On September 21-22, the IMAGINE Network met for its 2019 Annual Meeting in Toronto. The purpose of this face-to-face meeting was to bring the Network members and stakeholders together, give an update the current research progress, as well as generate discussions on the future of IMAGINE and its work.

Along with our researchers, site directors and patient research partners, we were excited to also some of the other CIHR SPOR Networks join us at this meeting including, Dr. Ashok Malla, Principal Investigator of ACESS Open Minds (pictured below, top), Dr. Norm Buckley, Principal Applicant of the Chronic Pain Network, Gillian Bartlett-Esquilant, Executive Director of the Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations Network (PIHCIN), and Frank Gavin, Citizen Engagement Director of CHILD-BRIGHT (pictured below, bottom). Not only did we learn about what these Networks were working on, but we were also able to explore potential partnerships given some of their overlapping research priorities with the IMAGINE Network.
Here are some other highlights:

IMAGINE’s Executive Director, Aida Fernandes (middle) and Patient Research Partner, Sandra Zelinsky (second from the left) , along with CIHR’s Nancy Mason MacLellan (second from the right), spoke about the IMAGINE Network and Patient-Oriented Research on the Guts and Glory podcast. Listen to the first of three episodes featuring IMAGINE here:
iTunes – https://apple.co/2oJuQ68
FM Player – https://bit.ly/2o1iCFKz

Aida Fernandes, gave an overview of the Network’s current research areas and studies including the Mind And Gut Interactions Cohort (MAGIC) that is recruiting 8,000 subjects, as well as our current sub-studies.

Sandra Zelinksy, and IMAGINE Patient Research Partner and Co-Lead for the Patient Engagement working group, talked about the Recruitment and Retention sub-study that the group is currently developing. This patient-led study will investigate and help the Network understand the motivations and barriers to getting patients to participate and stay involved in the MAGIC Study.

Breakout sessions on day two of the meeting gave attendees the opportunity to discuss possible ways in which the Network could enhance the MAGIC Study including potential future sub-studies. We also talked about ways to strengthen future funding possibilities for IMAGINE.

Led by our research team at the University of Calgary, IMAGINE’s Patient Preferences in IBD Treatments substudy, uses the Discreet Choice Experiment (DCE) method to help us understand what is important to patients with IBD when it comes to preferred treatments.

Dr. DIna Kao shares the progress being made in the Fecal Microbial Therapy (FMT) for Crohn’s Disease sub-study.

IMAGINE Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Paul Moayyedi, gives a research update on MAGIC.

We were excited to welcome some of IMAGINE’s PaCER interns (along with a PaCER graduate and mentor) to speak at our meeting about their current research projects. Kwestan Safari, above, shares her team’s experience with developing their study which focuses on the psychosocial relationship between individuals with IBD and food. You can read more about this peer-to-peer research study here.

PaCER intern, Jeanette van Roosmalen, a retired engineer with IBS and mother of three (two of which have Crohn’s Disease), explains SET: how PaCER interns set the direction of their study together with participants.

We also extended an invitation to the IMAGINE Incubator Grant competition winners to present about their research studies. Announced earlier this summer, IMAGINE will be awarding approximately $700,000 in total funding to the grantees. You can learn about all of our grant winners and their projects on our Facebook page.

The IMAGINE Network 2019 attendees:

(Back row, left to right: Peter Dobranowski, Deirdre Walsh, Cameron Campbell, Paul Beck, Karen Madsen, Eytan Wine, Paul Moayyedi, Jeanette Van Roosmalen, Philip Sherman, Jonathan Bramson; Middle row, left to right: Aida Fernandes, Gail Bellissimo, Kwestan Safari, Emma Neary, Kate Murray, Esther Halton, Karen MacDonald, Alysia De Nino, Sara Blake, Jacqueline de Guzman, Stephen Vanner, Mike Surette; Front row, left to right: Dina Kao, Charles Bernstein, Lesley Graff, Dean Tripp, Sandra Zelinsky, Kim Daley).