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

Bachelor-MasterBiomedical Discovery & Commercialization Program


Matt Miller

Researchers find new link between neurodegenerative diseases and abnormal immune responses

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller, an investigator at the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, is the study's lead author. He said mutations in the senataxin gene (SETX) are known to cause certain types of neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 4 (ALS4 — a type of Lou Gehrig's Disease) and ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 2 (AOA2). However, no one currently understands why these mutations result in neurodegenerative diseases.


Eric Brown

McMaster experts leading efforts to address ‘explosion’ of resistance to antibiotics - See more at:

Mac prof awarded prestigious grant to unravel MERSbacterial survival strategies

McMaster University’s Dr. Eric Brown was recently awarded a CIHR Foundation Scheme Grant – a new and highly competitive funding initiative supported by the federal agency.





Ray Truant

'Damn Scary': A test will tell Bulldog, Jake Dowell, if he has Huntington's disease.

Ray Truant










Deb Sloboda

Chronic diseases could be programmed in utero

The old saying that you are what you eat may be out to lunch.

Turns out, you may be what your mother ate.

Deb Sloboda







Matthew Miller

'Universal Flu Vaccine' may be closer that we think...

'Universal flu vaccine' may be closer than we think, says Mac researcher - See more at:
'Universal flu vaccine' may be closer than we think, says Mac researcher - See more at:
Matt Miller







Faculty Member of the Month

Lesley MacNeilLesley MacNeil

Lesley MacNeil is our newest faculty member having joined the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences in March of this year. Lesley began her scientific career at the University of Guelph, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in microbiology. She then earned a Masters degree here at McMaster University in the laboratory of Dr. John Hassell studying mammary gland development and a PhD from the University of Toronto, working with Dr. Jeff Wrana and Dr. Joe Culotti studying the role of a TGF-beta family member in cell migration and axon guidance. In 2009, she received a CIHR post-doctoral fellowship and began her post-doctoral research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the Program in Systems Biology.

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