• Genetics & Molecular Biology

    Genetics & Molecular Biology


All courses for every first-year Science student will be delivered online this fall. A limited number of students in their second, third and fourth years will return to campus for part of the semester.

Molecular Biology is a fundamental area of investigative research in Biology that employs new technologies and experimental approaches to examine fundamental processes in all living organisms. In the course of these investigations, we use wide variety of model organisms, including mice, guinea pigs, human tissue cell cultures, the nematode species Caenorhabditis elegans, the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, model bacteria and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The research is of immediate relevance to human health in many areas including cancer, inherited genetic diseases and disease resistance, DNA repair, and neurosystem development and function. We welcome strong applicants as undergraduate researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Herb Schellhorn
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LSB 433
(905) 525-9140 ext. 27316

We study gene regulation and physiological adaptation in E. coli and other bacteria to better understand how bacteria cause disease and persist in the environment. We also have many collaborative projects with biochemists, engineers, industry and government agencies to develop new tools for monitoring water quality and understanding waste treatment processes from a microbiological perspective. We are using new DNA sequencing technology and bioinformatics analysis tools to track microorganisms, characterize composition of complex microbial communities and conduct comprehensive studies of gene expression.

Bioinformatics & Functional Genomics; Genetics & Molecular Biology


Mohiuddin, MM and H.E. Schellhhorn. (2019). Epidemiology and ecology of emerging viruses in two freshwater lakes of the northern hemisphere. In Emerging and Reemerging Viral Pathogens. 1st Edition Volume 2: Applied Virology Approaches Related to Human, Animal and Environmental Pathogens. Moulay Ennaji (ed.) Academic Press. New York.

Chan, A., J. Naphtali and H.E. Schellhorn. (2019). Implementation of Massively Parallel DNA Sequencing Technologies: Strategies for Water and Wastewater Analysis. In press  Science Progress

Mohiuddin M., S.A. Botts, A. Paschos. and H.E. Schellhorn. (2018). Temporal and Spatial Changes in Bacterial Diversity in Mixed Use Watersheds of the Great Lakes Region. Journal of Great Lakes Research 10:109-118

Cao CR Kelly R Igdoura SA Schellhorn HE. (2018). Ectopic Gene Expression to Restore the Ascorbate Biosynthesis Pathway in Vertebrates Lacking Functional Gulo. Genomics & Gene Therapy International Journal. 2(1): 000108

Goh, Sharon; Luan, Yafei; Wang, Xiaojing; Du, Hui; Chau, Colleen; Schellhorn, Herbert; Brash, John L; Chen, Hong; Fang, Qiyin. (2018).  Polydopamine-polyethylene glycol-albumin antifouling coatings on multiple substrates: variations. Journal of Materials Chemistry B: 2018,6, 940-949.

Naphtali P, Mohiuddin MM, Paschos A, Schellhorn HE. (2019). Application of high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing to identify fecal contamination sources and to complement the detection of fecal indicator bacteria in rural groundwater. J Water Health. 2019 Jun;17(3):393-403. doi: 10.2166/wh.2019.295.

Mohiuddin MM, Salama Y, Schellhorn HE, Golding GB. (2017). Shotgun metagenomic sequencing reveals freshwater beach sands as reservoir of bacterial pathogens. Water Res. 2017 May 15;115:360-369. doi: 10.1016/

Schellhorn, H.E., Mohammad Mohiuddin, Sarah M. Hammond, and Steven Botts. (2016). Regulators of oxidative stress response genes in Escherichia coli and their functional conservation in bacteria. Frans deBruin. Stress and Environmental control of Gene Expression in Bacteria. 1(1): 632-638. Published, Wiley Blackwell

Mohiuddin M, Schellhorn HE. (2015). Spatial and temporal dynamics of virus occurrence in two freshwater lakes captured through metagenomic analysis. Frontiers in Microbiology. 6: 960.

Wong, Shirley, Paschos, Athanasios; Gupta, Radhey; Schellhorn, H.E. (2014). Insertion/deletion (indel) based approach for the detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in freshwater environments. Environmental Science & Technology. 48(19): 11462-70.

Naushad, Sohail, Mobolaji Adeolu, Shirley Wong, Misbah Sohail, Herb E. Schellhorn, and Radhey S. Gupta. (2014) A phylogenomic and molecular marker based taxonomic framework for the order Xanthomonadales: proposal to transfer the families Algiphilaceae and Solimonadaceae to the order Nevskiales ord. nov. and to create a new family within the order Xanthomonadales, the family Rhodanobacteraceae fam. nov., containing the genus Rhodanobacter and its closest relatives. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2014 Dec 7.

Schellhorn HE. (2014). Elucidating the function of the RpoS regulon. Future Microbiology. 9(4):497-507.

Howard-Azzeh, M., Shamseer, L., Schellhorn, H.E. and Gupta, R.S. (2014). Phylogenetic analysis and molecular signatures defining a monophyletic clade of heterocystous cyanobacteria and identifying its closest relatives. Photosynthesis Research. 122(2): 171-185.

 Yu, R. and H.E. Schellhorn. 2013. Recent applications of engineered animal antioxidant deficiency models in human nutrition and chronic disease. Journal of Nutrition 143(1) 1-11.

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Biology