by Curlan Campbell
- Graduated summa cum laude, with BSc in Biology, from SGU
- Inspired to pursue medicine after completing an Introduction to Immunology course at TAMCC
- Past student of Presentation Brothers College
There may be a glimmer of hope arising from this Covid-19 global pandemic, as more and more students are considering pursuing specialised careers in the medical and scientific fields.
Graduating summa cum laude with a BSc in Biology from St George’s University (SGU), Che Bowen has had his dream job in mind since 2015. The coronavirus pandemic has motivated him to become an immunologist, focusing on their role in understanding immunology, vaccine development, and treatment.
Immunology is the study of an organism’s defence/immune system. Immunologists handle diagnosing and treating human patients with immunological disorders and also help prevent and treat emerging infectious diseases. Bowen stated that his inspiration to specialise in the medical field came from a chapter dedicated to the importance of specialised knowledge in the book “Outwitting the Devil” by Napoleon Hill.
Bowen is focused on attaining his medical degree. He believes that by becoming an immunologist, he can one day play a role in vaccine research that will inform immunological interventions in the event of future global health emergencies.
Referencing the medical breakthrough by Cuba to develop its homegrown vaccine, Bowen thinks that individual countries should be able to verify medical research conducted by agencies such as The Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) before approving clinical trials. The best way to strengthen a country’s health crisis response to global outbreaks is by having more locally trained personnel in microbiology, virology, and immunology who can lend their expertise to inform public health measures and support the understanding of the immunological basis to develop vaccines.
“I believe that having specialised personnel in any area will be an asset to any country. In relation to the pandemic, vaccine and Grenada I believe that having the opinion or data from a local expert will make a drastic difference in the people’s attitude towards the vaccine. In my opinion, a lot of the information we hear from the media is more or less a copy and paste from someone’s speech from the CDC or some doctor in the US. I am not discrediting this method but I truly believe having a local expert will make a big difference,” Bowen said.
A past student of the Presentation Brothers College, Bowen first became inspired to pursue his career goal after completing a course in Introduction to Immunology at TA Marryshow Community College (TAMCC).
“I remember that year. It was my second year at TAMCC where I majored in biology, chemistry, and math. If I am honest with you at that time, there wasn’t anything that sparked my interest. I was bored and lacking the motivation to even study. Until this one particular module, which was an introduction to immunology. My interest skyrocketed to the point of me going home to research even deeper and that’s how I got my first A at TAMCC, but somehow, I just believed deep within myself that this is something I would like to do for the rest of my life. This field of study is relatively new, however, one day I would also like to be a part of or even lead research teams in the development of cancer immunotherapies and treatments for autoimmune diseases,” he said.
The Florida, St John resident hopes to leave a mark in scientific research following immunologist Dr Kizzmekia Corbett of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) who was among scientists that helped to develop an mRNA-based vaccine for Covid-19 in early 2020.
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