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Research Participants Honoured at Bowdish Lab Donor Appreciation Day

Author: Christy Groves

Bowdish Lab trainee Mohammad Malik presents his poster on the correlations between inflammation in the blood and the nose of his study’s participants.

June 19th, 2018 – To express their gratitude for their participants’ support, the Bowdish Lab hosted their first ever Donor Appreciation Day on Tuesday. Participants of past and current studies in the Bowdish Lab were invited to McMaster University for a full day of fun and science, and to learn more about the importance of their involvement in these studies.

Last November, Dr. Dawn Bowdish and Dr. Mike Surette, both members of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, began recruiting community-dwelling adults for a clinical study aiming to examine correlations between healthy aging and inflammation (see the study walkthrough below).

The ultimate goal of the study is to find novel probiotics that can promote healthy aging and reduce susceptibility to respiratory infections in older adults.

Dr. Bowdish began the day with a short lecture on the work that her lab is conducting on the aging immune system, as well as some preliminary findings from the initial portion of the study.

Trainees Mohammad Malik and Judjina Thevarajah also took the time to display some of their own hard work, showing off the posters they presented earlier this month at the 2018 DYE Perey Symposium.

Donors had the opportunity to meet the team of researchers from the Bowdish and Surette labs in the “Meeting of the Minds”, described by Dr. Bowdish as “speed dating for science”.

IIDR trainees Judjina Thevarajah, Danny Ma and Joseph Chon discuss their current research goals and future aspirations with Bowdish Lab study participants.

No stranger to sticking things up their noses after participating in the Bowdish and Surette Labs’ latest study, participants were invited to swab and culture their own noses to see what bacteria they live with every day.

The event ended with a tour of the research facilities at the McMaster University Immunology Research Centre.

The day was not only a wonderful learning experience for the study participants, but for the trainees as well. Students were given the valuable opportunity to learn more about their study’s demographics, and how to appropriately engage with patients in a clinical setting.

Initiatives such as these acknowledge and celebrate the often underrated value of clinical study participants, whose voluntary contributions to scientific research ultimately help improve the health and well-being of people around the world.




Christy Groves