McMaster gets $13.4 million to equip research facilities

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McMaster University is getting more than $13.4 million from the province to build and equip research facilities for large-scale, collaborative projects.

The money from the Ontario Research Fund will help pay for more than $44.1 million in new infrastructure needed by McMaster scientists to develop products, including potential medical treatments.

“It’s super exciting,” said Eric Brown, lead investigator of the Good Bugs, Bad Bugs Program that received nearly $6 million from the province. “These groups are already doing amazing science and the goal here is really to take it to the next level.”

Brown’s new program is the largest of the four McMaster projects with plans to acquire $15-million-worth of leading-edge equipment to bring together researchers studying bugs that keep people healthy with those trying to eradicate ones that make us sick.

“There have been sort of two divides in terms of folks trying to understand how microbes are good for us and folks who are obsessed with killing microbes,” said Brown. “The truth is we’ve got an enormous amount to learn from each other.”

The good-bugs scientists at Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute and the bad-bugs investigators at Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research “designed research plans and an extraordinary list of instrumentation to work together now to a common goal of understanding what the role of good bugs and bad bugs are in health and in disease.”

Their work could lead to new antibiotics and treatments for a variety of illnesses.

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