We celebrated tremendous successes this year, from
an outstanding undergraduate research symposium
showcasing undergraduate student research from 17
third year project students and 67 fourth year thesis
students, to the launch of a new undergraduate program
offering in Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization.
We have also had one of the largest cohorts of
students since the double cohort graduated from
high school: 336 students were registered in the
Biochemistry program, 33 students in the highly sought-after Bachelor of Health Sciences (Biomedical Sciences
Specialization) and an unprecedented 20 students from
the elite Integrated Science program who are pursuing a
concentration in Biochemistry.
Last year, ninety-six biochemistry students received
awards for a total value of $83,925. Our congratulations
to Daniel Newsted who won the prestigious Dubeck
In addition to developing a new and innovative
curriculum for the Biomedical Discovery and
Commercialization program, another major project that
we are working on is the conversion of one of our
large enrolment traditional lecture-based introductory
Biochemistry courses to a fully online format. Thanks
to Dr. Felicia Vulcu (class of ’97 and ’08) who led the
charge, we were successful in securing a grant from
the Ontario Online Initiative to develop the course along
with two colleagues from Western University, Drs.
Chris Brandl and Derek McLachlin (class of ’94) with
support from the McMaster Institute for Innovation and
Excellence in Teaching and Learning (MIETL). This is
the first online course that is being offered through
our department. It is an introductory course for non-
biochemistry students taken broadly from students
across many other disciplines.
There has also been a renewed interest in the
development of an accredited undergraduate program
in Biomedical Engineering. We are working with
representatives from across the Faculty of Engineering
and Health Sciences to develop this exciting new
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate
our Instructional Assistant, Meagan Heirwegh (class
of ’07), on the birth of her beautiful baby girl, Harper!
While Meagan has been off on parental leave, Shari
McCollin (class of ’98 and ’01) has stepped into her
huge shoes and been our fearless and talented leader in
the undergraduate program office. And welcome to the
wonderful Jenny Keddy who has filled in Shari’s position
for the year. We are very fortunate to have them both!
They are amazing supports to faculty and students every
Michelle MacDonald, PhD
Associate Chair, Undergraduate Education
year in review
Last year, ninety-six
received awards for a
total value of $83,925.