Stem Cell Talks: How Graduate Students Are Collectively Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists.
This year, we hosted our 7th Annual StemCellTalks (SCT) Symposium at the University of Calgary, an outreach initiative in partnership with Let’s Talk Science, to disseminate stem cell research to high school students in Calgary.
This year, the SCT symposium was focused on Stem Cells and the Immune System. By leveraging faculty expertise in stem cell biology, immunology, and bioethics, we sought to provide students with an interactive learning opportunity by exposing them to cutting-edge stem cell research happening right here in Alberta. With over 50 graduate volunteers spanning several faculties, including Biomedical Engineering, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Veterinary Medicine, and Medicine, this year’s event was a huge success! We hosted over 170 students from 13 high schools in the Calgary area at the Foothills Campus.
Over the past years, SCTs have garnered a national reputation of providing an excellent platform that educates students about the excitement (as well as the hype) surrounding stem cell research and inspires them to pursue careers in STEM disciplines. Indeed, many students who attended SCTs have gone on to pursue undergraduate and graduate training at UofC; crediting SCTs as a venue where their naïve curiosities turned into inspirations towards a career in regenerative medicine. Together, this event has become an essential anchor for fostering student/public interest in stem cell research. We look forward to continuing our efforts alongside our fellow graduate students to inspire the next generation of stem cell scientists!