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!
To read about the work which won him the prestigious M.G. DeGroote post-doctoral fellowship, see this article…http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/main/news/news_2012/mgdfa_recipients_2011.html
Dr. Verschoor is tackling an issue of grave importance to Canada’s aging population – the high toll of infectious disease. As an example, 90% of pneumonia deaths in Canada occur in the elderly at tremendous cost to our health care system. Pneumonia is often the result of a period of decreased mobility (e.g. hip fracture and hospital stay) and the beginning of a decline in health. Preventing infections would keep the elderly healthy for longer and provide increased independence, decrease the cost of care and result in longer, happier lives.
Dr. Chris Verschoor has won the Micheal G. DeGroote Postdoctoral fellowship for 2011-2012. The prestigious Michael G. DeGroote Fellowship Awards provide postdoctoral candidates in the Faculty of Health Sciences the opportunity to pursue leading-edge health sciences research.The awards are designed for candidates who have an exemplary academic record and are interested in pursuing postdoctoral work in one of the numerous areas of research excellence in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.
Dr. Verschoor won the award for his innovative project proposal on discovering the fundamental basis of susceptibility to pneumonia in the elderly. Pneumonia is a leading cause of death and decline of function in the elderly and a significant cost to the Canadian Health Care System. Dr. Verschoor proposes to discover the underlying molecular mechanisms of their increased susceptibility with a long term goal of discovering innovative therapies.
The Bowdish lab is undergoing massive expansion at the moment & we’re thrilled to welcome our new post-doc, Chris Verschoor. Chris recently graduated with a PhD from Guelph and since Guelph trains the best students, we were happy to scoop him up. (Full disclosure: Dawn graduated from Guelph).
Fiona is a MSc student with a computer science degree from Waterloo, who will be bringing her bioinformatic skills to the wet lab.
Mike is also a MSc student who has recently graduated from beautiful UBC (Full disclosure: Dawn did her PhD there & dreams of going back), spent a month in Ecuador & is now hard at work.
In other graduate student news, Zhongyuan Tu, the first member of the Bowdish lab and former thesis student is now a MSc student. We’re delighted that he’s chosen to stay on.
Tanja Thurn brings years of experience as a medical technologist to the Bowdish lab & she will be tackling some of our technology issues and will be a resource to all.
Welcome to all the new members of our team!
Would you like to build your career exploring the immunology of aging?
In the Western world the majority (>90%) of deaths due to pneumonia occur in the elderly. Why they are at such high risk is not entirely clear, but presumably immunosenescence (age related changes in the immune system) is a key factor. The high mortality rate is compounded by co-infections, such as influenza infection. This research project involves developing a mouse model of Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization and infection in aged mouse and determining how co-infection with influenza increases the risk of developing pneumonia. This will include a both a basic science component (i.e. deteremining how age-associated changes in immunity contribute to susceptibility to infection) and a translational component (i.e. testing therapeutic interventions).
An immediate post-doctoral opportunity is available for a creative scientist with a strong commitment to excellence and innovation to pursue leading edge research in immunology. Although this is presently only a 1 year position, this may be extended if the applicant obtains fellowship funding. Candidates with experience in virology or mouse models of infection are especially encouraged to apply.
The position is in the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine at McMaster University located in the heart of the Golden Horseshoe in southern Ontario. McMaster University has been ranked as one of Canada’s most research intensive universities known for it’s highly collaborative and mentoring atmosphere.
For all you potential PDFs, here’s the news from NSERC…
“Applications open soon for prestigious new PDF program
Budget 2010 announced that the three granting agencies would establish a new and prestigious postdoctoral fellowships program to attract top-level talent to Canada. The program is designed to be internationally competitive, with 70 new two-year fellowships, valued at $70,000 each per year, to be awarded on an annual basis. The first fellowships will be awarded in 2010–11.
As the program details are finalized over the coming months, NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council will communicate updates regularly to the university and researcher communities. Updates will also be posted to the agencies’ Web sites as they become available.”
Have you ever wondered how we age?
Would you like to build your career exploring the immunology of aging?
An immediate post-doctoral opportunity is available for a creative scientist with a strong commitment to excellence and innovation in science to pursue leading edge research in human immunology. The position is in the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine at McMaster University located in the heart of the Golden Horseshoe in southern Ontario. McMaster University has been ranked as one of Canada’s most research intensive universities known for it’s highly collaborative and mentoring atmosphere.
The research area focuses on understanding the immune changes associated with aging, with a particular emphasis on the role of immunosenescence on the ability of human monocytes and macrophages to respond to Streptococcus pneumoniae. In conjunction to these studies methodological work on identified biomarkers will be carried out and tested using samples from clinical outcome studies.
This position also provides the opportunity to engage in Canada’s largest cohort study on aging. The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) (www.clsa-elcv.ca) is a national longitudinal study of adult development and aging that will follow 50,000 Canadians between the ages of 45 and 85 years at baseline over a 20-year period. Data will be collected every 3 years through interviews and 30,000 participants will also have a clinical assessment and collection of biological samples creating a national biobank and research platform.
Two enthusiastic researchers, Drs. Cynthia Balion and Dawn Bowdish, will supervise this position. In addition, the post-doctoral fellow will work with experts spanning the research continuum from discovery, to epidemiology, and translational science.