McMaster University
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Giving Indigenous women a voice — and training health professionals to hear it

20th Feb, 2019
Bernice Downey’s new project will equip Indigenous women to manage their heart health, and will help health professionals treat these women in a culturally relevant way.


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Posted 20th Feb, 2019
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3rd Mar, 2022

McMaster Engineering: Canada Excellence Research Chairs Faculty Position Available

McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering is seeking outstanding researchers for consideration as Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) nominees. The successful applicant must demonstrate a compelling vision for both continuing and further developing McMaster Engineering’s longstanding strengths in research and graduate training, with a specialization in the fields of micro-nano technology, smart systems, and/or bio-innovation as well as carrying on and enhancing McMaster University’s Strategic Research mission.
50% increase in research funding over last 5 years
30+ esteemed research chairs
20+ prestigious research centres & institutes
600+ local & international partner employers
19th Nov, 2021

Black Academic Excellence Recruitment Opportunities at McMaster Engineering

We’re looking for innovative educators who self-identify as Black to join McMaster Engineering.
A top-ranked engineering program based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, McMaster Engineering is a leading destination for experiential teaching and research to inspire global citizens.
13th Nov, 2020

McMaster Engineering is hiring widely for faculty positions

We’re looking for innovative educators to join our growing faculty at McMaster Engineering.
A top-ranked engineering program based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, McMaster Engineering is a leading destination for experiential teaching and research to inspire global citizens.
12th Mar, 2020

Empowering older adults to live and age on

Doug Oliver's first experience in health care came in his 20s. He was volunteering at a nursing home, helping older, isolated men shave, playing piano for them, and spending time with them.
“Even though I didn’t have any medical training at the time, I felt the power of what spending time with someone can do," Oliver says.
“To this day, I’m more convinced than ever that those things I learned early on are the most important in people’s lives.”
Oliver, now an associate professor of Family Medicine at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, is also co-lead of the team behind the Health TAPESTRY program, a multi-year, multi-site, primary-care based initiative.
Health TAPESTRY arranges for trained volunteers to visit older adults where they live. The volunteers ask questions related to their health and what matters most to them, then share the responses with the individual's health-care team so they may better understand how to work together to achieve these goals.
“The spirit of TAPESTRY is communities volunteering to help older adults, and primary care teams working together to empower older adults,” Oliver says. “The ultimate goal is for people to age optimally and independently, and to be living where they want to, whether that is their home or hospice or retirement home."
10th Mar, 2020

Indigenous research, done right

“We do our research WITH Indigenous peoples, not ON them”
When Chelsea Gabel started studying how online voting contributes to First Nations’ capacity to ratify their own legislation, it was still a very new idea — she figures maybe 15 Indigenous communities in Canada used online voting at the time.
That was in 2014.
“Now there are more than 100, and we’re getting contacted left, right and centre for our expertise and to come into communities and talk about online voting,” Gabel says.
“We can’t keep up.”
Online voting makes it easier for First Nations members, especially those who live off-reserve, to voice their opinions on issues that matter to them, Gabel says. It allows many First Nations to reach the quorum they need to ratify their own laws and policies.
“Communities are using online voting to ratify their own constitutions.”
Gabel’s community-based, participatory approach to research is a huge part of the demand from communities to learn about and adopt online voting.
“Historically, researchers have gone into communities, collected data and flown out,” leaving communities unsure how their information will be used, she says.
“We worked directly with the communities on this project,” Gabel says. “All the information we’re presenting belongs to them, and we want to be sure they’re heard.”
21st Jan, 2020

An innovative approach to palliative care

Hsien Seow was six when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. He was 10 when she died.
“I remember how sick she was but we never, ever had a conversation with doctors about what the future would look like and how much time we had,” says Seow.
Seow's family held out hope, as doctors had suggested, until the very final week of her life.
“The words palliative care never came up, or planning for the possibility she would leave us. So, when it happened it was devastating.”
The McMaster researcher is determined to innovate the palliative-care health system and improve quality of care — for patients and for their families.
21st Jan, 2020

A water model that's just right

Water offers the ultimate Goldilocks dilemma – too little and the land shrivels into desert, too much and we’re paddling.
Managing water flow has always been an uncertain business, and never more so than in a world with a changing climate. Simulation models can offer predictions for water quantity and quality, but sometimes the most important thing to know is how much we don’t know.
Calculating and quantifying those unknowns is at the heart of civil engineer Zoe Li’s work: Her group uses hydrological and climate modelling to quantify uncertainties.
“Once you do that, you are able to assess the associated risk and then you can come up with a plan to manage those risks," she says.
Li then applies robust algorithms to data accumulated from the simulation models to develop real-world optimization models that help guide decision-making related to environmental challenges.
21st Jan, 2020

This wrap repels germs

McMaster researchers have developed a self-cleaning surface that can be shrink-wrapped on door handles, railings and other germ magnets to repel all forms of bacteria.
The new plastic surface – a treated form of conventional transparent wrap – could prevent the transfer of antibiotic-resistant superbugs and other dangerous bacteria in settings ranging from hospitals to kitchens.
It's also ideal for food packaging, where it could stop the accidental transfer of bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and listeria from raw chicken, meat and other foods.
27th Nov, 2019

Polls apart: The data-driven approach to digital democracy

Clifton van der Linden builds innovative digital technologies that are improving political representation and safeguarding democracy around the world.
One such technology is Vote Compass, a voter engagement tool used by millions of people around the world.
Besides encouraging voter turnout and increasing political knowledge among young voters to create a more robust democratic process, Vote Compass inverts the paradigm of the traditional poll: Rather than trying to find a mix of people that represents the general population, it invites as many people as possible to join the sample and post-stratifies the data. The resulting data set of public opinion is both massive — 1.9 million Canadians used Vote Compass in October 2019 — and comprehensive, including voices that are often marginalized in traditional polls.
“We’re trying to provide a greater voice to citizens in democratic countries, and hopefully prompt more responsive governance as a result," van der Linden says. "My hope is that our work contributes to deliberative democracy.”
Van der Linden's other digital democracy initiatives explore the nefarious uses of Artificial Intelligence — from spreading disinformation to promoting extremism — and ways to develop countermeasures.
27th Nov, 2019

Gut reaction: Understanding the origins of celiac and digestive diseases

Up to 40 per cent of global populations have a genetic predisposition to celiac disease, but only one per cent develops the autoimmune condition when exposed to dietary gluten.
Elena Verdú, the Canada Research Chair in Nutrition, Inflammation and Microbiota and director of the Axenic Gnotobiotic Unit in the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, is studying the mechanisms underlying the link between bacterial communities in the gut and digestive diseases like celiac and inflammatory bowel disease.
Even as her lab explores potential cures, Verdú is also working on developing better treatments that for people who suffer from these diseases.
“As biomedical researchers we tend to have the goal – the cure, the cure, the cure. I think that this is a good long-term aim, but we should put realistic aims in there too,” Verdú says.
“For me, the immediate goal is to discover new mechanisms of these diseases that can be targeted with new therapies, including drug development.”
27th Nov, 2019

Tiny particles, massive impact: Nanomaterials for clean water

Charles de Lannoy always wanted to use his technical skills to help the environment. Now, his lab at McMaster is doing just that.
De Lannoy's lab is part of an interdisciplinary group of McMaster researchers working with Six Nations of the Grand River to improve water quality on Indigenous reserves.
Along with analyzing the contaminants in the water, de Lannoy and his team are developing nanocomposite membranes that not only filter water, but also resist getting clogged with biofilms, bacteria and other foulants.
And because the membranes are electrically conductive, he wants to develop them into sensors that will track what kind of material is accumulating on their surface over time.
For de Lannoy, university isn’t just a place for students to learn skills and eventually find good jobs: it’s a place to learn about humanity, and how eventually to benefit humanity in some way.
“The larger point of engineering is service to society,” he says. “If you’re just an engineer – if all you know is the technicality – then you’ll be doing technical work without an understanding of how it will improve society, without understanding why humanity is so beautiful, and why your technological work should be for the good of humanity.”
20th Nov, 2019

Just what the non-medical doctor ordered

“Are you sure you don’t have a background in medicine?”
Manaf Zargoush gets that a lot.
Zargoush — who does have two doctorates — is working on many things: a solution to part of Canada’s pressing hallway medicine problem, and a tool to predict how and when older adults will experience disability. He’s tracking how seniors’ mobility changes with age, developing a model for tailor-made hypertension treatment and creating a model to predict how physicians think, so they can take their individual behaviour into account when prescribing treatment.
And he’s doing it all with math.
Zargoush works with experts from a broad range of disciplines, using complex data analysis to find the answer to a question humans have asked since the dawn of time: What does my future hold?
"I'm asking if, when, how, and why things are happening to human health," he says.
"And I’m finding the answers.”
And once you know the answer, you can make better decisions. Given enough warning, it should also be possible to change health outcomes. “The data is there, but are we analyzing it properly? Are we learning enough lessons from it? Usually, there are hidden patterns in those data, and if we can get to them, they’re very insightful and sometimes life-changing.”
Data analysis and optimization for health-care management are two of the three things Zargoush says are pivotal to his research. The third is interdisciplinary work. In his current projects — and he has at least half a dozen on the go — he is working with physicians, gerontologists, nurses, scientists, engineers, rehabilitation experts and social scientists.
12th Nov, 2019

Canada’s most research-intensive university

For the third time in as many years, McMaster has been named Canada’s most research-intensive university in the annual ranking of the country’s Top 50 Research Universities. With a total sponsored research income of $391.6 million – up nearly $12 million from 2018, McMaster also maintained its first-place ranking in corporate research income, according to the 2019 Research Infosource rankings.
Research intensity measures research dollars per faculty member and, on average, McMaster researchers earned $439,500 – more than double the national average. The university also placed first among its peers for graduate student research intensity, averaging $84,000 per graduate student and, again, well over the national average.
11th Oct, 2019

Accelerating breakthrough research with complex data science

From identifying which crops will grow best in developing countries, to improving our understanding of brain tumours, to changing how we study and understand children’s health, few people have contributed to as many different areas of research as Paul McNicholas.
But McNicholas doesn’t specialize in agriculture, oncology, or public health: He’s an expert in the one thing that connects nearly every field of research — data.
McNicholas, a global leader in developing cutting-edge methods of analyzing data, is helping researchers from diverse disciplines approach data analysis in new ways that better reflect the complexity of real life and human behaviour.
In his collaborations with researchers across disciplines, McNicholas uses innovative approaches to reveal hidden insights from complex data sets. His work is playing an increasingly significant role in accelerating research at McMaster and beyond.
25th Sep, 2019

Designing the next generation of green vehicles

Talk about driving change: Ali Emadi, the Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate, is developing ground-breaking ways to electrify transportation. His end goals: Zero emissions; zero reliance on fossil fuels.
Emadi's multidisciplinary lab focuses on pioneering sustainable, energy-efficient solutions — developing hybrid and electric powertrains — to make vehicles more autonomous and efficient.
So how exactly does one go about developing one of North America’s best transportation electrification programs?
Learn more about Dr. Emadi's work at McMaster
19th Sep, 2019

Changing clinical practice on a global scale

Cardiologist, epidemiologist and population health pioneer Salim Yusuf has transformed how we treat and prevent chronic disease.
Under his leadership, the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) has become Canada’s premiere global health research institute, a world leader in large-scale clinical trials and population studies. Its focus has broadened from cardiovascular disease and diabetes to include population genomics, perioperative medicine, stroke, thrombosis, cardiovascular surgery, renal, obesity, childhood obesity, and implementation science. PHRI studies have enrolled close to two million participants worldwide, with researchers in more than 100 countries.
Dr. Yusuf recently led a major international study that found that cancer has overtaken cardiovascular disease as the major cause of death among middle-aged adults in high-income countries, likely because of better-quality health care.
28th Feb, 2019

Pinpointing the science behind antibiotic resistance

McMaster physicists have identified how bacteria create an armour against antibiotics, which should make it easier to develop more effective drugs.
13th Feb, 2019

A generation of doctors with the skills that matter the most

Canadian medical students are chosen for their smarts; but thanks to two admission tests developed by McMaster researchers, they're also being assessed for their people skills — the ability to communicate, demonstrate empathy and a willingness to collaborate.
7th Feb, 2019

Smart surfaces for safer implants and sharper diagnostics

McMaster nanotech researchers develop a coating that repels bacteria, viruses and living cells, but can be modified to permit grafts, heart valves and artificial joints to bond to the body without risk of infection.
4th Feb, 2019

Connecting seniors and students for a win-win living arrangement

McMaster’s Symbiosis housing program pairs up grad students with older adults in the community. The program is open to all grad students, but may have particular relevance for international students, who could benefit from the opportunity to practice conversational English on a regular basis.
17th Jan, 2019

Uncovering the origins of life

McMaster researchers have pioneered ground-breaking technology that could – for the first time – provide experimental evidence of how life was formed on the early Earth and show whether life could have emerged elsewhere in the universe.
16th Nov, 2018

Supporting stressed-out caregivers

Older adults with chronic conditions rely heavily on their family caregivers to coordinate their care, monitor medication and accompany them to appointments.
In fact, 70 to 80 per cent of community care for older adults is provided by informal caregivers as opposed to formal care providers.
We’re finding better ways to help caregivers cope with stress, depression and anxiety.
5th Nov, 2018

Using research to help industry perform better

Stephen Veldhuis, director of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute and a mechanical engineering professor, presents McMaster's expertise in advanced manufacturing research to help businesses stay competitive.
5th Oct, 2018

Fighting drug-resistant infections

McMaster researchers are making drug-resistant bacteria more vulnerable to the body’s natural defenses. The Professor in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, Brian Coombes likes to ask the question: 'Why'? Click below to learn more about how his team at McMaster University is finding answers to fight drug-resistant infections.