BMLSc 40th Anniversary

The idea of a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degree at UBC was sparked in 1975 by  Mrs. Joyce Sandercock, Chair of the Education Committee of the BC Society of Medical Technologists (BSCMT), who wrote to then UBC President D.T. Kenny regarding the educational needs of Medical Technologists.

Five years later, with the support of Dr. David Hardwick (Department Head 1976-1994) and championed by Dr. Charles Culling, Dr. Philip Reid, Dr. Donald McLean and Mr. Charles Ramey, the BMLSc Program opened its classroom to four students. Enrolment increased each year, with Science students beginning to discover the little known but intriguing program in the mid ‘80s; maximum enrolment (40 students at that time; current maximum is 48) was reached in 1987.

To further support working Technologists’ pursuit of a university degree, the program offered part-time studies in the early 1990s.  Between 1991 and 2005, most of the core program courses were offered through paper-based distance education.  Twenty-five students completed their degree requirements through a hybrid of in-person labs and correspondence courses, one from as far away as American Samoa!

To date, the program has graduated 621 students, with 23 more joining them in May 2022.  In any given year of the program, between 80-100 faculty shared their knowledge with you.  It has been my pleasure to have been a part of 33 of the 40 graduating classes, to watch students find their passion, surprise themselves at their academic success, pursue their dream careers, become faculty and instructors themselves, and mentor other students.

And finally, the program would not be what it is today without the Program Directors at the helm: Dr. Philip Reid (1980-1994), Dr. Carol Park (1994-2013) and Dr. Amanda Bradley (2013-present).  Their belief in the importance of the BMLSc Program and the success of its students is exceptional.

– Joanne Wouterse, Undergraduate Program Coordinator

2021 marks the 40th graduating class of the BMLSc Program! 

Our alumni, now 643 strong, are outstanding contributors to society, taking on an incredible diversity of roles. As part of our anniversary celebration, with support of the Faculty of Medicine Alumni Engagement office, we reached out to alumni to find out where they are now and how the BMLSc Program helped them get there. Meet eight alumni who graduated between 1982 (the first graduating cohort) and 2019.

Niki HajmoshirDane De SilvaFarshaad BilimoriaGautamn Sarwal
Class of 2019Class of 2011Class of 2010Class of 2009
Computer Language
Engineer at Amazon
Family Violence Programs
Forensic PathologistInterventional Radiology
Brenda FarnquistBarry LamTim SeabrookLisa Morrow
Class of 2000Class of 1998Class of 1995Class of 1991
RadiologistManager for Safety and
Wellness at Unity Health
Clinical ScientistProfessor at the School
of Veterinary Medicine and
Science at the University
of Nottingham
Owen (Brad) SpillerStan ShawPaul FangLyla Yip
Class of 1989Class of 1989Class of 1986Class of 1982
Head of Medical Microbiology
at Cardiff University
School of Medicine
Privacy and Information
Security Consultant
Corporate, Commercial,
Securities Lawyer
Dr. of Traditional Chinese

We wouldn’t have made it to 40 years without the amazing staff behind the BMLSc program!

BMLSc Staff 2021 (left to right): Dr. Juliana Li, Dr. Michael Sutherland, Dr. Amanda Bradley,
Jenny Tai, Dr. William Godolphin, Joanne Wouterse, Jennifer Xenakis