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Honours Program

This is a special concentrated Honours Program in which emphasis may be placed on different areas of biochemistry such as protein chemistry, metabolism or molecular genetics. Because Biochemistry and Chemistry are closely interwoven both conceptually and experimentally, the list of required courses includes both subjects. Honours students must meet the general degree requirements of the Faculty.

Biochemistry may be chosen along with one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Microbiology, Physics, Psychology, or possibly another subject, for a Combined Honours Program.


Honours Project Coordinator
Dr. Stephen Bearne
Undergraduate Advisor
Use the form on our contact page to complete an inquiry.

Step-by-step guide

  • Can an honours degree help you to meet your career aspirations?
  • See the Undergraduate Calendar to verify that you qualify.
  • Complete an Honours Application Form [PDF - 203 kB]. An advisor will be very happy to help you complete the form. Submit the form in person to the Registrar's Office. A copy of your application will be retained by the department for tracking purposes only.
  • Establish where you want to perform research. Choose one or more potential supervisors. Arrange to meet with them in person to discuss your interests. The potential supervisor may be considering a number of students from which they may be able to offer a limited number of placements, sometimes only one spot is available. Do not delay on this step. It is largely your obligation to find a placement.
  • Establish lines of communication with the supervisor and proceed as directed on that front. The supervisor's expectations vary by situation. Continue to clarify your expectations as well as those of the supervisor, who is participating as a volunteer in your training. Culture that relationship with the respect that is warranted.
  • After your marks have been tallied for the second semester of your third year, the Honours Project Coordinator will review your transcript, verifying your suitability as an honours student. This person may ask to meet with you. Usually these events happen in June or July.
  • The Honours Project Coordinator begins the process of signing you into BIOC4604/4605. You must achieve prerequisites before registering for the research project course: at least a B average for BIOC 3300.03, BIOC 3400.03 and BIOC 3700.03, with no grade below a C. A department representative will contact you by your official Dalhousie email address to invite you to register in the course. Expect a message in June, July, or August.
  • Register for BIOC 4604/4605. The course instructor will contact you by your official Dalhousie email address. Expect a message in late August, early September.
  • Enjoy the experience!

Supervisors seeking potential honours students

The following faculty have indicated they have a position available for an honours student.

Faculty Research Areas
Archibald, J. M. Genome Evolution, Endosymbiosis, Molecular Phylogeny
Bearne, S. L. Enzyme Catalysis and Inhibition, Protein Structure and Function, Chemical Biology
Dellaire, G. Nuclear structure and cancer biology; chemotherapy resistance and cancer biomarkers; CRISPR genome engineering; the role of nuclear organization in DNA repair, tumour suppression, and cell cycle control; genome instability and pre-mRNA splicing; zebrafish as a novel animal tumour model.
Duncan, R. Protein-mediated cell-cell membrane fusion during viral infections and muscle cell differentiation; viral fusion protein structure and function; cellular pathways involved in cell-cell fusion; exosomes and nonenveloped virus transmission; oncolytic viruses for tumour therapy.
Ewart, K. V. Proteostasis, Amyloid Formation and Cold Adaptation
Karten, B. Cholesterol Metabolism in the Brain, intracellular cholesterol trafficking, mitochondrial cholesterol
Kienesberger, P. C. My research aims to uncover the interplay among bioactive lipid signaling and cellular and organismal energy metabolism.
Langelaan, D.N. Structural biology, cellular signalling, and protein engineering
Liu, P. X.-Q. Intein-catalyzed protein splicing and applications in recombinant protein engineering, site-specific modification, peptide cyclization, and artificial spider silks
Marignani, P. A. Tumour suppressors, Cancer metabolism, Metabolome wide analysis, Signal Transduction, Animal models of human disease, Pre-clinical drug studies, Drug discovery, Whole genome manipulation, Stem cell biology, Epigenetic marks.
Rainey, J. K. Structural Biology and Biophysical Characterization of Proteins
Ridgway, N. D. Cell Biology of Cholesterol and Lipids
Ro, H.-S. Role of chronic inflammation in cancer and metabolic diseases
Rosen, K. V. Cancer, Cell Death, Cell Signalling
Slamovits, C. H. Molecular biology and evolution of microbial eukaryotes
Too, C. K. L. Polypeptide and Steroid Hormone Action: Tumour Growth/Apoptosis
Waisman, D. M. Mechanisms of Tumor Growth, Invasiveness and Metastases