Jonathan Bramson is giving white blood cells a new mission: to seek out and destroy tumours.


MIRC says farewell to Uma Sankar and wishes her best of luck in retirement!

After 36 and ½ years of working at McMaster University, Uma Sankar has finally decided to hang up her lab coat and call it a career. Working in multiple labs and departments before starting her role as a technician in the Vector Lab 14 years ago, Uma reflects on her time at McMaster. She remembers when she first arrived in Canada and nervously applied to jobs, with no prior lab experience back home. Uma was fortunate to land a position within a lab, where she worked hard to learn from those around her. Through hard work and determination, she acquired a multitude of skills from graduate students and other lab personnel. Although difficult at times, she persevered, and her work ethic and abilities did not go unnoticed. Uma proudly states that throughout her career, she was always recommended for several jobs, and each position she held was obtained without having to go through any interviews! Her work spoke for itself. Uma fondly speaks about some of her favourite memories at McMaster, with one of the top being her work involving the development of a vaccine for the SARS virus. The research was highlighted by media outlets, and Uma is very proud of her involvement with that project. After a great career, Uma looks forward to catching up on her reading and devoting time towards her spirituality and religion. However, she promises to continue to visit McMaster and MIRC, especially since she found out parking is free for retired staff! Uma will be missed by everyone at MIRC, especially her warm smile and friendly personality. Enjoy your retirement, Uma; it is definitely well deserved!




Maryam Vaseghi-Shanjani



Dr. Karen Mossman


MIRC stands out again with YWCA's Women of Distinction 2018 Nominees! Congratulations to Maryam and Dr. Mossman for demonstrating personal and professional excellence. To read more please follow the link

At the recent gala dinner for the American Society of Reproductive Immunology Annual Meeting, Dr. Charu Kaushic was presented with the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology Award, which is one of the highest awards from the Society. "This award is presented annually to a senior investigator who has made outstanding contributions to the area of reproductive immunology".  CONGRATS to Charu!


Charu Kaushic

Director’s note Mar 7, 2018:

Recent success over the last two grant competitions within the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) clearly reflect superb research capability in the labs of principal investigators (PIs) of MIRC. McMaster success as a whole at CIHR in the latest Project grant competition was generated in good part by successful MIRC PIs (4 of the 22 McMaster awards). The last two CIHR competition successes by MIRC PIs include - Ali Ashkar, Dawn Bowdish, Karen Mossman, Carl Richards, Zhou Xing (a Foundation grant!), as well as Jeremy Hirota as an associate member of MIRC. Collectively, this totaled over $6.6 million of new funds for fundamental and translational research.

Participation by MIRC PIs in undergraduate, graduate and PDF training attracts excellent personnel to an inspirational and diversified environment in immunology. Over 50% of currently active graduate students under MIRC PIs have obtained external scholarships. They are enrolled in the Medical Science Graduate Program (80% of MIRC students) and the Biochemistry Graduate Program.

In context of the current harsh competition for research and scholarship funds, MIRC stands out again as an outstanding model centre for research and training.

Congratulations to all recently successful applicants!


Congratulations to Dr. Karen Mossman! For more info, read here

Congratulations Sophie Poznanski from the Ashkar Lab for the only Master's Student in receiving the Ontario Women's Health Scholar. Her research involves the understanding of Natural Killer immune cells as a new treatment for ovarian cancer. Read more about it here:




Dr. Ashkar is currently working to discover the host innate immune response to viral diseases and cancers. He began his career as a veterinarian, but his desire to understand the basic reason for disease caused him to pursue a degree in innate immunology. He attended Guelph University as a graduate and did his undergraduate studies at the University of Tehran, Iran. His favourite part about his job is the freedom to formulate a hypothesis that has never been tested before. He still plays competitive soccer at southern Ontario level as a member of the city of Guelph’s senior team.  He also enjoys walking with his sons through golf courses.


Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Bramson, who will be taking on the role of the associate dean of research for the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). This is an incredibly prestigious position, and we know that Dr. Bramson will do an excellent job. Read the full release here:


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