Online MED YSP 2022 (Archive)

MedYSP Online! offers four stand-alone one-week modules in key fields in the health sciences. Descriptions of each module are provided below.

Module Format
Each module reflects the day-to-day life of university students through a highly structured, intensive week of labs, lectures and discussions delivered via the University of Toronto’s learning management system, Quercus, ensuring a secure and robust learning environment. Activities will be provided synchronously, meaning that students will attend live lectures and perform virtual labs all at the same time with live support from teaching staff. Each module is designed to maximize interactions between students, professors, and instructors, in an engaging and friendly environment.

Each week consists of:

  • Live lectures delivered by University of Toronto faculty and expert guest speakers
  • Online labs, individually completed by students with live support provided by instructors
  • Small group breakout sessions to allow customized support from instructors and interaction with a community of peers
  • Daily review of concepts
  • Trivia contest where all students will test their knowledge in a friendly competition at the end of the module


  • Monday to Friday (5 days), all times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT = GMT/UTC -4)
  • 9:30 to 11:30 AM (2 hours in the morning)
  • 1 to 3:30 PM (2 – 2.5 hours in the afternoon)
  • Teaching time:
    • 1 – 1.5 hours each day with a professor/guest speaker
    • 2.5 – 3 hours each day with an instructor
  • Click here to view a sample of the schedule.

Students will attend daily online lectures by University of Toronto faculty and expert guest speakers. Lectures will be live so that students have the opportunity to interact directly with the speakers. Lecture recordings may also be made available to students should they wish to review them later in the week.

Virtual Labs
Students will apply their knowledge acquired in lectures by conducting online laboratories that are first-person point-of-view simulations. In these labs, students will perform every step as if they were physically in a lab, starting from putting on a lab coat and gloves, to collecting samples, writing down observations in a digital notebook, and carrying out each step of the experiment. This type of simulation gives students access to a realistic lab and allows students to learn from mistakes.


Some activities will require students to provide supplies at home. Click here to learn more.

Live Support, Skills & Mentorship!
Modules are designed to promote real-time interactions between students, professors, and teaching staff throughout each day. Students will be supported by their instructors in small group breakout sessions to provide the opportunity for community building with their peers, a relaxed setting for review and discussions, and more personal guidance through lab simulations and other activities. Breakout sessions are not recorded so students need not be concerned about privacy and can interact freely with their group.

Instructors will also provide mentorship to students through discussions about various university topics such as choosing your major, how to apply for university, careers possibilities beyond university and much more! Over the course of the week, students may acquire valuable skills and tips for navigating university successfully such as effective time management and tools for studying and organizing notes.


A certificate will be provided upon the completion of each Module and all of its requirements. The certificate will serve as a validation of your hard work and participation in the MED YSP program; which can be a wonderful addition on your resume to be used for future applications. Please Note: for online-MED YSP 2022, an electronic copy of the certificate will be provided instead of the paper format. 

The cost of the program includes access to the University of Toronto Quercus learning platform and all online labs. Students must provide their own computer. Students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the module.

• Completion of grade 10, 11 or 12 by July 1, 2022
• Laptop or desktop computer. All learning is conducted online, please visit our technical page for minimum computer requirements.

Module Descriptions

Module 1: Introduction to Physiology
Did you know that the human kidney processes up to 180 litres a day? What does a universal donor mean? Interested in knowing more about how the human body works? Physiology is the science of life and the foundation of modern medicine in health and disease. During this one-week intensive module, students will explore five systems through a combination of lectures and lab simulations – cardiovascular, hematological, renal, respiratory, and metabolic systems. Students will gain a better understanding of how different systems in the body work separately and together. Examples of topics include components and the role of blood, blood typing and ABO blood groups, kidney structure and function, cardiac function, lung function and respiration, and metabolism.

Module 2: Microbiology and the World of Microbes
The current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the power of microorganisms which lay on every surface but can’t be seen with the naked eye. Have you wondered how scientists identify microorganisms that you cannot see? Are you familiar with different techniques used to control microbial growth? During this one-week intensive module, students will be introduced to scientific concepts in microbiology and virology through a combination of live lectures, online labs and interactive sessions. In online lab simulations, students will be able to work with microorganisms that would be too dangerous for them to work with in a real-life lab setting. Students will learn how bacteria are identified using the Gram stain technique, how bacteria are isolated, how viruses can be used in gene therapy, and much more! Students will attend online talks from researchers who are leaders in their field, covering topics such as vaccines, antibiotic resistance, public health microbiology and how microbes cause disease.

Module 3: Introduction to Molecular Biology & Genetics
Have you ever wondered what mysteries lie in your DNA or why certain traits are expressed while others are not? During this one-week intensive module, students will be introduced to the fields of molecular biology and genetics through a combination of live lectures, virtual labs, at-home activities*, and interactive sessions. Students will explore the fundamental concepts in these disciplines, classic lab techniques for the isolation, analysis and engineering of DNA, as well as recent advances in research and medicine. Examples of topics include DNA structure, PCR, DNA sequencing, genetic engineering, heredity, epigenetics, gene editing, and personalized medicine. Molecular biology and genetics are at the centre of many of today’s most contentious issues – students will be encouraged to express their opinions and consider not only the scientific importance but the ethical and social impacts of advances in these fields.

*Participants will require some basic supplies (e.g. standard kitchen items, craft supplies) for these activities – a supply list will be provided.

Module 4: Introduction to Pharmacology and Toxicology
Ever wondered what happens when a drug enters the body at the molecular level? Curious what drug research is like? For any student planning a career in the medical sciences, pharmacology and toxicology — which examines the interactions between chemical substances and the body — is an essential field of study. During this one-week intensive module, students will be introduced to fundamental concepts that include pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, biotransformation, pharmacogenetics and toxicology. Students will gain a better understanding of how drugs work by examining mechanisms of actions, how drugs are metabolized and removed from the body, and why some drugs may cause adverse reactions in some individuals but not in others. Students will get a feel for the demands of a university course and be introduced to advances in drug research, as well as novel topics such as RNA interference and the impact of cannabis on driving. Students will perform online lab simulations to understand fundamental techniques when studying drugs, such as signal transduction (how cells communicate), chromatography, ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and FACS (fluorescence-activated cell sorting).