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The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a national, long-term study following 50,000 men and women from the ages of 45 to 85. The study aims to collect biological, medical, psychological, and socioeconomic information on participants for a time span of 20 years. The information is stored in large databanks across Canada, and is used to study the aging and provide information on predictors of healthy life outcomes.

The planning of the study commenced in October 2002, and the recruitment pilot study began in October 2008. Currently there are 51,352 CLSA participants, and 1,265,679 blood and urine samples have been collected and stored at -1960 C in cryofreezers filled with liquid nitrogen for future analysis. Due to the size of the study, several researchers and cities are involved in collecting and analyzing data across Canada. I had the opportunity of visiting the Hamilton Biorepository and Bioanalysis Centre located at the McMaster Innovation Park, where I was able to see the cryofreezers and Genplates holding these samples. Currently 11 of the 31 cryofreezers are operating in order to store over one million samples. Furthermore, everything is very organized through the use of barcodes and tracking numbers in order to ensure efficient accessibility of the data. The plethora of information collected by the CLSA is sure to be valuable in understanding the intricacies of aging.

Through this painting, I hope to convey the importance behind the contribution of such a large number of participants. There are several white silhouettes in the background, which signify the several research participants who are taking part in the CLSA. The clock with the green vines is meant to symbolize healthy aging, a key aspect that this research study is looking for. And an image of the cryofreezers have been painted at the bottom with their rich plume of nitrogen fog as they were incredible to see when I visited the Biorepository and Bioanalysis Centre.

“The CLSA will be one of the most comprehensive research platforms of its kind undertaken to date, not only in Canada but around the world.” -- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2015


Biochemistry, Undergraduate

16” x 22”


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