Registration open for next molecular biology workshop. April 4th to 8th, 2016

by David Ng

Via my lab’s website ( Note that all revenue from this workshop goes towards our outreach programming.



Registration is open

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

Dates: April 4th to 8th, 2016 (5 days: Monday to Friday)
Price: CAN$1500 (does not include room or board)

Recent Testimonials

“Well paced, engaging, fun and informative. Great variety of techniques and procedures presented, both low tech and high tech. Lots of hands on work to allow you to get familiar with the protocols. Davis is a fantastic instructor, and I can’t recommend this course enough.”
Yi Yang, Research Technician, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, UBC

“This workshop was very thorough and covered an incredibly large amount of topics in a very short time. The information gathered from this workshop will certainly be beneficial in both research and teaching.”
Dr. Dewayne Stennett, Lecturer, Biochemistry, University of the West Indies, Jamaica

“Fabulous! There’s a reason why people come from as far as Toronto (or farther) to take this course.”
Steven Plotkin, Professor, Department of Physics, University of British Columbia.

“The best class I’ve taken so far! Entertaining 5 days of intensive learning, in a supportive, friendly, and positive atmosphere. Definitely would recommend it to a friend. Thank you, Dave!”
Andriy Sheremet, Grad Student, Biological Sciences, University of Calgary

“Excellent workshop!! Great balance between lecture and lab, and I was very impressed on the volume of content squeezed into the five days. Dave’s delivery was very good, nice amount of light hearted humour mixed in. Highly recommended!”
David Dunn, Head, Chemistry Services Laboratory, Pacific Forestry Centre, NRC

“Great bootcamp format! I enjoyed the vast range of topics and the balance of lecture and practical hands-on techniques”
Robert Kowbel, Scientific Support Technician, Pacific Forestry Centre, NRC

“This workshop is perfect for both scientists who are new to molecular biology, as well as scientists who want a refresher. Dave has a unique ability to explain every method in a logical way. The atmosphere is absolutely amazing in the workshop. I strongly recommend this course.”
Søs Skovsø, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, University of British Columbia.

“An excellent course that came highly recommended. David is a highly engaging teacher who has taken the time and effort to use all of those teaching engagement techniques that we know are good practice, but are rarely able to accommodate. It is a high intensity course, but I was engaged for the entire length!”
Anthony Fairbanks, Professor and Head, Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury, NZ

“Excellent workshop with a phenomenal teacher. Dave’s enthusiam for science is evident and his unique teaching methods made for an intense yet enjoyable relaxed atmosphere for learning molecular biology concepts. Good balance of theory and practical hands-on exposure.”
Cheryl Zurowski, Research Technician, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

“Amazing course, thanks for condensing so much information in so little time. Good review of general concepts and techniques and nice introduction to more advanced/modern methods. Very useful for people getting into the biotechnology area and not a biologist by training. David is really good at creating a nice and amusing atmosphere for learning. Thanks again.”
Jannu Casanova, Postdoctoral Fellow, Spectroelectrochemistry Lab, University of British Columbia.

More can be found here.


DESCRIPTION: This intense 5 day workshop will focus on a myriad of different techniques used in the molecular manipu- lation of DNA, RNA and protein, as well as inclusion of lectures of high throughput genomic techniques. Primarily aimed at researchers who are new to the area, familiar but require a quick updating, or would like more practical bench training.

Hands on techniques covered include: Various nucleic acid puri cation methodologies (silica bead, organic, and/or pI based), restriction digests, ligations, dephosphorylation assays, agarose gel electrophoresis, transformation (including electroporation), PCR, reverse transcriptase assay, real time qPCR, SDS-PAGE,Western blot analysis, Isoelectric focusing strips, and 2D protein gels.This April session will also include new theorectical and practical content on Next Gen Sequencing (Ion Torrent set up will be used in class).

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 practical hands-on 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.

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/email commitment and then third via an invoiced 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$1500 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

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 30 days after the invoice date unless otherwise arranged. Note that refunds are made available until 2 weeks prior to the workshop start date – we are unable to issue any refunds after this deadline has passed.

Workshop will begin each day at 9am sharp and usually end between 4:30pm 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)