Stepping into the world of research can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially as a new hire in the field of transfusion medicine. On May 25, 2023, I had the privilege of attending their annual Research Day that coincides with the Canadian Society for Transfusion Medicine (CSTM) conference. Research Day is a chance for Canadian Blood Services’ extended research network to collaborate, share their latest research finding, and network. I want to share my reflections and experiences attending Research Day, highlighting the support I received, the passion of the researchers, and the impressive breadth and depth of the research being conducted. These encounters have solidified my belief in Canadian Blood Services’ profound impact and instilled in me a strong desire to contribute meaningfully to knowledge mobilization in my new role as a Knowledge Broker.
Feeling overwhelmed, but supported
Attending Research Day as a newcomer to the field was undoubtedly overwhelming. The venue was abuzz with intellectual discussions, scientific terminology, and innovative research presentations. However, amidst this whirlwind of information, I was pleasantly surprised by the immense support I received from my colleagues and the Canadian Blood Services community. They made sure I felt included and encouraged me to ask questions, ensuring that I understood the concepts being discussed. This sense of camaraderie and the willingness to guide those new to the field allowed me to overcome my initial hesitation and dive head-first into the enriching experience.
Data-driven decision modeling and hypothesis-generating research
The Research Day presentations introduced me to fascinating aspects of research, particularly data-driven decision modeling and hypothesis-generating research methods. These methodologies – which use the power of data to drive informed decision-making and generate new insights – showcased how research can leverage vast amounts of information to identify trends, make predictions, and guide future interventions. It was a reminder of the vast possibilities that lie ahead in the realm of data-driven research within Canadian Blood Services.
Trainee rapid presentation session
One particular highlight of the Research Day was the trainee rapid presentation session. This session provided a platform for Canadian Blood Services trainees to share their innovative research. I was amazed by the depth of knowledge and creativity displayed by these future leaders in the transfusion medicine field. I am excited to see how their research progresses in the future and anticipate great contributions from these talented individuals. If you're interested in learning more about the work of Canadian Blood Services research and clinician trainees, keep posted for an upcoming R.E.D. blog featuring trainees that attended CSTM 2023!
Breadth, depth and passionate researchers
Overall, Canadian Blood Services’ Research Day showcased an astounding array of research projects and scientific endeavors. From exploring innovative blood processing techniques to investigating the potential of new blood products, the scope of the research being conducted by Canadian Blood Services scientists and trainees is truly remarkable. The breadth and depth of the work showcased the organization's commitment to advancing knowledge within the transfusion science medicine community. The sheer passion and enthusiasm exuded by the researchers was contagious. They eagerly answered questions in a way that aimed to help everyone, regardless of their background, grasp the significance of their work. Research Day is also an amazing opportunity for trainees and early-career researchers to gain experience presenting their work and answering questions from more experienced peers. I witnessed many lively conversations between trainees, early-career and senior researchers, which emphasized that this was a safe space for networking and peer connection.
The Research Day opened my eyes to the immense potential of research and the pivotal role it plays in driving innovation. I am excited to collaborate with passionate researchers and fellow colleagues, as we work together to translate knowledge into practical solutions that positively impact the healthcare landscape.
Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation
Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact.
The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.
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The Canadian Society for Transfusion Medicine’s annual conference took place in Calgary, Alberta in early June. The Centre for Innovation’s Geraldine Walsh was there and shares her highlights.
Preparing to attend CSTM 2023? Learn about Canadian Blood Services staff and researchers’ contributions to the scientific program and other opportunities to engage with our research and education transfusion network at the Canadian Blood Services booth!
On the May 30, an eager group of Canadian Blood Services trainees gathered In Calgary, Alta. for the Centre for Innovation’s Research Trainee Workshop. The attendees spent the day at the Eau Claire donor centre to learn about donor selection criteria, the blood donor experience, and the art of science blogging.