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

Three FHS professors awarded University's highest honour

Gerry Wright, Andrea Baumann and Salim Yusuf

Three professors of the Faculty of Health Sciences will receive the University's highest honour this convocation season as they are named Distinguished University Professors.

The honour is awarded to faculty members who are complete scholars, having demonstrated an outstanding research record with international impact and recognition along with a sustained record of excellence in teaching and service.

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Brian Coombes

Profs awarded for early international scholarship

Brian Coombes and Sonia Anand

Two professors from the Faculty of Health Sciences have been named this year’s University Scholars, which is a recognition of McMaster’s faculty in mid-career who have already distinguished themselves as international scholars.

Brian Coombes, associate professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, and Sonia Anand, professor of the Department of Medicine, are among four winners of this year’s honours.

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Lesley MacNeil

More than 100 researchers awarded total of $15.7M from NSERCLesley MacNeil

More than one hundred McMaster researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have received a total of $15.7M from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), announced on campus today by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

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Joaquin Ortega

Pushing the frontiers of science and evidence-based decision making


Two McMaster projects have been awarded more than $1M from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to ensure they have access to cutting edge equipment and facilities. Ortega, a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, focuses on two biomedical challenges that threaten life: infectious disease and cancer.

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Faculty Member of the Month

Alba Guarne


Most people do not think about crystallography everyday, but if they did, they would realize how profoundly crystallography affects every aspect of our life. Biochemistry is no exception. From designing better drugs to understanding the molecular mechanisms that control life and death, crystallography has re-defined the way we do research today.

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