. Chatur Sisodia Graduate Scholarship

Toxicology graduate student Kristin Bianchini 2015-16  Dr. Chatur Sisodia Graduate Scholarship.

The Dr. Chatur Sisodia Graduate Scholarship was presented to Kristin Bianchini, 2015-16.  The $500 award recognizes academic excellence in the field of toxicology and is a tribute to Dr. Chatur Sisodia, the first Academic Coordinator for the program.

Presenting the award, Dr. Janz, Toxicology Centre Professor.


H.B. Schiefer Graduate Student Travel Award

This award is intended to provide one travel grant of up to $1,000 (or two partial travel grants totaling $1,000) annually to a graduate student(s) in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Toxicology. Students must be presenting research findings from their University of Saskatchewan toxicology graduate work (in either platform or poster format) at a national or international scientific meeting in order to be eligible for the award. Selection will be based on a combination of academic standing, research progress and quality, and financial need.

H.B. Schiefer Graduate Student Travel Award for 2015-16 was received by Kristin Bianchini and Vanessa Cowan. 

Previously awarded, no photo available.


NuRx Non-Clinical Services Alberta Innovates Technology Futures Student Poster Competition Award

Toxicology Centre Graduate Student Poster Competition Award for 2015-16

Each year following the Toxicology Group Annual General Meeting, students have an opportunity to present their research findings in poster format and offer a five-minute oral presentation on the material provided in their poster. Awards of $300 (first place), $200 (second place), and $100 (third place) are offered to students working towards an M.Sc. or Ph.D. in toxicology. Judging is focussed primarily on the quality of research material provided, the physical nature and overall appearance of the poster, and the clarity and conciseness of the oral presentation.

Toxicology Centre Graduate Student Poster Competition Award for 2015-16

  • 1st place was received by Erin Maloney. (second left)
  • 2nd place, Melanie Gallant. (second from right)
  • 3rd place, Jon Doering. (left)

TOX 990 Student Seminar Award (Awarded by TGSA)

  • 1st Place - Kristin Bianchini (middle)

Presenting the award, Dr. Janz, Professor in the Toxicology Centre


The Toxicology Graduate Student Association (TGSA)

The Toxicology Graduate Student Association (TGSA) organizes social events throughout the year, provides academic support for students, and acts as the liaison between the Graduate Students Association (GSA) and toxicology graduate students. Please contact any TGSA executive member if you wish to become involved in an event or have any questions or comments.

TGSA Committee