McMaster University


McMaster University



Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences

Welcome from the Chair

The Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences is a research-intensive and education-forward department supported by a community of faculty members, staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate trainees. The department operates within the Faculty of Health Sciences, whose pioneering approach to research and education has helped situate McMaster University among the top universities in the world. We are champions for the vision of the faculty – to learn from what was, to challenge what is, and to embrace what could be. Our department enjoys a rich community feel, collaborative in spirit and practice, within a strong culture of collegiality among both students and faculty alike.

The integration of education, research, and community partnership is at the heart of what we do. Our undergraduate program in Biochemistry introduces students to fundamental concepts that underpin modern biomedical research and innovation. Students get to apply this knowledge first hand, through real-world laboratory research experiences that prepare them for fulfilling careers and graduate opportunities. Our newly created program in Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization is among the first of its kind – a combined undergraduate and graduate program designed for students with a passion for research and a desire to learn how new discoveries are commercialized in today’s innovation-based economy. This program connects students with the health sciences commercial sector in new ways, by completing curriculum components while embedded within the very companies involved in drug discovery, development and marketing, commercialization, and entrepreneurial pursuits related to health innovation.

Our Graduate Program, leading to M.Sc., Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. degrees, offers rigorous leading-edge training designed for students who desire a rich, scholarly experience provided by an internationally competitive and research-intensive institution. McMaster is at the forefront of scientific discovery, yielding dramatic discoveries that uncover the inner workings of biological systems and that hold great promise for understanding the nature of human health and disease. Our graduate students are front-line contributors to this discovery engine, guided and mentored by some of the brightest minds in science who are research leaders in the fields of microbiology and infectious diseases, stem cell and cancer biology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, human genetic diseases, and more.

Our educational and research activities are augmented by state of the art infrastructure and partnerships with affiliated research institutes that create collaborative networks and hubs of activity to support cutting-edge research. Here, our faculty and trainees can dream big to tackle the most pressing problems in their field.

I welcome you to the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. As you explore our educational offerings and research-intensive programs, you are invited to contact us with any questions you might have.


Brian Coombes, Ph.D.
Chair, Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences


Biochemistry 50th Anniversary


New Graduate Studies Webpage!


Graduate Application Procedure


New Program


BiochemRocks Summer 2018 Edition!

Biochem Rocks Aplication

The BiochemRocks app is now live!
Download the BiochemRocks app from the Apple and Google app stores today!




Hendrik Poinar

McMaster researchers recognized at Innovation Showcase

Three McMaster researchers have been recognized for their work by the office of the vice-president, Research at this year’s Innovation Showcase.

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Gerry Wright

Humanity under threat from antibiotic-resistant infections

I grew up believing in the forward trajectory of progress in science and medicine – that human health would continue to improve as it had for hundreds of years. As I progressed through my own career in health sciences, I continued to be optimistic.

Now I have serious doubts.

Science is still working well, but deadly obstacles are blocking the way between research and progress in the field where I work: Antibiotics.


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Deborah Sloboda

Investigating the early origins of disease

Several times throughout the year, Deborah Sloboda can be found in a classroom at Dundas Central Public School helping to give kids hands-on learning in science.

Accompanied by those studying in her McMaster University lab, Sloboda and her team help students in Grades 4 to 8 undertake activities that range from extracting the DNA of kiwi fruit to dissecting animal organs like the lungs, heart and brain.


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Brian Coombes

Finding answers to fight drug-resistant infections

Brian Coombes likes to ask the question: ‘Why?’

But he likes searching for the answer to the question even more.

Growing up before you could ask your phone to show images of insects that live under rocks or a fish dissection, a young Coombes would go out and find the answers.

This innate curiosity has been reimagined into a career in research, with the Burlington-raised scientist at the forefront of infectious disease pathogenesis, focusing on the chain of events that lead to illness and disease.

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Faculty Member of the Month

Radhey Gupta

Genomes are the ultimate repositories of genetic information present in biological organisms making them some of the most exciting and insightful targets for microbial research. Recent advances in genome sequencing technology are making an extraordinary amount of information available that has the potential to provide novel insights into the physiology, biochemistry, and evolution of different organisms.

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