The lab that plays together stays (late nights scienc-ing) together, which is why the Bowdish lab had our annual retreat at Zacada circus school. Here we got some very sore muscles and discussed our successes and challenges of the past year and what our goals and ambitious are for the following year. Go Team!
The Bowdish lab is looking for new members to join our team! We currently have an opening for a post-doctoral fellow and a graduate student.
The PDF will project will involve investigating how the upper respiratory tract microbiome changes with age and declining immune function. Applicants must have a strong publication record in the field of immunology, microbiology, systems biology or molecular biology and applicants eligible for PDF funding from http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/mgdfa/ are particularly encouraged to apply (see link for eligibility). Experience in analysis of the microbiome or statistics of large/complex datasets are assets. Please provide a c.v. and a cover letter detailing your interest in the lab that includes contact details for references.
The graduate student position will be studying why aging macrophages are less able to kill bacteria. Applicants interested in beginning studies in January, May or Sept 2018 will be considered. Students aiming to pursue a PhD are preferred but exceptional MSc applicants will be considered. Previous research experience is strongly preferred. Candidates must have relevant courses in molecular/cellular biology, biochemistry, immunology or microbiology. Please include a transcript, a cover letter outlining your previous research experience and a list of references. Foreign students must have a scholarship to be considered.
Come join our strong team!
Who’s got the strongest lab at McMaster? I do! We’ve had a great run of success at the Bowdish lab with fully all of our students receiving prestigious scholarships! And that’s not to mention our other successes such as our summer scholarship winners (Jason Fan – IIDR), our students who got their degree and moved on to great things (Dr. Fan Fei – manager of Mass Spec facility, Dr. Mike Dorrington – PDF at the NIH), and our PDF, Dr. Chris Verschoor who got a faculty position!
The Bowdish lab will support one applicant for a M.G. DeGroote Post-doctoral fellowship. Below is the information on the award but from past experience, applicants must have a strong publication record in high impact journals and have a clear track-record of accomplishments in a related research field. If you think you meet these criteria and would like Dr. Bowdish to consider putting you forward for this award, please contact her with a c.v.
The Michael G. DeGroote Fellowship Awards
The Michael G. DeGroote Fellowship Awards are an opportunity for excellent postdoctoral candidates to pursue top-level research training. First awarded in 2008, the awards provide funding to research-intensive individuals looking to further their academic career in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.
Each award provides non-renewable funding of $50,000 for one year for successful applicants. The funding is comprised of $40,000 from the Michael G. DeGroote Health Sciences Development Fund and $10,000 contributed by the applicant’s supervisor.
Awards are available in two categories: the *Michael G. DeGroote Fellowship Award in Basic Biomedical Science* and the *Michael G. DeGroote Fellowship Award in Clinical Research*. Candidates conducting basic science research are eligible for the Basic Biomedical Science Fellowship Award and those pursuing clinical research are eligible for the Clinical Research Fellowship Award. Applicants must identify in their application which award they are applying for. Separate selection committees will review the respective applicants for each award.
Visit http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/mgdfa/and apply online. The deadline for applications is *April 1, 2015* with an estimated start date of July 1, 2015.
*Only candidates who are (a) external to McMaster, or (b) internal students who have yet to begin postdoctoral or health professional degree studies at McMaster, or (c) internal students who began their postdoctoral or health professional degree studies at McMaster no earlier than July 1, 2014, will be eligible for the awards.
* For candidates who hold (or are completing) a PhD, the proposed supervisor(s) listed in your application must be different than your PhD supervisor.
* Priority will be given to those applicants whose graduate training has not been exclusively at McMaster.
It is expected that winning applicants will seek out and attain external funding within their one-year award term. Supervisors are expected to assist their candidates in doing so.
For more information on the awards, please visit the awards website or
send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaiser JC, Verschoor CP, Surette MG, Bowdish DME. Host cytokine responses distinguish invasive from airway isolates of the Streptococcus milleri/anginosis group. BMC Infect Dis. 2014 Sep 11;14:498. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-14-498.
This paper demonstrates that there are host- and strain- specific responses to isolates of the Streptococcus milleri/anginosis group and that isolates from invasive disease appear to be more immunostimulatory than those from commensal relationships.
This past month has been very productive in the Bowdish laboratory, with many triumphs achieved by it’s industrious members.
Firstly, a big congratulation goes to Kyle Novakowski, the Bowdish lab’s newest PhD student. Following a lot of hard work, determination and great dedication to his Masters project, Kyle successfully passed his transfer exam on July 7 and has officially begun his
seemingly endless exciting pursuit for a PhD. Good luck to Kyle in continuing his interesting investigation on the regulation and function of MARCO!
Next up is Dessi Loukov, who is currently an undergraduate but come September will be the Bowdish lab’s 4th PhD student. At the 1st annual MIRC Perey Symposium held on June 19, Dessi impressed faculty and trainees with her educational and enthusiastic speed poster presentation on modulating the immune system to potentially reverse age-associated inflammation. Dessi was awarded a travel award as a result of her superb presentation skills. Kudos also to Fan Fei (PhD candidate) and Avee Naidoo (MSc candidate) who gave excellent speed poster talks and Dr. Chris Verschoor who gave an excellent oral presentation. Who knew that research in inflammation could be so exciting? The Bowdish lab, that’s who!
One PhD candidate who deserves great recognition for his recent successes is Mike Dorrington. Not only was Mike awarded with a prestigious and well-deserved Canadian Lung Association & Canadian Thoracic Studentship, but he additionally achieved received The Ruth and Wilson Tafts Prize for Immunology for having the best paper published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2013. Geez Mike, save some awards for the rest of us. These awards will be used to further fund his fascinating work on the role of macrophages – clearly, the best cell around – in recognition and clearance of Streptococcus pneumoniae in the upper respiratory tract. Congratulations Mike!
Then, there’s Dr. Chris Verschoor, the lab’s most productive and well-rounded member. Chris’ paper entitled, “Alterations to the frequency and function of peripheral blood monocytes and associations with chronic disease in the advanced-age, frail elderly“, was recently accepted into the PLoS one. If you’re interested in changes in monocyte populations with age – I mean, who isn’t? – keep a look out for Chris’ article in the next issue of PLoS one . Way to go Chris on this well-deserved publication!
<- Manuscipt accepted = happy post-doc.
And last, but definitely not least, the lab takes great pleasure in congratulating our passionate leader, Dr. Dawn Bowdish, who has been awarded tenure and a promotion to Associate Professor effective as of July 1, 2014. This accomplishment is a fitting acknowledgement of Dawn’s exceptional work, devotion and academic contributions to research in the field of macrophage biology. In addition to her promotion and tenure, Dawn recently received a Best Teacher Award in the Department of Pathology for excellence in undergraduate teaching and graduate supervision. Well-done Dawn!
Congratulations Bowdish lab on our successes!
Way to kill it, like young macrophages on pneumo 😉
Well it was an impressive show even for our over achieving lab! Bowdish lab undergraduates (Netusha Thevaranjan, Dessi Loukov, James Han), graduate students (Kyle Novakowski, Mike Dorrington, Fan Fei), post-docs (Dr. Chris Verschoor) and associates (Fiona Whelan, Dr. Jennifer Stearns, Michelle Pinto) all got selected to present posters at the IIDR trainee day. James Han won the IIDR Award of Excellence for best poster by an undergraduate and Dr. Jennifer Stearns brought home the award for best poster by a post-doc. Avee Naidoo was selected to give a talk only 6 weeks into her graduate degree and Dr. Chris Verschoor won the Gulliver award ($1000!) for the best oral presentation by a post-doc. What a great day!
For a complete album of photos, click here.
MDSCs (myeloid derived suppressor cells) are a recently discovered and very heterogenous cell type that appear to directly suppress T cell responses and their presence in the tumour or the circulation is an extremely poor prognostic marker.
The Bowdish lab recently dipped our foot into the confusing world of MDSCs because we were curious to know whether their frequency increases with age and if so, could this explain why age is a risk factor for many cancers. They do increase with age and this may explain why some adaptive immune responses decline with age. One thing we were very surprised to find is that individuals who had any history of cancer but were believed to be in remission had higher levels of these cells in circulation. This begs the question – did these people have higher levels and to begin with and is this why they were predisposed to cancer? Or do they still have subclinical tumours that promote the development of MDSCs? Or does the suppressive environment of the cancer microenvironment stay with you for life? More studies (not by us, that was enough) are warranted.
For the .pdf click here
For the supplementary data, click here.
A big congratulations to Dr. Chris Verschoor on winning a competitive fellowship from the Canadian Thoracic Society. Dr. Verschoor’s winning proposal consisted of an innovative assessment of how changes in immune function that occur with age will predispose the elderly to disease. This research proposal capitalizes on the ability of the McMaster Immunology Research Centre‘s to perform clinical grade research using the Human Immunology Suite and Dr. Verschoor’s expertise in human immune phenotyping. We look forward to all the exciting research this will allow Dr. Verschoor to perform.
Dr. Pelka is the first Bowdish lab trainee to get a faculty position. He’ll be leaving us in May 2012 to join the Department of Microbiology at the University of Manitoba where he’ll be building a research program in virology. Congratulations Peter, we wish you all the best!