McMaster: A great place to be a scientist, a culture of endless curiosity

As Assistant Dean of the Biochemistry Graduate Program, I would like to take this opportunity to offer you a warm welcome and to thank you for visiting our site.

Our Graduate Program offers rigorous leading-edge training designed for students who desire a rich, scholarly experience that only an internationally competitive research-intensive institution can provide. McMaster is at the forefront of scientific discovery, yielding dramatic discoveries that uncover the inner workings of biological systems and that hold great promise for understanding the nature of human diseases.

At the heart of our research mission are over one hundred passionate and internationally diverse graduate students dedicated to problem-solving and innovation, whose efforts are helping to drive new discoveries in a variety of industries crucial to our economy. We recruit not only from among the best candidates across Canada, but on the globe. As a graduate student in our department, you will join this culture of excellence by working in the laboratories of an internationally recognized faculty, contributing to new breakthroughs and pioneering discoveries in your field. Students receive a demanding foundation in modern biomedical science through an integrated program of laboratory research, workshops, and attendance and participation in seminar programs. Our consistent recruitment of talented global candidates ensures our graduate program maintains its longstanding history of academic excellence.

Our graduate program is designed with the student in mind – to maximize accomplishments in research and prepare for a rich and fulfilling career. We place a strong emphasis on mentorship to ensure the scholarly achievement of our students. McMaster continually ranks among the top 100 universities in the world and leads in this country for research intensity. Yet the academy is able to retain its community feel, very much collaborative in spirit and practice, with a strong culture of collegiality among both students and faculty alike. Successful candidates will join a Department with a well-built reputation for quality in scientific discovery, training, and innovation. Our graduate students are awarded over $650,000 each year in external scholarships, we have hundreds of research projects underway, and our research faculty raise more than $12M annually in competitive research grants. As a Department, we have invested heavily in world-class research infrastructure supporting all areas of biomedical research, allowing students to conduct research that is creative and original with unparalleled depth of discovery.

Scientists with graduate training in the Biochemistry Graduate Program are in demand in many of the growing innovation sectors across Canada. Our graduates have successfully secured top-level positions in academia, government, research institutes and in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries worldwide.

On a personal note, I initially selected McMaster because of its reputation as one of the most competitive and research-intensive institutions in the world. Since then, I have come to value its ‘personal feel’ and strong culture of collaboration that I believe sets us apart from others. These are the reasons why I think the Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences at McMaster is a great place to be a scientist. I hope you will think so, too.


Brian K. Coombes, PhD
Associate Professor and Assistant Dean, Graduate Program
Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences