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

New Graduate Studies Webpage!


Graduate Application Procedure


New Program


BiochemRocks Goes DIGITAL!

Biochem Rocks Aplication

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




Michael Kamin Hart Scholarship

Scholarship honours late student’s passion for scientific research

2Michael Kamin Hart was a gifted Master’s student studying biochemistry at McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) when he received the untimely diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He passed away on June 5, 2011 at the age of 25, but his legacy lives on thanks to a scholarship in his name that’s fuelling critical research at the IIDR.

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Yingfu Li

Federal government invests in McMaster technologies

Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences Professor, Yingfu Li, received $672,000 to develop a novel litmus paper-like sensor device, printed with bioink, to enable rapid and accurate detection of Legionella pneumophila – a deadly environmental pathogen found in many man-made and natural water sources.

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IIDR Members

Five IIDR members awarded more than $14M in federal grants

iidrFive research programs led by members of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) will receive more than $14M from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The grants, which will support cutting-edge research ranging from the discovery of novel antibiotics to the development of a global vaccination strategy to control Tuberculosis (TB), are part of a larger $667M investment from two of the federal agency’s funding competitions.

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Matthew Miller

End of annual flu shots? Canadian researchers developing one-time vaccine


Tired of getting the flu vaccine every year? Thanks to research being conducted at a Canadian university, soon you may not have to.

Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. are developing a flu vaccine that would be administered only once, eliminating the need for the annual shot.

Dr. Matthew Miller, an assistant professor of biochemistry at McMaster, is part of the team of researchers developing the universal vaccine. The basis of its success, he said, is that it targets an unchanging part of the flu virus.

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Faculty Member of the Month

Michelle MacDonald

Dr. Michelle MacDonald is an Associate Professor in the Department, and our Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. She oversees all affairs related to the program and curriculum development.

Michelle is proudly a product of our undergraduate program, graduating in 1994 having completed her senior thesis in Dr. Richard Epand’s lab. She pursued graduate studies in the Medical Sciences graduate program at McMaster, studying human muscle biochemistry in the Department of Medicine, and graduating with a Ph.D. in 2000.

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