Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization

Bachelor-Master Program

Course Guidelines – Full Page

Pre-BDC Level II Elective Courses

An inquiry-based course that will explore careers related to biochemistry and biomedical sciences, coupled with an exploration of the science behind each career. The course will include examination of the primary literature as it relates to each topic, culminating in a final presentation.

This course will develop fundamental writing skills with application to writing for the biomedical sciences.  We will review basic principles of effective scientific writing, and review good and bad writing. Students will be given practical examples of science writing and will be given writing exercises with opportunities for frequent feedback and review to advance their written communications.

Testimonials from previous students:

“Going into second year, I did not feel very confident with the quality of my scientific writing. Most writing assignments through first-year focus on the content rather than the quality of writing, so I often underestimated the importance of editing and peer feedback. BIOMEDDC 2W03 equipped me with knowledge of the characteristics of good scientific writing and gave me an opportunity to focus on creating high-quality, well-communicated scientific writing. The fabulous feedback from Dr. MacDonald, Dr. Sloboda and Mercedes DiBernardo truly helped take my work to the next level and taught me the importance of feedback and editing when creating good quality writing. I am much more confident with my scientific writing skills and feel well prepared for writing article critiques, literature reviews and other scientific works in the future!” -Meghan K.

“Going into 2W03, I had a false sense of confidence in my ability to write effectively. The course helped me to both identify and improve areas of my writing that lacked. The skills I learned in this class have proven to be applicable in almost every other class I have taken. If I had to go back in time to choose my courses again, this would definitely be one of them!” – Andrei B.

*These courses are electives open to students in any program and are not requirements for entry into the BDC program.  More details and course outlines available on the Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences website:

BHSc in biomedical discovery & commercialization program

Level III

This course will introduce students to critical thinking essential to discovery research through examples of fundamental and applied research occurring in the laboratories of thought leaders at McMaster and their efforts to translate this knowledge to stakeholders across the spectrum of knowledge users. Communication of fundamental research is emphasized.

This two-term course will provide an overview of paradigms and processes in modern drug discovery and development. Selected content will include discovery and preclinical research as well as clinical development, market analysis and intellectual property. Learners will benefit from a mix of lecture-based and student-focused activities.

A two-term laboratory-based inquiry course where students will learn and apply current techniques used in drug discovery. Instruction to achieve an understanding of key laboratory skills in drug discovery will prepare students for participation in a team-based drug discovery project.

The central objective of this course is to develop an understanding of human behaviour in organizations with a view toward effective management of such behaviour.

This course covers the basic principles in financial and managerial accounting as well as the use of accounting information in decision making. In the financial accounting part of the course, the course covers the conceptual framework of accounting, generally accepted accounting principles, financial statements, and financial statement analysis. The managerial component includes cost behaviour, cost-volume-profit relationships, budgeting, and the use of cost information in decision-making.

Chemical and conformational properties of proteins and relationships to their function including regulation of enzyme activity. Chemical and physical structure of DNA and RNA relevant to biological function.

*If BIOCHEM 2B03 and 2BB3 not completed

An introduction to organic chemistry with emphasis on the reactions of functional groups and an introduction to spectroscopic techniques for structure determination. Registration priority will be given to students for whom this course is a program requirement.

Students must take BIOCHEM 3G03 and CHEM 2OA3 if not complete before entering the program.  Successful completion of both CHEM 2OA3 and 2OB3 (or equivalent) is strongly recommended prior to entry into the program.

Expandable List

Level IV

The course is oriented for advanced undergraduate or graduate students in programs which require training in marketing but who have no previous background in commerce. The purpose of the course is to provide the students a high level overview of contemporary marketing concepts and a hands-on experiential component leading up to a marketing plan.

This course is intended for students who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge in those areas of business that lead to successful entrepreneurship and/or small business management.

An intensive two-term research project carried out under the supervision of a member or associate member of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. The results will be presented to the department in a seminar or poster session as part of a senior thesis symposium.

This course will be a practical and hands-on foray into the world of commercialization of biomedical research. Students will conduct an in-depth examination of biomedical research with the goal of establishing a favoured avenue for commercialization. To this end, students will work in small groups with both individual and group assignments. The effort will be self-directed and under the mentorship of a content expert. Students will also benefit from lectures and guidance from commercialization experts in the McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO).

Nucleophilic substitutions at carbonyl centres, aromatic chemistry, carbohydrates, applications of spectroscopic techniques in organic chemistry. Registration priority will be given to students for whom this course is a program requirement.

Students must take CHEM 2OB3 if not complete before entering Level IV. Successful completion of both CHEM 2OA3 and 2OB3 (or equivalent) is strongly recommended prior to entry into the program.

Master of Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization

Fall Term

Students will work in small teams leveraging their training and developing career interests to create business plans, market assessments, and/or an entrepreneurial pitch for a new venture in biomedicine or biological products, which may include any aspect of company and product development. Each team will be paired with an entrepreneur/company and will gain first-hand experience in entrepreneurship by helping to advance innovative products/services out of the lab and into the market. BIOMEDDC 701 (Biomedical Consulting Team Project) will run concurrently with BUSINESS B733 (Biomedical Entrepreneurship), which will allow students to apply the theory they learn in the classroom to the real world.

This course examines issues associated with mounting entrepreneurial ventures from a Bio-Technology base and addresses such concerns as intellectual property, marketing, strategic human resources, raising capital, and starting and growing a business in that context. The course is designed primarily for McMaster students in the Bio-Med (BDC) commercialization program. The course provides an opportunity for science students to develop networks for accessing entrepreneurial ventures in their field of study.

Business B712 (Managerial Negotiations)

The purpose of this course is to help you understand the theory and process of effective negotiations. The course will complement the technical and diagnostic skills learned in other courses in the MBA program. While a manager needs strong analytical skills to develop optimal solutions to problems, good negotiation skills are needed in order for these solutions to be accepted and implemented. Great analysis is of little value if you are unable to win support for the actions it recommends. To provide you with the opportunity to develop both analytical frameworks and practical skills in negotiation, the course will rely primarily on hands-on learning.

Business B716 (Strategic Organizational Change)

This course will enable students to cultivate the multiple capabilities required for ongoing, longrun strategic change. Leading change perspectives will be integrated and extended by utilizing a strategic organizational change framework. This systematic and multidimensional approach will provide students with a roadmap for developing change capabilities in themselves, as well as their current and future organizations. Illustrations and applications of organizational change principles will be demonstrated through a transformative learning experience, skill development exercises, experiential exercises, cases analyses, and an actual strategic organizational change project, all embedded within the body of the course. Weekly speakers from the community will be incorporated to provide actual practitioner change examples.

Business B730 (Strategic Management of Technology)

In today’s competitive environment, technology has become a central component of the strategic process of many innovative organizations. This course surveys the issues involved in this new role for technology including competitive advantage, analytical tools, technology-based strategies, partnerships and alliances, and the process for managing technology so that it is closely integrated with the activities of the firm.

Business C711 (Health Economics and Evaluation for Managers)

This course will examine the application of economic principles to policy-relevant questions in the area of health and healthcare services. Topics will include applied health economics, economic correlations to health, demand and supply of healthcare and insurance, healthcare system financing, alternative payment schemes, economic regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses, QALY’s, and means by which to improve value-for-money in the health sector. Analytic techniques and illustrative examples will focus on meeting the needs of managers within the Canadian healthcare system.

Business C727 (Pharma/Biotech Business Issues)

This course will allow students to familiarize themselves with the strategic and management issues currently facing the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries through a consideration of the structure and challenges of the industry at the global, national and provincial levels.

Business K723 (Data Mining and Business Intelligence)

Data mining is the discovery of hidden information from historical data. With data mining, it is possible to better manage product warranties, predict purchases of retail stock, unearth fraud, determine credit risk, and define new products and services. This course introduces basic data mining technologies and their use for business intelligence. Students will learn how to analyze the business needs for knowledge discovery in order to create competitive advantages and to apply data mining technologies appropriately in order to realize their real business value. This course is suitable for MBA students with interests in IS, finance, marketing, operational management, and healthcare management.

Business K731 (Project Management)

This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of project management and discusses how projects can contribute to organizational objectives. The delivery of the course encompasses a wide range of methods including in class activities, case studies, group work, presentations, lectures, readings and Microsoft Project lab work. The course explores the stages of managing a project, including project initiation, planning, implementation and control, and closing as well as organizational concepts of capability, project selection and prioritization. This course aims to provide students with competencies in ten key project management areas: scope, time, cost, quality, resources, risk, procurement, communication, integration, and stakeholder management, exploring both the social and technical aspects.

Expandable List

Winter/Spring Terms

The internship will provide students with the opportunity to explore career options and integrate academic learning through an experiential placement in the community sectors related to the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. Students will participate in a mandatory Career Plan and Employability Preparation Milestone that will aid them in the job search, application, and interview process. Upon securing a position they will gain invaluable industry experience through the role. Academic requirements will include completion of a career plan and reflective assignments where students will document the fulfillment of individual learning objectives. Students will also share aspects of their experiences in a student symposium and an end-of-term executive summary.

Students will prepare a scholarly paper on a selected topic of interest that demonstrates the integration of learning across science and business disciplines. The scholarly paper should reflect an understanding of current biomedical discovery and commercialization challenges and the tools and techniques needed to evaluate, plan, and implement solutions.

What are students and industry partners saying about the Master of Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization (MBDC) program?

Learn more about MBDC from our students and industry partners.