Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

Anatomy and Cell Biology

Master of Science (MSc (Research))



Meet Nadia Ivanova, MSc candidate in Anatomy and Cell Biology (Research)

“I could talk about my program endlessly! First and foremost, the people in this department are very supportive and open to providing help. As an international student, I had certain fears when applying to the program, but the kindness and understanding I have encountered from the first moment made most of them vanish. Being in such friendly environment and surrounded by people who care about you and your academic success is a key factor.”

Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
I completed my medical degree in Russia.

Describe your research in 100 words or less.
The research group I am a part of is working on Alzheimer's disease, a progressive, incurable brain disorder leading to a severe mental health decline. We investigate an interaction of this highly prevalent among older population disease with other common disorders such as stroke, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Particularly, my role is to study how abnormalities in an organism’s metabolism due to diet-induced obesity contribute to Alzheimer's disease pathology and affect cognitive function, determine some of the underlying mechanisms, and define possible targets and treatment agents for an early therapeutic intervention.

Where’s your favourite place on campus to work?
I can name this place easily as this is my office and my laboratory, where the entire work is done. However, I always come outside when it gets warm. Our campus is incredibly beautiful in every season, but especially during the spring and summer. I like to sit on a bench among the trees right behind our medical sciences building, get some sun and fresh air. Quiet and peaceful in summer, and the best place to read and think.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
I can only tell that do not be afraid of not knowing something, not having an experience of working in the lab or coming from a different background. If you know what your research interests are and have a strong desire to work in this field, find a person who shares these interests and wants it even more, your supervisor, and get started. Be active, motivated and passionate about your work and the department including your students colleagues will help you to succeed!

What are you most passionate about?
Discoveries! Would they be in research or in life like new facts, new hobby or even new people.

What idea, suggestion, or comment would you like to share with the Western graduate community?
Use these precious years wisely. Use every moment to get as much as possible out of it: learn from the best, study using all available resources, make professional connections, use any opportunity to present and talk about your research on any level. And do not forget to be active outside your working environment: do sports, build friendships, attend social events and simply enjoy your graduate life!

Program Websites


Program Contact

Shazia Donachie (Shazia.Donachie@schulich.uwo.ca)
Graduate Program Coordinator

Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology

Western University
Medical Sciences Rm 443
London, Ontario N6A 5C1

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 81524
f. 519-850-2906

The Anatomy & Cell Biology Program offers a modern collaborative training experience catering to the needs of the individual student pursuing an MSc or PhD degree. Our dedicated, award-winning mentors and state-of-the-art facilities provide a rich training environment in which students can immerse themselves in one or more academic disciplines, including cell biology, neurobiology, anatomical sciences, and/ or education scholarship. The Biological Research field is a research-intensive, thesis-based program designed to prepare students for a career as a research scientist in academia or industry. Our Clinical Anatomy field offers a unique training experience consisting of course work, research, and hands-on teaching experience; and is intended to prepare the next generation of medical educators and scholars.

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

  • 4-year honours degree or equivalent, in a Life or Allied Health Science, or a degree in Dentistry, Medicine or Veterinary Science.
  • Minimum 80% (A-) average for the most recent two years of undergraduate study, or the most recent 10 full senior level courses.

Additional Requirements

  • Research experience is recommended.

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
  • June 1 (pending spots remaining) - Fall Term
  • March 1 - *Summer Term
  • October 15 - *Winter Term

*Positions are not regularly available for summer/winter terms. Acceptance notifications for the fall term begin in March and continue until July 31st.

Fields of Research

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Anatomy
  • Neurobiology