Diving into the deep end: My experiences as a new hire at Canadian Blood Services' Research Day

Tuesday, June 27, 2023 Dr. Travis Sztainert

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.

A photos of all Research Day attendees. An arrow is pointing toward Travis, so you can pick him out in the crowd.
A photo of all Research Day attendees. A red circle helps you pick out Travis in the crowd.

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.

Looking ahead

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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