Slaying superbugs, infectious diseases entails the best of McMaster’s best

March 26, 2015
    John Brennan shows off the Biointerfaces Institute to members of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Solving the antibiotic resistance crisis or designing paper-based diagnostics to detect infectious diseases like C. difficile requires world-class labs and one-of-a-kind equipment.

Just ask McMaster’s Gerry Wright, director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and John Brennan, director of the unique Biointerfaces Institute.

“Building these facilities and equipping them with the best instruments to enable new discoveries is fundamental to making our science world-class,” Wright told members of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) board of directors and researchers from McMaster and Mohawk College at a reception earlier this week. “These really are wonderful investments that are making a difference in the lives of Canadians and are important to all of us.”

Since CFI’s inception 18 years ago, McMaster researchers have garnered $180 million in funding that has leveraged a total investment of more than $450 million.

At McMaster, CFI board members toured the LIVELab with Laurel Trainor, director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind and the Biointerfaces Institute with Brennan and Robert Pelton, scientific director of the SENTINEL Bioactive Paper NSERC Strategic Network.

Gilles Patry, CFI president and CEO, described the Biointerfaces Institute as one of the best examples of applied research that is then translated for the benefit of society. Noting that the institute enables researchers and students to explore and test new ideas while collaborating with private partners, he added: “It is the ideal model, in fact, for taking these ideas to market.”