CBR External Travel Awards: Earl W. Davie Symposium 2023 – Mahsa Yazdanbaksh

Award Recipient: Mahsa Yazdanbakhsh, PhD Student, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta

Supervisor: Dr. Jason Acker

Conference: Earl W. Davie Symposium on November 16, 2023

Location: Vancouver, BC 

Poster Presentation Title: Young RBC Subpopulation Reduce the Hb-Oxygen Affinity of Cord Blood from Preterm Neonates

Mahsa giving her 30-second poster pitch.

Mahsa giving her 30-second poster pitch.

I’m very happy to share my experience at the 2023 CBR Earl W. Davie Symposium in Vancouver. Originating from Alberta, this award not only granted me the privilege of attending the symposium but also facilitated connections with fellow scientists, allowing me to share my research findings and gain valuable insights into the field. I also discovered various intriguing oral and poster presentations covering different topics during the event and I was keen on exploring potential collaborations with some of these presenters.

The CBR External Travel Award gave me the opportunity to present my project. My presentation focused on a collaborative effort with Dr. Jason Acker, exploring the differences in hemoglobin oxygen affinity within the Young and Old RBC subpopulations after mixing with cord blood from premature neonates. This study has demonstrated that the addition of young RBCs to cord blood from preterm infants significantly decreases hemoglobin-oxygen affinity, leading to elevated levels of unbound oxygen that may increase the risk of hyperoxia. Furthermore, the study highlights the potential impact of selecting Red Cell concentrates from those who have a higher portion of young RBCs (young female blood donors) may increase the risk of radical diseases of neonatology (retinopathy) in preterm infants.

Mahsa (right) sitting in the audience, listening to speakers.

Mahsa (right) sitting in the audience, listening to speakers.

This trip to Vancouver was a big opportunity for me in my work and personal life as it was my first visit to the city. The CBR was really helpful, not just in letting me join the event but also in showing they’re dedicated to moving blood research forward. The symposium boosted my research career and made me excited to keep exploring new things in science.

To conclude, my visit to Vancouver for the symposium was an incredibly positive experience. I want to express a heartful gratitude to the organizers at CBR for making this opportunity possible! I express my sincere appreciation for the invaluable support that enabled my participation.

*With funding from the Sheldon Naiman and Linda Vickars Endowment Fund and Canadian Blood Services (CBS), the CBR supports travel and accommodation expenses for trainees to attend and present at the EWD symposium.