Registration open for next molecular biology workshop. February 17th to 21st, 2014 | AMBL

Posted by | November 12, 2013 | NEWS/UPCOMING | No Comments


Registration is open

To inquire about registration, please contact Dr. David Ng at

Dates: February 17th to 21st, 2014 (5 days: Monday to Friday)
Price: CAN$1400 (does not include room or board)

Reviews and testimonies from our last workshop

“Excellent workshop! Very good review of the molecular biology techniques. Dave makes the theory very clear and interesting. Also takes time to answer specific questions/issues regarding personal ongoing projects. The workshop will definitely help for future troubleshooting. Thanks!”
Chantale André, Environment Canada

“Fabulous teacher, well organized, gives a good introduction into the field. I enjoyed it! Thanks!”
Michael Fischer, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia.

“I found it to be a nice combination of review and new material. It was well paced, with each day balanced with lecture and hands-on work. Dave does a great job with getting the information across in an easy to understand manner, and was energetic and entertaining to boot.”
Jeremy Johnson, Okanagan Specialty Fruits

“Excellent workshop. Got lots of information. Activities were great. After this workshop, I got a direction for my acquisition of knowledge to proceed in my area of specialization. This workshop has benefited me extremely.”
Poonam Singh, School of Horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

More can be found here.

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DESCRIPTION: This intense 5 day workshop will focus on a myriad of different techniques used in the molecular manipulation of DNA (general cloning, transformation, silica kits, pI kits, PCR, qPCR), RNA (isolation, reverse transcription) and protein (SDS-PAGE, 2D gels), as well as lectures that will describe some high throughput technologies such as SNP analysis, and next generation sequencing. Primarily aimed at researchers who are new to the area, familiar but require a quick updating, or would like more practical bench training.

PHILOSOPHY: Whilst molecular techniques have evolved at a blindingly fast rate over the last few decades, the underlying biochemical principles behind the vast majority of them have actually changed little. This workshop therefore combines opportunities to perform the latest, as well as commonly used older techniques, with particular attention to the chemical nuts and bolts behind them. In all, this allows the researcher to not only gain needed familiarity with the techniques, but also achieve a comfortable theoretical level to allow for both (1) that all important skill of troubleshooting, and (2) the often undervalued skill of judging the utility of “tricks” that aim to speed up, or lower costs of a given methodology.

NOTE: You can also see our June 2013 editions of our lecture notes, and lab manuallab manual for a frame of reference.

Located in the heart of the UBC campus, the Michael Smith Laboratories is a testament to the vision of its founding Director, Dr. Michael Smith. Under his leadership, a gifted team of young scientists were recruited. These scientists have gone on to develop internationally renowned programs of research and training. The second and third floors of the new building are dedicated to the research facilities of the former Biotechnology Laboratory. The Stewart and Marilyn Blusson Education Forum is located on the ground floor and is open to the public. The molecular techniques workshops are held in the teaching lab, room 105 of this forum.
(click here for detailed directions)

Registration is essentially through first: an email inquiry for space (contact Dr. David Ng at, second: a verbal commitment and then third via payment. Your place is essentially secured with payment, which more or less equates to a first come first serve mechanism. This payment would be a CAN$1400 cheque (or equivalent) payable to “The University of British Columbia” and sent to

Dr. David Ng
Michael Smith Laboratories
301-2185 East Mall,
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, CANADA V6T 1Z3

If you prefer us to send an invoice, please let us know and we can arrange that accordingly. Note that we can accommodate a maximum of 16 clients, but on occasion up to half of these spaces are already reserved for predetermined group clients. Therefore, it’s best to put your name down as soon as possible if you are interested in the workshop.

Your spot in the workshop is secured when we receive your payment. The deadline for receipt of payments is 2 weeks prior to the workshop start date. Unfortunately, we are unable to issue any refunds after this deadline has passed.

Workshop will begin each day at 9am sharp and usually end between 4pm and 5:30pm. A detailed final schedule and syllabus will be released to clients as the date draws nearer.

All paper materials will be provided on the first day of the workshop. Downloadable versions will be available about 3 weeks before the workshop begins. Whilst we do not require the clients to “study” these documents, we do ask that clients take a moment to peruse the first day practical materials. All safety gear (including lab coats) is provided at the workshop.

Here are some accommodation options that are basically on campus. Costs involved would vary (I think the most budget option would be the Vancouver Youth Hostel which is about a 15minute bus ride away). The closest would be those of Gage through UBC conferences. The others (except for point grey house) are all a relatively short walk away.

International Youth Hostel at Jericho Beach
UBC accomodations (on campus – note there are only 47 available)
St. John’s College (on campus)
Green College (on campus)
St. Andrew’s Hall (summer only)
Point Grey House (off campus, but only 10 minute bus ride away)

Alternatively, Downtown Vancouver offers a variety of accommodation options, but would entail about a 30-40minute bus ride each way. Depends on your preference since the Campus is pretty quiet at night time, whereas other areas would be more interesting. Go to, and select:

hotel > near an attraction/vancouver > type in “University of British Columbia”

Usually the out of town clients make use of a little extra time after or before the workshop in visiting some of the sights Vancouver has to offer. I often strongly recommend this since the city and surrounding locale are really quite spectacular. In particular Whistler-Blackcomb is a world famous ski/outdoor resort, and is only a 2 hour drive away. Ski season usually opens in mid November (click here for more info)