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Canada’s Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats

Our Ambition

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McMaster’s internationally renowned culture of collaboration and track record of success means we are uniquely positioned to power this integrated approach. Canada’s Global Nexus will bring together interdisciplinary experts, cross-sector players, leaders and global partners. Driven by an impact-oriented approach, we will pilot and scale solutions, and lay the groundwork for evidence-based decision-making. Our goals are to enhance society’s response, resilience and readiness to effectively deal with the biggest threats.

Our Readiness
We will advance technologies, processes and public health system strategies with needed products, processes and systems to predict, reduce, and maximize readiness for the risk of biological threats.

Our Response
We will develop multifaceted biomedical evidence and countermeasures to enable rapid and effective responses to biological threats.

Our Resilience
We will create tools and strategies to strengthen individual, community and economic resilience in the face of biological threats.

With a focus at the intersection of these goals, we will maximize the relevance and impact of the solutions developed and deployed at Canada’s Global Nexus. Solutions will include rapid diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, surveillance, early detection and modeling, personal protective equipment and devices, testing and tracing solutions and clinical and health system strategies, evidence synthesis and scaling of best practices, improved public information, literacy and trust, community wellness strategies, improved economic and social response policies, and ethics and equity frameworks.

“COVID has exposed the world’s vulnerabilities and we need to bring expertise together in new ways. McMaster is ready to lead that effort drawing on more than 15 years of world-class research in infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance.”

David Farrar, McMaster University President

Canada’s Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats leverages our collective strength and international networks, building an environment for the world’s top experts across disciplines and sectors to work together.

Our collaborative efforts will ensure the world is better prepared to meet the challenges of future biological threats and will bolster the international recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Bold discovery efforts, underpinned by interdisciplinary teams, will produce evidence, enhance understanding and deliver solutions across a multitude of areas, such as:

  • Advancing the development of novel treatments and vaccines
  • Identifying powerful diagnostics and creating tools to detect and diagnose threats
  • Developing and testing policy levers and rapidly generating data required for evidence-based policymaking
  • Using epidemiological models to inform decision-makers and support pandemic plans, protocols and actions
  • Creating social innovations that allow individuals and systems to withstand and rebound from future threats


This nexus will establish Canada as a leader among leaders within the international pandemic preparedness ecosystem. We will recruit the best and brightest to Canada to deliver on our ambition.

The initiative will be based in an eco-friendly, purpose-built building designed to foster collaboration among connected experts across scientific, medical, social, economic and political dimensions. The new environment will provide space and infrastructure for pharma-grade drug screening platforms, ambulatory clinical space and biosafety level 3 facilities.

“This is Canada’s chance to seize the moment. This initiative will recruit global talent, boost global health security, train graduate students, provide jobs and economic growth and make Canada a global destination for investment and innovation.”

Gerry Wright, Lead for The Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats