TRAINING ENVIRONMENT FOR DEVOTION TRAINEES

DEVOTION trainees get:

  • Access to a top-notch training environment at the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM).

  • Multi-disciplinary research interactions that facilitate translational research between the pre-clinical, clinical and population health-based sciences.

  • An open and collaborative environment, which houses many eminent researchers with whom our trainees forge strong research collaborations and receive mentoring and guidance.

  • Excellent opportunities to participate in our Annual DREAM Diabetes Symposium and Biology of Breathing Symposium. These symposia provide excellent opportunities for trainees to showcase their work and allow them to network with both local and international leaders in the diabetes, asthma and allergy fields.   


The creation of the DEVOTION Network has allowed the DREAM Catchers and the student group from the Biology of Breathing group (BReaTH) to joined forces and participate in joint professional development sessions. The translational nature of this environment cultivates a greater appreciation for the clinical and fundamental aspects of research related to type 2 diabetes and asthma in youth.

BEING A DEVOTION TRAINEE: REFLECTIONS ON THE PAST AND FUTURE 
By Laetitia Guillemette

"I have been a DEVOTION trainee from the start. In fact, one could say I was a DEVOTION trainee before DEVOTION existed, as I started my PhD in January 2015 and DEVOTION was officially funded/announced only in June of that year. So what makes me a DEVOTION trainee, what opportunities does that affiliation bring me, and what awaits future DEVOTION trainees?"

Who is a DEVOTION trainee?

"Essential to the notion of DEVOTION affiliation is interest in the Developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). In a few words, this concerns the early factors explaining why people get sick or not, especially for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and asthma. These factors can act in childhood, during fetal life, or even before conception! Another important notion is that of research pillar (research methods and focus), of which DEVOTION has four: biomarker screening, basic science, population health, and policy/community. Thus, I am a DEVOTION trainee because my dissertation is about intrauterine exposure to diabetes (diabetes being my early life factor of interest), and I fit in the population health and the policy/community pillars because to investigate the effects of this exposure, I’m using data from health registries and systematic reviews and I’m trying to translate my research results into policy recommendations. Anybody who can fit at least part of their research project in at least one of the pillars can become an active member. The good news is that as DEVOTION is primarily a network, you don’t need to have a project that fits currently; you can also become a member to collaborate on an existing project or to stay in touch to be ready to jump on a future opportunity – be it a graduate student project, a post-doctoral fellowship, or a paid position."

What are the benefits of being a DEVOTION trainee?

"A main advantage of being a member of DEVOTION as a trainee is being connected with other trainees and researchers who share similar interests. This is facilitated every few weeks through DEVOTION-hosted seminars and travel awards for major DOHaD-related conferences, but also through unique opportunities. For example, when a DEVOTION investigator received a request for a review on the developmental origins of asthma after exposure to maternal diabetes, she thought it was a great opportunity for DEVOTION trainees and researchers to collaborate. This team effort led to publication in Paediatric Respiratory Reviews in January 2017. I was quite excited to be invited to participate on this review as it grew my knowledge base in the field of asthma and made me discover an interesting knowledge gap I would never had considered otherwise. The DEVOTION team was also fundamental to me when I looked for the possibility to do knowledge translation with one of my PhD projects. Through established relationships with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, they were able to support me in getting a spot to present at their Grand Rounds!"

 

What does the future hold for DEVOTION trainees?

"Short answer: it holds a lot! Longer answer: an exciting upcoming opportunity is the DOHaD hub that DEVOTION wants to create in partnership with other DOHaD researchers and organisations across the country to reinforce Canada’s lead in this research field.  While Canada is already being recognized as a leader of DOHaD research on the international scene, DEVOTION is creating the infrastructures and relationships to establish Winnipeg as a leader on the Canadian scene. One of my favorite initiatives in the works is the development of a decolonizing DOHaD summer school in partnership with Nanaandawewigamig. In an environment braiding together the summum of western, First Nations and Métis DOHaD-related advancements, trainees will gain a more intimate knowledge of DOHaD research.

Stay tuned for all the exciting opportunities DEVOTION is creating for trainees!"

About the Author: 

Laetitia Guillemette is a PhD student and trainee within the DEVOTION Network.  Her thesis is focused on Developmental Origins of Cardiovascular Disease and Potential Preventative Social Determinants of Health and Youth in Young Adults. Her advisors are Prs Jonathan McGavock and Todd Duhamel

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