University of Calgary

Researchers party for a cause: Fundraising for Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada

UToday HomeMay 17, 2013

By Todd O’Keefe

The Knockouts — medical researchers (from left) Vadim Iablokov, Simon Hirota, and Dan MuruveThe Knockouts — medical researchers (from left) Vadim Iablokov, Simon Hirota, and Dan Muruve — started playing together four years ago. Photo by Todd O'KeefeHosting a concert that combines music and fundraising for a good cause just makes sense to the University of Calgary’s Dr. Dan Muruve, Simon Hirota, PhD, and Vadim Iablokov, a PhD student. The concert gives them an opportunity to fuse their passion for music with their desire to contribute to the funding agencies that support their research.

The threesome hosted a charity concert for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) at Lord Nelson’s Bar and Grill hall last night and raised more than $2,000 for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research while having fun at the same time.

“We all started playing music together more than four years ago during a BBQ at my house,” says Muruve, professor in the University of Calgary’s Department of Medicine and member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases. “We jammed together and it just seemed natural.”

All three play in theband The Knockouts, with Muruve on lead guitar and vocals, Hirota on bass and vocals, and Iablokov on drums, along with Mark Seamone, a recent MD graduate, on guitar and vocals. The name refers to the transgenic mice they work with daily. They came up with the idea to use a music show for fundraising more than three years ago and have since raised money for the Children’s Cottage, the Ride to Conquer Cancer, and last night’s CCFC.

Hirota, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, says it makes sense to give back to the funding agencies that support their research.

Iablokov says the venue itself was great for the show. The Lord Nelson’s supported the effort by donating proceeds from ticket and door sales as well as 10 per cent of the bar tab.

The venue’s manager, Shelina Hussein, is familiar with Crohn’s disease and understands the loss involved with people who suffer from it. “I am glad they are doing this for such an invisible disease,” says Hussein. “I saw how my friend struggled with the disease, and so building awareness of Crohn’s has become very near and dear to my heart.”

All three say music and science are both arts in their own rights. Hirota says having a creative outlet for style and expression provides a balance to working in the lab. Iablokov says the friendship he has developed with his mentors through music also helps his research as a student.

“We all know that there is more to life than just publishing papers,” says Muruve. “The important thing is to celebrate life and help those around you who are less fortunate. We are just very lucky to be able to give back and have fun playing music at the same time.”


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