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Welcome to pathology

Pathology is the scientific study of disease and involves genetic, molecular, cellular, and organ level investigation of disease processes. Scientific research is the cornerstone of pathology, because understanding disease contributes to the development of diagnostic tests and better treatments.

Knowledge about human diseases come from:

  • Clinical pathology – includes observations made on patients and patient specimens, looking at the causes and mechanisms of disease and the effects of disease upon various organs and body systems;
  • Experimental pathology – includes experimental studies with tissues, cell cultures or animal models to understand the mechanism of disease initiation and progression. 

Areas of study

Honours Specialization in Pathology

These modules introduce students to basic principles within pathology and the effects of a variety of chemicals, drugs and toxins on living organisms. To develop an understanding of the normal body before looking at abnormal and disease conditions, foundational courses in biology, biochemistry, anatomy and histology, and physiology and pharmacology are taken prior to delving into the areas of pathology. An introductory course in pathology (Pathology 3500) covers basic disease processes including inflammation, injury, immunity, infection, neoplasia, and their appearance in specific organ systems such as the heart, lungs and brain. Senior-level courses examine more advanced concepts in both clinical and experimental pathology.


Pathology 3500 – Introduction to Human Pathology - The Study of Disease

Pathology 3500 (Introduction to Human Pathology) – Full Term

Students will be introduced to general mechanisms of disease (e.g. inflammation, immunity, injury, neoplasia, disturbed hemodynamics). These general processes will be described and applied to specific diseases of organ systems.  The second half of the course will introduce students to specific diseases of most major organ systems (e.g. cardiovascular system, respiratory system, renal system, GI system, reproductive system, central nervous system and musculoskeletal system).

Antirequisite(s): Pathology 2420A, the former Pathology 3240A, 3245B.
Prerequisite(s): Biochemistry 2280A; Biology 2382A/B.
Extra Information: 2 lecture hours, 1.0 course.
Mondays/Wednesdays, 8:30am-9:30am

Pathology 3700F/G – Modern Approaches in Biomedical and Pathology Research

Pathology 3700G (Biomedical/Pathology Research) - Winter Term

The focus is on the various research approaches, disease models, experimental designs, and analytical methods used to study and evaluate human disease. The course will use contemporary learning tools and a variety of evaluation and assessment methods. Examples will be taken from major diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.

Prerequisite(s): Biochemistry 2280A and registration in a BMSc degree.
Pre-or Corequisite(s): Pathology 3500 or the former Pathology 3240A; Physiology 3120 or Physiology 3140A.
Extra Information: 3 lecture/tutorial hours per week
Timetable: Tuesdays, 2:30pm-5:30pm

Pathology 4200A – Current Concepts in the Pathogenesis of Human Diseases

Pathology 4200A (Current Concepts in the Pathogenesis of Human Disease) – Fall Term

This course covers current concepts in the molecular and cellular pathogenesis of selected human diseases. These will include endocrine, metabolic, neuropsychiatric, renal, cardiac and neoplastic diseases, with emphasis on defects in genes and/or the levels of hormones or growth factor receptors, cellular organelles, intracellular signaling pathways, and cellular metabolism.

Prerequisite(s):  Pathology 3500 with a mark of at least 70% or the former Pathology 3240A and the former Pathology 3245B with a mark of at least 70% in each.
Extra Information: 2 lecture hours, 0.5 course
Timetable:  Mondays, 11:30am-1:30pm

Pathology 4400B – Environmental Pathology

Pathology 4400B (Environmental Pathology) – Winter Term

The pathology of occupational and environmental diseases, including information on recent developments and basic mechanisms involved in these diseases. Recognition of occupational and environmental diseases, early diagnosis, mechanisms of cell injury and regeneration, and the effects of a wide variety of toxic drugs, chemicals and UV and ionizing radiation are included.

Prerequisite(s): Pathology 3500 with a mark of at least 70% or the former Pathology 3240A and Pathology 3245B with a minimum mark of 70% in each.
Extra Information: 2 lecture hours, 0.5 course.
Timetable:  Mondays, 11:30am-1:30pm

Pathology 4450A – Molecular Genetics of Human Cancer

Mutation of specific human genes subverts normal cellular physiology creating characteristic alterations called ‘hallmarks’ that fuel the development of cancer. The underlying processes that alter cellular pathways and gene function will be discussed. Cancer models and molecular therapies will be related to the cancer hallmarks.

Antirequisite(s): Biochemistry 4450A.
Prerequisite(s): Biology 2581A/B; and either Pathology 3500 or Biochemistry 3381A.
Extra Information: 2 lecture hours, 0.50 course. Cross-listed with Biochemistry 4450A.
Timetable: Tuesdays/Thursdays, 10:30am-11:30am

Pathology 4500B – Introduction to Forensic Sciences

Pathology 4500B (Introduction to Forensic Sciences) – Winter Term

Examination of the medicolegal framework investigating the nature and circumstance of certain deaths. These forensic investigations involve experts in different disciplines assisting the coroner and police in resolving cases. Forensic pathology examines the effects of disease, particularly in sudden death, and effects of various external agents on the human body.

Prerequisite(s): Pathology 3500 with a mark of at least 70% or the former Pathology 3240A and Pathology 3245B with a minimum mark of 70% in each. Restricted to students in Year 4 of Pathology and Toxicology modules. 
Extra Information: 2 lecture hours, 0.5 course.   Limited Enrollment.
Timetable:  Wednesdays, 8:30am-10:30am

Pathology 4980E – Seminar and Research Project

Pathology & Toxicology 4980E (Seminar and Research Project) – September to April

Includes: i) theory and practice of laboratory techniques, laboratory safety, appropriate use of experimental models, ii) an independent research project supervised by faculty, iii) oral and written communication skills, including the preparation of a research proposal and final written research project report.

Antirequisite(s): The former Toxicology and Pathology 4980E.
Prerequisite(s):  Pathology 3500 with a mark of at least 70% or the former Pathology 3240A and Pathology 3245B with marks of at least 70% in each; and one of the following: (Pharmacology 3620, Physiology 3120, and registration in Year 4 of the Honors Specialization in Pathology), (Microbiology and Immunology 3610F and Microbiology and Immunology 3620G with marks of at least 70% in each and registration in Year 4 of an Honors Specialization in Microbiology and Immunology with Pathology), or (Biochemistry 3380G with a mark of at least 70% and registration in Year 4 of an Honors Specialization in Biochemistry and Pathology of Human Disease).
Extra Information: Minimum 11 laboratory hours per week plus 1 seminar hour per week. 1.5 course.