McMaster University

McMaster University

Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences

Welcome from the chair

Karen Mossman

Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences within the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University!  We are a dynamic and enthusiastic group of faculty, staff and students with a passion for research, teaching and fun!


Our faculty run internationally recognized, multi-disciplinary research programs spanning diverse areas of biochemistry, including anti-microbial research, drug discovery, cell biology and regulation, structural biology, infection and immunity, nutrition and metabolism, stem cell biology and cancer.  Our research laboratories are supported by state of the art infrastructure and research facilities.

The Centre for Microbial Chemical Biology houses the High Throughput Screening Lab, the Natural Products Chemistry Lab, the Protein Lab and the Bioanalytical Lab.  The McMaster Biophotonics Facility provides cutting edge microscopy and fluorimetry capabilities while the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy houses world-class electron microscopy infrastructure. The passion of our investigators for research and discovery has created a rich and collaborative environment, as evidenced by international personnel awards, competitive funding and publications in high impact journals.


The innovation and discovery of our investigators' research programs ensure excellence in our undergraduate and graduate programs.  Undergraduate students are exposed to a diverse curriculum in our Honours Biochemistry program, administered through the Faculty of Science. Students with more specialized interests can take our Biomedical Research Specialization, Origins Specialization, Honours Arts & Science and Biochemistry or Honours Integrated Science and Biochemistry programs. Our graduate students are involved in cutting-edge research and scholarship in two graduate programs, Biochemistry and Chemical Biology, the latter being jointly administered with the Department of Chemistry. Our graduate students are routinely awarded provincial and national fellowships and awards and publish in high impact journals.  Additionally, the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences has a dynamic group of post-doctoral fellows, who play an active role in the Faculty of Health Sciences Post-Doctoral Association. The broad expertise of our faculty members along with active and innovative approaches to learning ensures that our graduates are poised for success in their future careers.


Within the Department, we have an active Biochemistry Society whose motto is "It's only biochemistry but we like it!". The society runs a diverse array of programs culminating in the yearly Formal, an event not to miss.  Check out BiochemRocks on Facebook, to keep up with the latest events in the department.  Scroll through photos of our many social events, including the annual Halloween, Christmas and summer picnic activities!

Please take this opportunity to browse through our web pages to learn more about the research, teaching and fun that make Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences such a wonderful and engaging environment.  Do feel free to contact us at any time if you would like to meet with a faculty member or tour our facilities.  We hope to see you soon!

Karen Mossman, Chair

New Graduate Studies Webpage!

Graduate Application Procedure

New Program

BiochemRocks Goes DIGITAL!

Biochem Rocks Aplication

The BiochemRocks app is now live!
Download the BiochemRocks app from the Apple and Google app stores today!


Gerry Wright

Gerry Wright receives NRC Research Press Senior Investigator Award

gerryThe Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences has named Dr. Gerry Wright, professor and scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR), as the recipient of the 2016 NRC Research Press Senior Investigator Award.

The annual award, presented by the NRC Research Press, a division of Canadian Science Publishing, recognizes Canadian scientists with a record of exceptional accomplishment in the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology or cellular biology.

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Eric Brown

Ontario scientist thinks old drugs could become our new antibiotics

ericAs the world loses its upper hand in the antibiotic arms race, it raises the spectre of untreatable infections resulting from routine surgeries. But a Canadian scientist has discovered a surprising source of potential antibiotic options.

Over the past few months, there's been grim evidence of the march to a post-antibiotic world. Last week, for instance, U.S. researchers said they'd identified what could be the first strain of E. coli resistant to antibiotics considered last-line defences.

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IIDR Members

Five IIDR members awarded more than $14M in federal grants

iidrFive research programs led by members of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) will receive more than $14M from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The grants, which will support cutting-edge research ranging from the discovery of novel antibiotics to the development of a global vaccination strategy to control Tuberculosis (TB), are part of a larger $667M investment from two of the federal agency’s funding competitions.

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Andrew McArthur

Mac researcher to harness big data to tackle superbugs


A cross-national research consortia co-led by McMaster’s Andrew McArthur is receiving two of 16 federal grants to further develop a big data solution to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The government’s investment, totaling more than $4M, is the result of Genome Canada’s 2015 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Competition, a partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

McArthur and his colleagues will receive $500,000 over four years.

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Faculty Member of the Month

Kristin Hope

kristinHematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants are often the only curative therapy for patients with high-risk leukemias and other blood cancers. However, the difficulty of finding matched donors for patients waiting for transplants has spurred efforts to identify alternative sources of HSCs. Over the past few decades, promising clinical outcomes have supported the use of umbilical cord blood sources for HSC transplantation.

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