McMaster University

McMaster University

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Mac students awarded top honours at United Nations

A group of McMaster students have won a number of prizes, including the "Best Large Delegation" award, during a conference held recently at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

The group, made up of 11 McMaster students, were at the United Nations for the WFUNA Model United Nations conference, which brought together 1500 students from around the world and gave them the opportunity to participate in the resolution writing and decision-making processes at the UN.

At the conference – hosted by the World Federation of United Nations Associations* (WFUNA) – student delegates received training and briefings delivered by UN officials and worked together to develop resolutions aimed at building peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

McMaster students won the "Best Large Delegation" award – one of the top prizes presented at the conference – for their overall contribution to this process.

McMaster students Jessica Jacob and Michael Coomber, both Health Sciences students, and Philosophy student Salvatore Sbrega, were also recognized, each wining "Diplomacy Awards" for their individual efforts in helping to shape the resolutions.

A unique honour was given to Natasha Jakac-Sinclair, a fourth-year biology student, minoring in Political Science, who was elected President of the Youth General Assembly by the delegates at the conference.

As President, Jakac-Sinclair presented the resolutions developed by student delegates in front of the actual UN General Assembly, where they were passed and will be implemented.

"It was an incredible experience," says Jakac-Sinclair, who also led the McMaster delegation. "My role was to open the session, set the topics of debate, to oversee all the writing processes, help students from all around the world to think of gaps they might be missing, and help them start thinking about ways they could implement the goals they were coming up with into their daily lives."

Jakac-Sinclair, a member of the Hamilton United Nations Association who participated in the conference last year, was invited by conference organizers to return this year and to bring with her a delegation of McMaster students.

The students, who come from a number of Faculties across campus, were selected through an application process.

"They come from a range of disciplines and bring with them a variety of experiences and skills," says Jakac-Sinclair. "I'm proud that we were able to all come together to represent McMaster and to help facilitate global dialogue on an international level."

McMaster was the only University from Canada invited to attend the conference.

*The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.



McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences trains physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, health care researchers, physician assistants and midwives to work together in teams, providing the finest patient care.

Our programs cover the spectrum of health care, including the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Rehabilitation Science, Midwifery, a Bachelor of Health Sciences program and Canada's first physician assistants' program.

We are known for innovating small group, problem-based education, with a focus on self-directed, life-long learning, as well as the development of evidence-based medicine.

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Federal government invests in McMaster technologies

Dr. Yingfu Li- PhotoThree McMaster research projects have received a combined investment of $1.68M over three years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC).

The largest grant went to Yingfu Li, professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences, who received $672,000 to develop a novel litmus paper-like sensor device, printed with bioink, to enable rapid and accurate detection of Legionella pneumophila – a deadly environmental pathogen found in many man-made and natural water sources.

In collaboration with Carlos Filipe (chemical engineering) and John Brennan (chemistry & chemical biology), and industry partners TGWT Clean Technologies Inc., Cytodiagnostics, and Mold and Bacterial Consulting Labs, their DNA print technology, capable of providing results in minutes, will position Canada as a leader in this field.

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Nursing students represent McMaster at Global Health Conference

Nursing conference- PhotoRepresenting McMaster University, a team of nine students attended the International Women's and Children's Health Conference at Manipal University, India. The conference was hosted by Manipal School of Nursing and welcomed over 500 delegates from 19 countries. The event also reached out to members of various disciplines involved in global health including scientists, environmentalists, nurses, physicians, midwives, nutritionists, politicians and social workers.

This year's theme was the impact of Global Issues on Women and Children. In collaboration with Manipal University nursing students, we were involved in conference planning and facilitation during workshops. In addition, we facilitated group discussions on topics such as HIV/AIDS, globalization and the aging process. A few of us had the opportunity to speak about our own research during poster presentations.

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Michael G. DeGroote Fellowship Award winners already in thick of things

Fellowship Award winners- PhotoAlthough they may be early in their careers, the latest recipients of the Michael G. DeGroote Fellowship Awards are already making a significant mark in their fields of study.

From fighting superbugs, shedding light on an underlying cause of depression, understanding the global threat of infectious diseases and translating genetic discoveries to the clinic, these four, bright young scholars are helping to solve some of the most critical public health crises of our time. And they are doing so under the guidance of four of McMaster University's top researchers.

Postdoctoral fellow Omar El-Halfawy was the recipient of the fall 2015 basic biomedical fellowship. He studies antibiotic resistance, particularly resistance to penicillins to treat MRSA, in the lab of Eric Brown, associate professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences and investigator with the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research.

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Multiple pregnancies linked to heart problem

Multiple pregnancies- PhotoWomen who have multiple pregnancies are at a greater risk of developing an irregular heartbeat, according to new research led by a McMaster University researcher.

The study, published in the American Heart Association's journal, Circulation, links the number of pregnancies to a type of irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation.

Scientists led by Jorge Wong, a researcher with McMaster's Population Health Research Institute, analyzed data from 34,639 participants in the Women's Health Study.

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In the Media

  • CBC's The National, CBC onlineThe Kingston Whig-Standard and CBC Radio in Vancouver, Toronto and St. John's featured Jason Busse (National Pain Centre) explaining the recommended national guidelines that the pain centre produced for the prescription of opioids, as part of a story about a the rise of illicit opioid use in western Canada.
  • The Spectatorpublished a letter to the editor from Stelios Georgiades (Offord Centre for Child Studies) about underprivileged kids having the resilience to 'level the playing field'.
  • The Hamilton Spectator reported on the issue of helping seniors connect to services and peers, which is the topic of research by Margaret Denton (Health, Aging and Society) and Jenny Ploeg (Nursing). 
  • The Spectatorspoke to Lawrence Martin (Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences) about the effectiveness of special lamps used to treat seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D). The Hamilton library equipped three of its branches with the lamps.
  • The Spectator reported on Yingfu Li (Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences) and two other McMaster researchers receiving NSCERC awards.  Li is developing a novel litmus paper-like sensor device, printed with bioink, to enable rapid and accurate detection of Legionella.
  • The Guardian (UK) reported on research led by post-doctoral fellow Karen Mathewson (Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour) who found that babies born very prematurely are at greater risk of mental health problems later in life.
  • The Hindustan Times reported on a workshop in India given by McMaster pediatricians, including Madan Roy (Pediatrics), who impressed upon their Indian counterparts the importance of documenting medical errors to prevent recurrence.
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