High schoolers to unblock artificial arteries, stain bacteria at health sciences event

The new symposium will be held downtown at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Release Date: November 15, 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Simulating the flow of liquid through an artificial blocked artery. Gram staining bacteria, and observing it under a microscope. Running cookie taste tests to learn about clinical trials.

On Friday, Nov. 16, high school students in health or life sciences academies in Western New York schools will travel to downtown Buffalo to take part in the first annual Health Sciences Symposium. The event features a full morning of interactive, hands-on activities in health care and life sciences.

WHAT: First annual Health Sciences Symposium.

WHERE: The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo at 955 Main St. in downtown Buffalo.

WHO: About 150 high schoolers enrolled in health or life sciences academies in Hamburg, Lancaster and West Seneca schools.

Presenting partners include UB, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Ivoclar Vivadent, The Jacobs Institute, Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Unyts. Presenters will include students from the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Department of Biochemistry and Neuroscience Program in the Jacobs School.

UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences also played a lead role in organizing the event.

ON-SITE CONTACT: Julianna Fortain, marketing and special events coordinator for the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, at jellis9@buffalo.edu or 716-881-7586.

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 16. Highlights include:

  • 9-9:45 a.m.: Keynote by Gale Burstein, MD, Erie County commissioner of health and clinical professor of pediatrics at the Jacobs School.
  • 10:10-10:45 a.m.: Workshop session I
  • 10:50-11:25 a.m.: Workshop session II
  • 12:05-12:40 p.m.: Workshop session III

Each workshop session will feature all of the following options for students, and more:

  • Biomedical Engineering: Students will test their skills in biomedical engineering by using tools to increase the flow of liquid through a simulated blocked artery. In this exercise, participants use play dough inside plastic tubing to mimic a blocked artery. They then use balloons, wire, sticks and other items to engineer an increase in the flow of water through the tube.
  • Gram Staining: Gram staining is a procedure originally developed in the late 1800s, but still widely used in hospitals as a step in figuring out what bacteria is causing a patient's infection. Students will Gram stain a bacterial sample themselves, then observe it under a microscope.
  • Concussions: Led by a doctor who studies head injuries, students will interact with specialized sensors on dummy heads to simulate the force applied to humans during injury. Participants will collect data to answer important questions, just as a neuroscientist would do.
  • Cookie Clinical Trial: Students will learn how to set up and manage a clinical trial through a trial to determine which cookie is the best. Yes, there will be cookie tasting.

WHY: The symposium engages local high school students in educational, hands-on activities that have relevance to future careers in medicine, health care and life sciences. The event also gives students the opportunity to meet professionals in these fields, and to visit the UB Jacobs School building, a state-of-the-art facility that is a cornerstone of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Experiences like these help to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This strengthens the region’s life sciences workforce and economy.

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu
News Content Manager
Sciences, Economic Development
Tel: 716-645-4655
Twitter: @UBScience
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