Blog Main Image - EDITORIAL Ayman Drums
December 14, 2022

Participants like Ayman Make Research Possible

Ayman, 23, enjoys playing the drums and working at MOD Pizza — he was even in one of MOD’s TV commercials. He loves Pepper, his schnoodle (schnauzer-poodle). And he’s happy to help anytime he gets a call from BRI’s Down syndrome biorepository, one of the largest banks of blood samples from people with Down syndrome in the world. 

“We believe you should step up and volunteer when you have the opportunity. Especially when you have something special to offer, like Ayman having Down syndrome,” says Sean, Ayman’s dad. 

Ayman got involved with BRI’s biorepository through Virginia Mason’s Down Syndrome Clinic. 

“Research participants like Ayman are the engine that drives everything,” says Bernard Khor, MD, PhD, who leads much of BRI’s Down syndrome research. “Having a library of samples allows us to study so many things — like vaccine response, autoimmunity, and aging of the immune system. It helps us better understand what makes people healthy and what can lead to disease.”

Ayman hopes his contributions help other people with Down syndrome live long, happy lives. He also shared some advice for anyone considering participating in research.

“It’s super easy, just relax,” Ayman says. “Everyone treats me nicely. They make me feel proud of myself. And it brings a little love into the world.”

BRI is always looking for new biorepository participants to donate blood to our studies. We recruit people with all types of immune system diseases and those with no history of immune system disease. To learn more or sign up, visit

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