Dr. Abbas samani
Dr. Abbas Samani

Welcome to the Discipline of Medical Biophysics


the Undergraduate Chair, Dr. Abbas Samani 

What is Medical Bioophysics?

What is Biophysics? 

Simply, it is the study of living things through the application of the laws and principles of physics. Our teaching and research focus on the biophysics of the human body and of higher animals. Many of the teaching faculty in the department are scientists in one of the research institutes associated with Western, and bring special topics from their research such as blood flow, orthopedic mechanics, medical imaging and cancer biology.

For examples of topics, check out the 3rd year lab Project Reports.

The department has a long history, originating in 1947 as the first Department of Biophysics in Canada, under the leadership of the pioneering biophysicist and gifted teacher - Alan C. Burton, M.B.E., Ph.D., F.R.S.C. The first undergraduate program began in 1966, occurring along with the opening of the new Medical Sciences Building, and new undergraduate programs in the other medical science disciplines. The department was renamed Medical Biophysics in 1984 in recognition of the main themes for research and teaching.  

The modules in Medical Biophysics allow students to combine studies in a related discipline such as applied mathematics or medical science, or with an outside field such as economics or statistics.

For the greatest concentration of biophysics there are three Honors Specialization Modules:

  • Medical Science Concentration
  • Physical Sciences Concentration
  • Clinical Physics Concentration

The pathway into these modules can be through:

  • medical and biological sciences, leading to the BMSc honors degree
  • or through physical sciences such as physics or chemistry, for an honors BSc.

The Honors Specialization Modules include:

  • the third year Medical Biophysics 3970Z lab course where students do individual Six-Week research projects and
  • the signature fourth year course Medical Biophysics 4970, a research laboratory course in which each student works on his or her own project that they have helped to plan. Medical Biophysics 4971 is similar but in a clinical research setting.

For students contemplating graduate training, the 4970 and 4971 courses provide a window into that career path, and for some students the work from the project has led to publications with the student as one of the publishing authors. Graduating students often go on to professional programs like Medical Physics, Dentistry, Medicine or Physical Therapy, to graduate research training toward the MSc or PhD degree, or to work as laboratory researchers in industry or university departments. Again, welcome to our courses and modules in Medical Biophysics.




Important News for 2014 Graduate Applicants

In Your Statement of Intent, 
please indicate in which area(s) of graduate research you are interested & why your academic and research background has attributes relevant to your intention to pursue a graduate degree in Medical Biophysics.

If you are a domestic applicant - START HERE - to submit your application.

If you are applying to the PhD Med Biop Clin MSc CAMPEP Accredited stream of the Medical Biophysics graduate program - START HERE

If you are an international applicant - START HERE - to submit your application.

MUST READ: Graduate Chair's Notes for All MBP Students

The Top 10 Things A MBP Graduate Student Needs To Know (presented by Baraa Al-Khazraji, senior PhD student)

Above presentations best viewed using Google Chrome

Western's Learning Skills Services for Graduate Students offers excellent advice and counselling about balancing the challenges of conducting research, writing your dissertation, and maintaining a personal life. An effective example of their services is tips on time management

View the Slide Show from the 2013 A. C. Burton Lecture

Best viewed using Google Chrome

In Memory of Dr. Alan C. Groom, Professor Emeritius, the Alan C. Groom Memorial Fund Has Been Established. See Presentation  ...
Best viewed using Google Chrome


Founder, Medical Biophysics, UWO, and
Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Inductee


View UWO Libraries video seminars presented by globally recognized scientists covering all biomedical topics


Also of interest:

Department of Medical Biophysics - Learning through Research