Advancing biomedical discoveries through experiential and integrated learning

Advancing Biomedical Discoveries through Experiential and Integrated Learning

Two pioneering collaborative courses […] developed to introduce biomedical research through an innovative lens.

– Dr. Michelle Arnot


Two pioneering collaborative courses were developed to introduce biomedical research through an innovation lens. JPM300H – Research Readiness and Advancing Biomedical Discoveries and JPM400Y – Biomedical Incubator Capstone Project was developed by the Departments of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Biochemistry, and Physiology for Major and Specialist students in the Life Science stream. In JPM300H, we use online modules and in-class active learning sessions for students to explore how scientists work to develop, manage and commercialize biomedical discoveries. Content will focus on the development of key research and industry skills required for future success: project and budget oversight, data integrity, and the ability to communicate to diverse audiences. The developed online modules are available broadly through UofT’s experiential website, allowing hundreds of students beyond the course to benefit. Students interested in honing their skills move to JPM400Y, where they will work as a collaborative interdisciplinary biomedical innovation team on a research proposal in a simulated workplace/start-up setting. Under mentor supervision, students apply project and budget management principles and practice research, business and communication workplace skills necessary for their future careers.


Department of Biochemistry, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Physiology, and Faculty of Medicine

Project lead(s)

Professor Michelle Arnot, Professor Stavroula Andreopoulos, Professor Rebecca Laposa, and Professor Michelle French

Year LEAF Granted


Funding Stream


LEAF Priority Area(s)

Curriculum Design


Impact of the Project on Students

Above and beyond students in JPM300H specifically and JPM400Y, these courses are expected to indirectly affect student approaches to research focused courses (e.g. fourth year independent research courses) and graduate applications and skills sets for students moving into graduate studies and professional schools.

Impact of the Project on Faculty

The developed online modules have been used by courses/instructors outside of the JPM courses. Specific examples include HMB ( Human Biology), IMM (Immunology), and LMP (Lab Medicine and Pathobiology) courses.

These modules have also been used in graduate programs (Applied Clinical Pharmacology) and the “approach” to content has evolved how other courses taught by the involved instructors,

Resources Developed from the Project

The developed resources from this project are as follows: Eight Online modules (ninth in progress), numerous case studies and data sets for active learning. These online modules can be accessed here:

Future Plans

The courses will continue to be offered for students in the Life Sciences. Projects developed during JPM400Y are also eligible to continue as start ups within H2i (one student group from 2020 is now a level 2 start up with H2i) and online modules will continue to be available for use inside and outside the course. The courses will be supported through course enrolment.

Partner(s) Development

The most significant partner is Health Hub Innovations, which partners with JPM400Y extensively. However, this project has also leveraged faculty from 5 different faculties at UofT for various forms of involvement and input, as well as innovative start- up companies that focus on commercialization (VUKA Works).