Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

Physiology and Pharmacology

Master of Science (MSc)

Meet Shinthujah Arulantham, MSc candidate in Physiology and Pharmacology

“The Physiology and Pharmacology program creates an environment where there is collaboration between researchers. This is important because as researchers we thrive to enhance our knowledge in our respective fields and other areas of interest. Through weekly seminars and research conferences (such as Phys/Pharm Research Day and London Health Research Day), we are able to discuss new techniques and approaches for further application into our own research.”

Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
I decided to stay at Western for my graduate degree because I had developed strong ties within the department while completing my 4th year thesis. I was surrounded by a supportive group of people that were equally as passionate about research.

Describe your research.
The incidence of melanoma has been gradually increasing with widespread metastasis being the main cause of death. Current treatment options have not been effective due to tumour resistance therefore, there is an acute need to identify other potential therapeutic targets. Feline sarcoma-related (FER) kinase is a non-receptor tyrosine kinases that is upregulated in a variety of tumours. FER kinase regulates proliferation, susceptibility to anoikis and migration in prostate, breast and lung carcinoma cells, respectively. The biological functions of FER in melanoma have not been explored and is therefore the aim of my research.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Apart from finding a field of research to your interest, ensure that you are happy with the lab/research community found within your graduate program as these are the people with whom you will be spending the most time with learning, collaborating, and those that will support you through your research endeavors.

Do you belong to any university or community groups?
I was a peer mentor for the Leadership and Mentorship Program (LAMP) and a Discovery Café leader, both of which are part of Western’s Student Success Centre. I am also an executive member of Lymphoma Canada-Western University.

What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about science and music. I believe they have the potential to solve most of our societal problems.

What one thing would you like people to know about you?
I love minions.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Susan McMillan (susan.mcmillan@schulich.uwo.ca)
Graduate Administrator

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Western University
Medical Sciences Rm 216
London, Ontario N6A 5C1

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 84224
f. 519-661-3827

The goals of this graduate program are to train students in Physiology and Pharmacology. Graduates of the Master's program will be capable of active participation in a research program, and of teaching the disciplines as well as applying physiological, pharmacological and/or toxicological principles in industrial and professional contexts. Graduation from the Doctoral program is an essential step towards a career as an independent researcher in academia, and to obtain higher level professional positions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as government agencies and research-funding organizations.

Times to Completion

  • 6 Terms (2 years)

Curriculum Options

  • Full-time study
  • Thesis-based

Funding Details

Applicants (domestic and international) are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships:

Admission Requirements

  • Honours degree (4 year degree) or its equivalent in physiology, pharmacology, toxicology, biology or a related discipline.
  • Minimum academic average of 80% during the final two years of the undergraduate program.

Test Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

Application Deadline(s)

  • February 1 - Fall Term
  • July 31 (pending spots remaining) - Fall Term
  • March 1 - Summer Term
  • November 1 - Winter Term

Fields of Research

  • Cardiovascular Sciences
  • Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology
  • Clinical and Basic Pharmacology
  • Neurosciences
  • Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology