It was a fascinating day for our Grade 12 Biology students as they explored the Regenerative Medicine Expo at the University of Toronto and learned all about stem cell research.
Their day started with a talk from Dr. Sarah Combe, Scientist, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, on regenerative medicine 101. Dr. Combe prepped them for the day and gave them background knowledge on pluripotent and multipotent stem cells.
Students then listened to a fascinating talk from Spencer Hoover, Director of Process and Analytical Development, Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine. He discussed how new medical approaches and technologies get from the lab to the bedside and the process of clinical testing, mass production, transport and cost.
Next, they heard from Nike Shakiba, Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who walked them through a series of examples to evaluate scientific claims and understand the difference between correlation and causation.
Finally, Michael Garton, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, talked about his personal journey as a free solo climber who was paralyzed after a fall. After the fall he went on to earn his master’s and PhD and is now running his own lab. He was inspiring and honest, and is doing fascinating research in the field of proteins.
In the afternoon, students had a Q&A session with a panel of UofT students. They also spent time with the UofT recruitment team and had the opportunity to explore a range of booths covering the vast research done through the university.
It was a great learning experience for our students, especially for those who are interested in pursuing a career in science. They networked with a variety of scientists in different fields of research and got a sense of what it’s like to work in a lab. Not to mention, they learned all about stem cell research!