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Director's Message
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Welcome to the Institute of Medical Science!

Allan Kaplan        It is an honor and privilege to be writing to you as the new Director of IMS, a role I officially began as of July 1, 2011. IMS has gone through significant change in the past several years, especially in terms of expansion in student enrolment. I believe it is time to take stock of where we are at this point in time and where we want to go. Towards that end, I believe it is timely for IMS to go through a strategic planning process. The IMS has never been through a comprehensive strategic planning. Strategic planning is important, for it gives us the integrity to make decisions related to agreed upon priorities for IMS over the next 5 years.

Over the next several months, along with others in the IMS leadership, I hope to engage strategic planners who can take us through an extensive strategic planning process through the fall months. As part of this process, I hope to be able to involve as many faculty members and students in this process as possible. Your input will be critical to this process succeeding in producing an exciting inspirational vision for our future.

On our website, you will find information about our history, graduate programs, undergraduate program, faculty and more. Please feel free to contact us with any further questions that we can help you with.

The Institute of Medical Science (IMS) offers thesis-based graduate degrees in Medical Science leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. These are thesis-based doctoral stream degrees with a strong emphasis on scholarly research. Our Doctoral Stream programs offer a wide range of multidisciplinary research areas in clinical and basic medical science and related fields. Graduate supervisors are world-class researchers located throughout the Toronto health sciences network. Degree candidates have the opportunity to complete a MSc or PhD degree in biomedical science, clinical science, population health and health services, bioethics, health professions education and radiation oncology. Within each field, students may undertake a variety of multidisciplinary studies in areas such as cardiovascular sciences, neuroscience, bioethics, membrane biology, respiratory medicine, & psychosomatic medicine. Our educational experiences are augmented by participation in numerous collaborative programs, and the IMS also participates in the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) , an accredited postgraduate medical training program. We also host professional degree programs: the Master of Health Science in Bioethics, the Master of Science in Biomedical Communication, and the Master of Health Science in Medical Radiation Sciences.

The IMS was established as an Institute within the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) in 1968 to serve as a graduate unit for Clinical Departments in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Our mandate is to provide:

1. appropriate graduate culture with emphasis on scholarship in “translational” research
2. appropriate research training for future clinician scientists; and
3. access for clinical faculty to graduate students.

Today, we are the largest graduate unit the Faculty of Medicine, with over 500 graduate faculty members and over 500 graduate students. The IMS is unique in several aspects:

  • We are a large graduate unit and the research interests of our faculty are extremely heterogeneous. These interests are linked by a strong underlying theme of translational or “bench-to-bedside” research, and a common culture related to the quality of scholarship required of its graduates. 
  • IMS students and faculty are widely dispersed throughout the University of Toronto Health Sciences Network, including the 9 affiliated teaching hospitals, hospital-based Research Institutes, and the UofT Faculty of Medicine Buildings, rather than being concentrated in one geographic location.
  • Of our 500+ students, approximately one third are medical residents, fellows, and licensed medical school graduates who seek skills and knowledge fundamental to a career as a clinician investigator.

We are proud of our achievements, and what we have to offer to faculty and students. We hope that you will find this website useful and interesting, and that it will facilitate your making contact with the staff and faculty that can help you.

Allan S. Kaplan, MD, FRCP(C)

Director, Institute of Medical Science
Chief of Clinical Research, Center for Addiction and Mental Health
Vice-Chair Research and Professor of Psychiatry