A chemistry professor who became internationally renowned as a microbiologist will address the graduates of McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences at Hamilton Place today.
Julian Davies, professor emeritus of the University of British Columbia, will talk to the 475 graduates at their convocation Friday afternoon after receiving an honorary doctor of science degree from the university.
Davies was recently described by the journal Nature Biotechnology as "an icon of the European biotech industry and a pioneer of metagenomics" because of the impact of his research on modern biotechnology. He played a seminal role in the understanding of the function of antibiotics, as well as the mechanisms of bacterial resistance.
Scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make adult sensory neurons from human patients simply by having them roll up their sleeve and providing a blood sample.
Specifically, stem cell scientists at McMaster can now directly convert adult human blood cells to both central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) neurons as well as neurons in the peripheral nervous system (rest of the body) that are responsible for pain, temperature and itch perception. This means that how a person's nervous system cells react and respond to stimuli, can be determined from his blood.
The breakthrough, published online today and featured on the cover of the journal Cell Reports, was led by Mick Bhatia, director of the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Human Stem Cell Biology and is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Also playing a key role was Karun Singh, a co-author in the study and holder of the David Braley Chair in Human Stem Cell Research.
Engaging collaborations are at the heart of the new David Braley Health Sciences Centre at the McMaster Health Campus in downtown Hamilton.
The 192,000-square-foot centre, opened May 15 with a ribbon-cutting event, is to be partly a community space open to the public with a café, public meeting and lounge space as well as family health, maternity and public health clinics. It is also the home for major research and education initiatives of McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences.