McMaster University

McMaster University



Felicia Vulcu

Felicia Vulcu, PhD

Assistant Professor - Teaching Track
Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences

Office 4H43 - Lab 1H6, Health Sciences Centre
McMaster University
905-525-9140 x22838


As a Teaching Professor and the Undergraduate Biochemistry Advisor in the department, my main interest lies in promoting and maintaining an excellent educational experience for all our undergraduate students. My true passion lies in helping our undergraduate students experience all that our research faculty have to offer with respect to current research being implemented in the department. However; I am equally driven to promoting transferrable skills, like oral and written communication skills, to further the success of our undergraduate students not only throughout their undergraduate experience, but also in their future endeavours. Overall, I am extremely honoured to interact with our undergraduate students and help them discover the wonderful world of Biomedical Sciences within our Department.

Selected Publications

1.            Vulcu, F., MacDonald, M. (2014) A Canadian (un)Curriculum Nature, Trade Secrets

2.            Vulcu, F., Heirwegh, M. (2014) Dr. Earl N. Meyer, in the lab, with a scalpel: A murder mystery as a biochemistry recruitment tool Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education Article first published online: 14 NOV 2014 DOI: 10.1002/bmb.20830

3.            Vulcu, F., Heirwegh, M., Jones, K., Cornelius, R. (2014) A multidisciplinary module-based biotechnology lab course: forging bridges between Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering experiential-based learning. ICEER2014 Conference Proceedings (ISBN 978-0-9939779-0-9). , page 15.

Presentations at Meetings:

1.            MIIETL organized workshop on Active and Inquiry Based learning lead by Mick Healy from the University of Gloucestershire in the UK.

2.            The International Conference on Engineering Education and Research (ICEER2014-McMaster)

3.            An Idea Exchange (McMaster University).

Proposed Table Topic Theme: Engaging Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering students in a Biotechnology laboratory course Background information:  Effective communication between different communities, even within the university, can be a challenge. To this end, the departments of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences and Chemical Engineering have forged an educational alliance and designed a unique laboratory course revolving around the theme of Biotechnology. This course is taught as a 3-module design involving current biotechnological themes: mammalian cell culture, biomaterials, and bioreactors. The course itself is coordinated by 2 faculty members and 2 staff members representing both departments. All 4 coordinators are present during the labs and provide facilitation from their various viewpoints. Additionally, the students taking this course represent both departments. Therefore, this course aims to not only introduce students to current technical skills, but also to develop multidisciplinary collaborations among members of the McMaster community. Our hopes are that these collaborative skills will translate to industry stakeholders. Additionally, this course uses various active learning styles in an attempt to highlight the concept of “convergence”: multidisciplinary thinking and collaboration whereby biomedical and chemical engineering scientists are EQUAL partners and share their viewpoints and expertise towards solving specific problems in the field of Biotechnology. Please join us and share in our experiences, challenges and successes throughout this wonderful journey of MAC community engagement.


1. Ministry Of Training, Colleges And Universities (MTCU),  Shared Online Course Fund– 2015

Title - Converting a Traditional Biochemistry Course into a McMaster Online Course: Meeting Student Stakeholder Demands

Proposal Lead Name/Faculty: Felicia Vulcu/ Faculty of Health Science, McMaster University

Collaborators/University: Michelle MacDonald/ McMaster University, Chris Brandl/ University of Western Ontario,  Derek McLachlin/ University of Western Ontario

Amount: $56,000.00

Purpose: Because no two learners are identical, BIOCHEM 2EE3 needs to be radicalized in order to be scalable while maintaining the possibility for a personalized learning experience.  Concomitant with the concept of “self-directed learning”, we propose converting our fundamental biochemistry course into a fully online course that will allow students accessibility and flexibility while maintaining a rich online community of inquiry.

2. Forward With Integrity (McMaster University) - 2014

Title - BDC Dialogues: A Knowledge Sharing Virtual Website To Foster A Biomedical Discovery And Commercialization Community Of Practice

Proposal Lead Name/Faculty: Felicia Vulcu/ Faculty of Health Science

Collaborators/Faculties: Eric Brown and Michelle MacDonald/ Faculty of Health Science

Amount: $ 5,000.00

Purpose: BDC Dialogues will be a virtual learning collaborative intended to actively engage undergraduate and graduate BDC students with their community mentors throughout their BDC journey. The community includes faculty members from various faculties (Health Science, Science, Business, and Engineering), industry stakeholders, clinicians, etc. Tentatively, the BDC Dialogues website will feature:  blog sites allowing for open reflection and discussion; learner-team project showcase; award/competition opportunities which will be sponsored by industry partners; general discussion board; feedback surveys, etc. We envision the final product to emulate successful virtual CoP networks resembling the HASTAC website ( Our future objective is to transcend the BDC CoP into a global open access virtual network intent on biomedical discovery and commercialization.

3. Academic Science Fund (McMaster University), 2014

Amount: $ 2,000.00

Andrew Mocle (undergraduate student), Felicia Vulcu

Purpose: To establish an open-access, peer-reviewed journal from the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. Catalyst aims to feature unique articles written by undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. We wish to see a collection of reflections on student learning perspectives, cool class projects and research interests, fun narratives, challenging experiments, random thoughts and overall culture in the BBS. Our main objective with this journal is to provide a platform for our program from various perspectives – student and teacher – because in the end we are all learners.


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