McMaster University

McMaster University

Mark McDermott

, PhD

Professor Emeritus (2016)
Pathology and Molecular Medicine

McMaster University
3N26 Health Sciences Centre

Mark McDermott

Faculty Biography

Education and Professional Standing

  • PhD Medical Sciences, McMaster University, 1979
  • BSc (Hons) Biology, McMaster University, 1974


Research Focus

Dr.McDermott, a Professor of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at McMaster University, has an international reputation as one of the leading experts on immunity in the gastrointestinal, respiratory and genital tracts. He has published over 60 scientific papers and reviews in several prestigious journals on this subject. Dr.McDermott is best known for experimentally establishing and continuing research on the common mucosal immunologic system; this system forms the foundation for oral and intranasal vaccination. In lengthy collaboration with Pasteur Merieux Connaught, and with funding from the Ontario Technology Fund and the Ontario University Research Incentive Fund, Dr.McDermott invented with Dr. Michael Brook (McMaster University, Department of Chemistry), a patented oral/nasal vaccine delivery technology. As a result of this partnership, Dr.McDermott received the 1996 NSERC and Conference Board of Canada Synergy Award for Best Practice in University-Industry R&D Partnerships.

Academic Focus

Dr. McDermott is a teacher of university undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Currently he teaches in the Graduate Molecular Immunology Virology and Inflammation (MIVI) Program as well as the Undergraduate Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Health Science Programs, and is a Program Coordinator for the HTH SCI 4J03: Biochemical Immunology course.

Furthermore, Dr. McDermott is a reviewer of grants for a variety of Canadian and US agencies and a reviewer of manuscripts for many prestigious scientific journals. He chaired the Ontario University Research Incentive Fund grants committee for six years and formerly was a member of the Board of the Ontario Research and Development Challange Fund.

Other Interests

During the early 1980's, Dr.McDermott spent several years in the biotechnology industry as a corporate founder and research director. He has continued to use this experience to provide collaborative contract research and consulting services to Canadian and US biotechnology and medial instrumentation companies. A number of products developed in Dr.McDermott's laboratory through these collaborations are presently marketed in Canada and US.

In addition to his teaching and research activities, Dr.McDermott previously served as McMaster University's Director of the Office of Research Contracts and Intellectual Property and was secretary of the University's Patent and Intellectual Research Board. He was deeply involved in the development of University policies relating to contract research and intellectual properties.

Dr.McDermott received his doctoral training in immunology and immunochemistry and joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University in 1982.

For more information, please visit Dr. McDermott's website.

Selected Publications

  • Bartzoka, V., McDermott, M.R. and Brook, M.A., 1999. Protein-silicone interactions Adv. Mater. 11:257-259.
  • McDermott, M.R., Heritage, P.L., Bartzoka, V. and Brook, M.A. 1998. Polymer-grafted starch microparticles for oral and nasal immunization. Immunol. Cell Biol. 76:256-262.
  • Heritage, P.L., Underdown, B.J., Brook, M.A. and McDermott, M.R., 1998. Oral administration of polymer-grafted starch microparticles activates gut-associated lymphocytes and primes for a subsequent systemic antigen challenge. Vaccine 16:2010-2017.
  • Heritage, P.L., Underdown, B.J., Brook, M.A. and McDermott, M.R., 1998. Intranasal immunization of mice with polymer-grafted starch microparticles activates lymphocytes in the nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) and draining lymph nodes. Immunology 93:249-256.
  • Bartzoka, V., Brook, M.A. and McDermott, M.R.,1998. Protein-silicone interactions: how compatible are the two species? Langmuir 14:1887-1891.
  • Bartzoka, V., Brook, M.A. and McDermott, M.R., 1998. Silicon-protein films: establishing the strength of the protein-silicone interaction. Langmuir (in press).
  • Brook, M.A., Jiang, J., Heritage, P.,Bartzoka, V., Underdown, B. and McDermott, M.R., 1997. Silicone-protein interaction at the interface between a functional silicone and a protein/starch microparticle. Langmuir 13: 6279-6286.
  • Snider, D.P., Underdown, B.J. and McDermott, M.R., 1997. Intranasal immunization using antigen conjugated to anti-MHC class II antibody primes local IgA and serum IgG antibody responses in mice. Immunology 90:323-329.

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