December 19, 2023
McMaster research recap: Remembering the stories that got people talking
From discoveries here on campus to a trip among the stars, 2023 was a big year for McMaster researchers.
In 2023, the McMaster community once again demonstrated why the university has a global reputation for cutting-edge research that leads to innovative solutions to the biggest problems our world faces.
From groundbreaking antibiotic discoveries right here on campus to a student-guided trip to the stars, here’s a look back at some of the McMaster research stories from the past year that got people talking.
Jon Stokes, professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University, teamed up with scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to use discover a new antibiotic which could be used to fight a deadly, drug-resistant pathogen that strikes vulnerable hospital patients. Their secret weapon? Artificial intelligence.
Earlier this year, seven McMaster-led research projects received $61 million in funding from the CIHR’s Clinical Trials Fund, designed to enhance Canada’s clinical trials ecosystem from discovery to implementation.
A team of researchers at McMaster University received more than $8 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), enabling them to proceed with Phase 2 human trials for a next-generation, inhaled COVID-19 vaccine that promises to provide better, longer lasting protection from viral infections.
McMaster researchers Matthew Miller and Yingfu Li, along with their research teams, have created a synthetic aptamer, made of genetic material, that can stick to a virus and protect the body from infection, much like antibodies.
Canada Research chairs Tohid Didar and Zeinab Hosseinidoust, along with their student researchers, are working with Bfree Cup inventor and Women’s Global Health Innovations founder Leisa Hirtz on innovations to an essential personal product — the menstrual cup — in the hope of addressing period poverty and improving women’s health.
Surgery professor Varun Chaudhary is leading an international, multi-centre trial investigating a potential new treatment regimen for diabetic macular edema (DME) using a medication already approved for use in Canada.
Over the course of eight years, more than 150 McMaster students and researchers built a satellite designed to measure harmful radiation in space. And earlier this year, with the help of NASA, SpaceX and the CSA, they launched it into space.
This summer, students from McMaster’s Department of Greek & Roman Studies and St. Mary’s University travelled to Italy to participate in a real, hands-on archaeological dig in the hopes of uncovering the long-buried secrets of ancient Italian civilization.
Working with communities from Six Nations of the Grand River, students and researchers from McMaster’s Collaborative Archaeologies project are studying hundreds of cooking vessels to help fill in gaps in the historical record.
The sport of orienteering, which draws on athleticism, navigational skills and memory, could be useful as an intervention or preventive measure to fight cognitive decline related to dementia, according to McMaster researchers Jennifer Heisz and Emma Waddington.
After studying the most popular variables among resistance training programs — how much you lift, how often, and how many times — kinesiologists at McMaster University have found all forms of resistance training are beneficial, including body-weight exercises such as planks, lunges and push-ups.
A new review by McMaster researchers found that evidence-based research on women and exercise was sparse, and there was even less research available on the effects their periods could have on sports performance, physiology or physical fitness.
McMaster researcher Drew Higgins and his team are working to design new batteries to store solar and wind energy, create emission-conversion technology that uses electricity to convert CO2 into useful fuels and chemicals, and pursue other advancements to improve the supply of clean energy.
Led by Ravi Selvaganapathy, a team of McMaster researchers is taking a leading role in a Canadian initiative aimed at making cultured meat more affordable and accessible to everyday consumers.
McMaster researcher Manaf Zargoush is using artificial intelligence to reduce the costs associated with hospital wait times and improve patients’ health.
The McMaster Digital Transformation Research Centre (MDTRC), led by McMaster researcher Milena Head, has launched an innovative mobile user experience lab which will allow researchers to take their tools on the road and go directly into local communities.
Megan Brickley, a paleopathologist who uses human remains to study illnesses and injuries of the past, recently received 115 human skeletons recovered during the redevelopment of a parking lot in Guelph. This collection will be used to discover particularly interesting and valuable evidence about early colonists’ living and working conditions in southern Ontario.
New analysis of the remains of victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic, led by McMaster researcher Amanda Wissler, contradicts the widespread belief the flu, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, disproportionately impacted healthy young adults.
Evolutionary geneticist Hendrik Poinar and forensic expert Debi Poinar have spent years analyzing the remains of Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda to determine whether or not the poet was assassinated. Their research is being used to inform a tribunal investigating the Chilean poet-politician’s death.