Our Electives ♞ ♜ ♖ ♕ ♝ ♗ ♚ ♔

 In collaboration with the Institute of Management & Innovation, MBiotech offers its students—and students across the IMI portfolio of professional graduate programs—a rich vein of electives from which to choose when completing their degree requirements. Whatever courses you select to take, all of our electives are designed to offer advanced learning opportunities at the interface of traditional disciplines, such as Business, Data Science and the Life Sciences, and serve as capstone experiences for our graduates as they launch their careers.

bar-1896 WHITE ROOK is coming. Take a first glimpse.


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One of the goals of the electives program at IMI is to create learning environments for students across the different professional graduate programs. The following table illustrates which elective offerings are automatically available to you, depending on your particular program and or home department. Where a pawn (♟) is shown, please enquire with your home department.

Eligibility for Electives Across Graduate Programs
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 Course Descriptions

All of the electives offered by MBiotech are described in this section, except for the Work Term III { BioPh  DHT } elective.


flag-1860BTC1860H  Generations of Advanced Medicine: Biologics in Therapy (GAMBiT) { Elective }

Session: Winter/Spring
Instructor: Leigh Revers & Duncan Jones
Credits: 0·5 (E)
Open To: U of T Graduate Students, with priority given to the following programs—

  • MBiotech Year 2 BioPh Stream
  • Master of Management of Innovation
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology & Toxicology

Course Description:
GAMBiTIn this course, we focus exclusively on the dominant role of biologic therapies in modern medicine. In 2020, six of the top 10 drugs by revenue were molecules of biologic origin, namely those manufactured primarily by biosynthetic rather than chemical means, with sales of the top selling therapy, the anti-TNFα monoclonal antibody adalimumab, falling just shy of the US$20 billion mark. The lucrative preeminence of biologics is set to continue, bolstered by the introduction of innovative molecular delivery strategies, such as antibody-targeted conjugates, fragments and fusions, as well as by the robust staying power of market leaders. The latter phenomenon is an inevitable consequence of the higher-than-usual regulatory hurdles faced by conventional generic manufacturers seeking to make biosimilars: intended copies of off-patent biologics that, having undergone a strict comparability exercise, are approved by regulatory agencies such as the EMA and the FDA.

This course will survey this changing landscape within an historical framework and will highlight critical scientific and process parameters unique to biologics, that set them apart from conventional small-molecule medicines, including their molecular architecture and mechanisms of action, manufacturing considerations, analytical and functional lot release assays and clinical trial design. We will explore some of the pitfalls by examining a roster of clinical case studies. The capacity of payers to afford these increasingly high-cost therapies in the face of current economic trends will be discussed.

The broad goals of the course are as follows:

  • A detailed understanding of the complexities associated with biologic drugs;
  • A broad familiarity with biologics manufacturing and its inherent variability;
  • A critical understanding of the aspects of biosimilarity; and
  • A familiarity with the clinical implic­ations emerging from the use of biologics.
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flag-1889BTC1889H  Deep Learning in Health { Elective }

Session: Winter/Spring
Instructor: Nicholas Mitsakakis
Credits: 0·5 (E)
Pre-Requisites: bar-1859 bar-1877

1889 • The Russian ’flu pandemic begins in modern-day Uzbek­istan, now thought to be a human corona­virus.

Course Description:
This is an adv­anced course in machine learning that is focused on the applic­ation of neural networks in a health context. The course assumes a strong foundation to create machine learning models in the coding language R. Basic foundations of neural networks are reviewed. Students will learn about the limitations and the appropriate use of neural networks by working on health and biological related data sets.

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flag-1896BTC1896H  Technology & Cognitive Performance { Elective }

Session: Fall
Instructor: Jayson Parker
Credits: 0·5 (E)

1896 • American psychologist Edward Bradford Titchener—the first to coin the term ‘empathy’—publishes his influential treatise, An Outline of Psychology.

Course Description:
This new elective course looks at modern developments in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, that point to new uses of technology to enhance brain function. The course builds its foundation with a neuroanatomy primer, as well as an introduction to the cognitive neuroscience of daydreaming. How can technology be used to aid attention to avoid critical errors? How can better sleep and acts of creativity be supported from emerging technologies? In what way can video games be an aid and a burden to brain function? The major project for the course will explore digital biomarkers for cognitive performance.

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flag-2040BTC2040H  Change Manage­ment { Elective }

Session: Winter/Spring
Instructor: Ann Armstrong
Credits: 0·5 (E)

Course Description:
Managing change well has long been considered a key leadership skill. Many organisations are experiencing significant rates of change now! Knowing about change management will provide you with a significant competitive advantage in your careers.

In this course, you will learn about some current models of change management as well as examples of change management done well and not. The course is inter­active. Central to the course and your learning is participation in a sophisticated change simulation, used by universities, corporates, and non-profits, to let you experience change. You will create—and implement—a change plan that will help you develop not only your understanding of change models but will provide you with tactics that you can use in any future change management work.

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flag-21x0BTC2110H  Topics in Biotech­nology: Structural Biology in Drug Develop­ment & Biotech­nology { Elective }

Session: Winter/Spring
Instructor: Mark Currie
Credits: 0·5 (E)
Open To: UofT Graduate Students, with priority given to the following programs—

  • MBiotech Year 2 BioPh Stream
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Medical Biophysics

Course Description:
Biological, disease, and drug mechanisms are all determined by the 3-dimensional arrangement of atoms within biological macromolecules. Therefore, knowledge of molecular structure is fundamental to protein engineering and the develop­ment of new therapeutics and vaccines. This course will cover the application of struc­tural biology methods to drug develop­ment and biotech­nology. Students will be intro­duced to the modern tools of protein structure determin­ation including cryo-electron micro­scopy, X-ray crystallo­graphy and NMR through lectures and group activities. Lectures will focus on theory, techniques, data collection, analysis, and interpretation, model building and valid­ation, and the advantages and limitations of each method. The applications of these methods to the pharmaceutical and bio­tech­nology industries including protein engineering, target selection and drug­ability, lead identification and optimisation, rational drug design and drug mechanism of action will be explored through group presentations, case studies and discuss­ions.

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flag-21x0BTC2120H  Topics in Biotech­nology: Decision Analytics in Business, Health­care & Manage­ment { Elective }

Session: Winter/Spring
Instructor: Ningyuan Chen
Credits: 0·5 (E)
Open To: UofT Graduate Students, with priority given to the following programs—

  • MBiotech Year 2 BioPh or DHT Streams
  • Master of Management of Innovation (MMI)

Course Description:
Data analysis and decision making are two core components in many industries. In this course, we will walk through major techniques in both components, including descriptive and exploratory data analysis, predictive analytics, causal inference, optimisation and simulation. The students are expected to conformably answer the following questions upon the completion of the course: how to visualize and present data to your clients or managers, how to predict patterns in the future from the historical data, how to measure the effect­iveness of a policy, how to make best decisions under uncertainty based on the available information.

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flag-imiIMI3001H  Biocommerc­ial­isation I: Analysis of Technology Driven Innovation { Elective }

Session: Fall
Instructors: Duncan JonesTim Lee
Credits: 0·5 (E)

Course Description:
In this course through a series of lectures and case discussions, students learn about the formation, financing, and manage­ment of early-stage ventures especially as it relates to the (bio)­tech­nology and associated medical device space. Topics include opportunity identifi­cation and assessment, preclinical and clinical phases, regulatory procedures and pathways, legal issues including patents and venture finance. Students will each be required to select a young, publicly-traded company in which to complete an in-depth analysis, presentation and report.

Recommended prep­aration for this course: These three essays by Paul Graham.

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flag-imiIMI3003H  Biocommerc­ial­isation II { Elective }

Session: Winter/Spring
Instructors: Duncan JonesTim Lee
Credits: 0·5 (E)

Course Description:
This course is a compliment to IMI3001, in which student teams are given the opportunity to learn more about the issues and opportunities facing early-stage (bio)­tech­nology ventures through direct experiences working on real projects for select early-stage firms within the community. This experiential learning involves working in teams on select, negotiated work packages in conjunction with the company founders in addition to mentoring by the instructors or TAs. This project work is supplemented with lectures covering practical and applied topics such as project management, client communic­ations, research methods, patent searching and analysis, market research, competitive intelligence and financial modelling. The final assessment involves a presentation and client report.

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How To Enrol

Graduate students who wish to enroll in any of the courses on this page must—

  Complete a Course Add/Drop Form,
  Have the completed form authorised by the Graduate Coordinator of your home department, and
  Submit the signed form via email to Julian Gaspini, MBiotech, julian.gaspini@utoronto.ca.

Students CANNOT register directly on ROSI.

 MBiotech students are also eligible to take any graduate-level elective course offered at the University of Toronto, with Directors’ approval. Elective course specifics would be available from the host department and some elective courses require specific course prerequisites.

LEGEND: (E) Denotes an elective course. { To top }

 Follow our step-by-step guides for subscribing to MBiotech’s live course calendars.

calOption 1
Apple Calendar on iPhone & iPad

In your iOS browser, open this page and tap-and-hold the desired Apple Calendar icon.
Chrome users select Copy Link. Safari users scroll down and select Copy.
Open the Calendar app in iOS.
At the bottom of the screen, select Calendars and then choose Add Calendar followed by Add Subscription Calendar. Paste the copied link into the Subscription URL field and tap Subscribe.
Calendars added in this manner will now appear in the Apple Calendar app on your iPhone or iPad.

calOption 2
Apple Calendar on macOS

On your Mac, using your browser, open this page and right-click on the desired Apple Calendar icon. Chrome users select Copy Link Address. Safari users select Copy Link.
On your Mac, launch Apple’s Calendar app.
From the File menu, select New Calendar Subscription… or type  +  + S on the keyboard.
Paste the copied link into the Calendar URL field and click Subscribe.
Calendars added in this manner will now appear in the Apple Calendar app on your Mac and can be synced to your mobile devices.

googlecalOption 3
Google Calendar on Desktop, iOS Device or Android

On your Mac or PC, using your browser, open this page and right-click on the desired Google Calendar icon. Chrome users select Copy Link Address. Safari users select Copy Link.
Open a new tab or window and log in to your Google account online.
Click Calendar from the Google apps palette at the top right of the browser window.
In the left-hand menu, click ‘+’ next to Other Calendars and choose From URL.
Paste the copied link into the URL of calendar field and click Add calendar.
Calendars added in this manner will now appear in the Google Calendar app on your mobile device.

googlecalOption 4
Microsoft Outlook on Desktop, iOS Device or Android

Direct subscriptions to our calendars are currently not recommended. Subscribed calendars may be successfully added in the browser version of Outlook 365 by clicking Add Calendar on the calendar page, followed by Subscribe from web, but real-time synchronisation with Outlook in this manner has not proved reliable. Our fully tested work-around is as follows:

Follow the steps in Option 3, above, and subscribe to all of the desired calendars in Google Calendar using your browser.
Open a new browser window and log in to your UTmail account online.
Click the Calendar icon from the pallet on the left (second icon down).
Click Add Calendar in the calendar pane, followed by Add personal calendars, in the pop-up dialogue window.
Click on Google to add synchronised calendars from your Google account.
All of your Google calendars will now be displayed in Outlook 365 and in your Outlook app on your mobile device.