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

Graduate Application Procedure

New Program

Our Latest Story

At McMaster, scientists to experiment with business, Eric Brown, Director, BDC program. The Globe and Mail

McMaster’s new bachelor/master program in biomedical discovery commercialization is expected to have 50 students for September of 2015.

“We were training students extremely well in the science of biochemistry but we weren’t equipping them to go out into the world and do things other than perhaps go to medical and graduate school and become professors,” says Eric Brown, director of the biomedical discovery and commercialization program at McMaster. In a follow-up e-mail, he reports,“We are getting lots of interest from students.” See more here.....

Eric Brown and Jon Stokes, Brown lab

Eric Brown and Jon Stokes

Old drug may be key to new antibiotics

From left: Eric Brown, professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Science, with Jonathan Stokes, a PhD student, have made an important discovery about an anticonvulsant drug that may help in developing a new class of antibiotics.


Faculty Member of the Month

Jonathan SchertzerJon Schertzer

Jonathan Schertzer joined the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences about 2 years ago. His laboratory studies Immunometabolism. His team is interested in how obesity alters inflammation and how this is related to diabetes. His lab studies how bugs (i.e. the microbes that live on us) and drugs alter the balance between immunity and metabolism. This research is largely focussed on “insulin resistance”, a potentially (decades) long period where the body cannot respond properly to the hormone insulin. It precedes overt diabetes and is reversible.

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