In 2009, she joined the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine at McMaster University and was promoted to associate professor in 2014. In 2019, she was promoted to tenure professor in the same department. The Bowdish lab focuses primarily on the effects of aging on the immune system, specifically macrophages. Her lab has been able to elucidate a mechanistic explanation for how aging alters myeloid cells and how these cells increase susceptibility to pneumococcal pneumonia. In 2017, the Bowdish lab demonstrated that age-associated gut microbe dysbiosis in mice increases age-associated inflammation. Bowdish currently holds an h-index score of 38. Bowdish's published works have received much media attention and continue to contribute more information regarding the interplay between the immune system, the gut microbiota, susceptibility to infection and aging.
It’s a mystery why COVID-19 isn’t following the pattern of other viruses, like the seasonal flu which is especially lethal for the very young and old, said Dawn Bowdish, the Canada Research Chair in aging and immunity at McMaster University.
“We hope that in the future we will be able use drugs or pre- or probiotics to increase the barrier function of the gut to keep the microbes in their place and reduce age-associated inflammation and all the bad things that come with it.”
- More than a ‘gut feeling’ on cause of age-associated inflammation
" [...] what I would advise people to do, if there is any chance you have been in contact with somebody who even might have these symptoms, you should really minimize your social contacts, if you are able to stay home, that’s great, if you’re not able, then we need to have you being adamant about handwashing and keeping away from people, we want you 2 meters away from people, covering your mouth when you sneeze."
"[...] in your home, if you do have symptoms and you want to keep your family safe, it is perfectly acceptable to wear a mask, just remember, they’re disposable, they’re one use, you don’t wear them for three days on end."
"So, what can the average person do to be used to boost your immune system? The answer is nothing."
"There are a significant proportion of people who are young, who still need major, major intensive care to get through this time and so even if, in general, younger people are okay, there will be some young people who will need major medical intervention to get through this and just because you're young, doesn't mean you're not passing it on."