CFRI’s popular Mini Med School program has been awarded a 2014 Synapse Mentorship Award from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). CIHR Synapse Awards are presented to trainees, researchers, and programs to recognize excellence in the promotion of health research to high school students. It is through the passion behind programs such as Mini Med School that CFRI will engage tomorrow’s innovators.
CFRI Mini Med School (MMS) is a science outreach and public education program launched in spring 2003. As the third such initiative in Canada, and the first in Western Canada, the MMS combines a highly-lauded forum for public engagement with science, and exceptional opportunities for high school students and teachers to learn from – and participate in – scientific research.
MMS is a prime example of how CFRI encourages youth to become involved in science and research. Over the past ten years, the program has grown tremendously providing over 2800 high school students and members of the public an opportunity to learn about timely health research topics from the researchers themselves.
Since 2003, there have been 14 MMS courses, each dedicated to a different field of scientific research. Each course curriculum is designed to give a basic understanding of the field while exploring up-to-the-minute basic science research, clinical applications and social and ethical implications related to that field.
Past CFRI Mini Med School series and deans:
- Infection and Immunity (Spring 2003) – Dean: Dr. David Speert
- Genetics, Genomics and Health (Fall 2003) – Dean: Dr. Michael Hayden
- Human Reproduction (Spring 2004) – Co-Deans: Drs. Judith Hall and Wendy Robinson
- Diabetes (Fall 2004) – Dean: Dr. Bruce Verchere
- Child Health and Development (Spring 2005) – Dean: Dr. Ron Barr
- Best of Mini Med (Fall 2005) – each of the previous Deans hosted an evening with past speakers to revisit Mini Med themes
- Neuroscience and the Brain (Fall 2006) – Dean: Dr. Steven Miller
- Epigenetics (Fall 2007) – Co-Deans: Drs. Michael Kobor, Wendy Robinson and Angela Devlin
- The Mysteries of Sleep (Fall 2008) – Dean: Dr. Osman Ipsiroglu
- Conception, Birth and Beyond: The Challenges of Life’s Beginnings (Spring 2010) – Dean: Dr. Philippe Chessex
- Clinical Genomics (Fall 2010) – Dean: Dr. Jan Friedman
- Immunity (Fall 2011) – Co-Deans: Drs. Stuart Turvey and Rusung Tan
- Transplantation – Can We Fix Broken Parts (Fall 2012) – Dean: Dr. Kirk Schultz
- Diabetes: Mythology and Modern Research (Fall 2013) – Dean: Dr. William Gibson