The Bowdish lab thanks a 5 year old philanthropist for donating $5 of her allowance to our research!

Running a research lab is expensive (very expensive!) and the vast majority of funding to the Bowdish lab comes from taxpayers by way of agencies like the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the National Science and Engineering Council or from generous donations to non-profit agencies like the Ontario Lung Association. We do get donations from individuals on occasion and these are even more special to us because they mean that our work has inspired someone to donate their hard-earned dollars. Below is a particularly heart-warming story of a 5 year old who donated $5 of her allowance to help us keep all the grandmas and grandpas healthy. The video below shows what we bought with that money and allows us to express our thanks.

Your donations, no matter how big or small, are special to us. They strengthen our resolve to work harder and smarter to make research breakthroughs, the inspire us to communicate our research with you, the public, and they remind us of that we are working for you, the public.
If you are inspired to donate money for research to improve lung health we’d encourage you to consider donating to the Ontario Lung Association’s Breathing as One campaign.

The McMaster Immunology Research Centre is fundraising with the Lung Association to create a new PhD scholarship in lung health. If you would like to donate to that, please contact Dr Bowdish at or Dr. Carl Richards (director) .

And lastly, if you’ve been inspired by the work of the Bowdish lab and would like to make a donation, thank you! Please contact Dr. Bowdish (, 905-525-9140 x22313)

Thank you to all our donors. Thank you for your generosity and your belief in our work!

Funding from the province of Ontario supports two new graduate students!

Bowdish lab receives funding from the province of  Ontario to train two new graduate students! Avee Naidoo (MSc) and Dessi Loukov, who will be starting a PhD in Sept 2013,  will be studying how age-associated inflammation predisposes older adults to pneumonia.

For full details on the award for Dawn’s proposal “Interplay between inflammation and impaired anti-bacterial immunity in the elderly.”

Dessi Loukov, pictured here pushing back the boundaries of science.

Dessi Loukov, pictured here pushing back the boundaries of science.

Aveshni Naidoo, MSc sits beside the coolest jack-o'-lantern ever.

Aveshni Naidoo, MSc sits beside the coolest jack-o’-lantern ever.

Dr. Bowdish receives a CIHR Operating Grant from the Institute of Aging.

Dr. Bowdish’s grant, titled Macrophage function changes and contributes to susceptibility to infectious disease, was awarded $730,124 from the CIHR Institute of Aging.  This new grant will examine age-related changes in monocytes and macrophages to better understand aspects of aging that increase suceptibility to Streptococcus pneumoniae infection. This grant will likely allow Dr. Bowdish to hire a new post-doctoral fellow and graduate student. Interested applicants should consult the FAQ page.

MIRC scientists were highly successful in this recent round of CIHR funding (especially considering the low rates of funding!). To see who else got funded, click here.



Dawn receives funding from the Ontario Research Funding – Research Infrastructure

This morning Ted McMeekin, MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, Patrick Deane, president of McMaster, and Mo Elbestawi, the University’s vice-president, Research & International Affairs announced that McMaster University researchers, including Dr. Bowdish were successful in their applications for research infrastructure funding from the Ontario government.

The funding that Dawn has received will be used to expand and support her lab’s research into discovering novel immunomodulatory therapies for infectious disease that will be essential for combatting antibiotic resistant bacteria.

For the McMaster Daily News article click here.

For a description of the project click here.

The Bowdish lab recieves CFI funding

The Bowdish lab has received CFI (Canada Foundation for Innovation) funding for infrastructure for her project “Drug development in a post-antibiotic world”. This infrastructure grant ($350,000) will allow her to build a new tissue culture suite, purchase new molecular biology equipment, upgrade the facilities at the high throughput screening lab and Biophotonics unit, all of which will be required to accommodate her expanding lab and to allow her to discover novel “immunomodulators”, that is drugs that enhance the immune response and fight infectious disease.
See the article on McMaster’s Daily News here and in the Hamilton Spectator here.

Dawn receives funding from the IIDR to study the role of macrophages in pneumococcal disease

The IIDR has awarded the Bowdish lab seed money to study the role of macrophages in host response to colonization by Streptococcus pneumoniae. S. pneumoniae infections can range from treatable (respiratory tract infections, otitis) to life-threatening (meningitis, sepsis). The introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has shifted the epidemiology of S. pneumoniae infections but not eliminated them.  In humans, colonization of the upper respiratory tract is the initial step in pathogenesis. This is accompanied by a robust antibody response, which is generally believed to be required for clearance (and thus prevention of infection); however, data for this is not supported by clinical observations in which high levels of antibodies are not associated with clearance or in which immunodeficient patients susceptible to pneumococcal infections can produce robust anti-pneumococcal antibody responses while still being prone to recurrent systemic infections.  The aim of this project is to assess the importance of macrophages in the recognition and clearance of S. pneumoniae in the upper respiratory tract.   This work will be done in collaboration with Prof. Jeffrey Weiser at the University of Pennsylvania who is a world leader in the field of S. pneumoniae pathogenesis. Dawn will be travelling to his lab in July to learn from his lab members.  The Bowdish lab is currently recruiting graduate students and post-docs who are interested in the host response to S. pneumoniae infection and colonization.