Remembering Greg Bahun

It is with profound shock and sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Greg Bahun, Chemistry & Chemical Biology. Greg has been a familiar friendly face in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology since his undergraduate days. His love for organic chemistry was apparent in his choice of research group; he was the first student to join the Adronov group. Shortly thereafter he took on the important role of Instructional Assistant for the large second year organic chemistry courses, CHEM 2OA3 & 2OB3.  In this role, he mentored and encouraged innumerable undergraduate students with his humour and easy approachable manner. Greg was also a mentor and friend to many of our graduate students, through his role as the Teaching Assistant Coordinator and his general love of life. He was a constant participant in the Department’s social activities, including his ongoing support of its baseball teams, and enthusiastic participation in Trivia Night at the Phoenix, Halloween parties, Golf Days, and all things that brought people together. He will be dearly missed by the faculty, staff and students who have worked with him. His funeral will be held in Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday. More details about Greg's life can be found here.

Developing evidence for green tea's role in taming Alzheimer’s

Wonder if and how green tea can help fight Alzheimer’s disease? Chemistry & Chemical Biology’s Giuseppe Melacini is uncovering clues about the ways that the components of green tea may interfere with the Alzheimer’s disease process. Recent pre-clinical research suggests that the green tea compound known as EGCG interferes with the formation of toxic assemblies or oligomers, one of the prime suspects in the early steps of the molecular cascade that leads to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients. Better understanding of these mechanisms will help with the development of future treatments. The work was featured on the cover of a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Remembering Russell Bell

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Russell Bell, Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology. A native of New Zealand, he completed his undergraduate degree there and his PhD at Stanford. Bell joined McMaster’s Department of Chemistry in 1964; he also held a joint member of the Department of Biochemistry. He was an excellent researcher, who made pioneering discoveries in the area of nucleic acids and natural materials, utilizing state-of-the-art NMR methods. He collaborated with many colleagues with the Department, and ran an active research group for more than 30 years. Dr. Bell was also well-loved professor of organic chemistry and an outstanding instructor, recognized by a life-time achievement award from the McMaster Student Union in 1996. Following his retirement, Bell remained an active scientist, regularly attending departmental seminars in his areas of interest and social events in the Department. He was always warm and encouraging to students, staff, and colleagues alike. More details can be found here.

New technique may better detect cystic fibrosis in newborns

Researchers have identified new biological markers of cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease which affects children and young adults, leaving them with lifelong health complications including digestive problems and persistent lung infections.

The findings, published in the journal ACS Central Science, shed new light on the underlying mechanisms of CF. They may could lead to improved prognosis and better therapies for a disease which is quite variable, affecting different children in different ways, say researchers.

“There are chemical signatures in sweat that tell us an infant has CF even when they do not exhibit any symptoms,” says Philip Britz-McKibbin, lead author of the study and a professor in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology at McMaster University. “We set out to discover whether there were chemical indicators detected in sweat that could complement the gold standard for CF diagnosis: the sweat chloride test.”


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