Our Mini Med School Team is hard at work putting together a diverse schedule that maximizes the opportunity to explore leading-edge medical research. The content below is a draft schedule and subject to changes. 

Date: Thursday, April 28
Location: Coast Bastion Nanaimo, 11 Bastion St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 6E4
Time: 8:30 am to 3:05 pm


8:30 am - Registration and Welcome Activity

Participants will be required to show organizers a valid vaccine passport and government photo ID before being permitted into the conference room. 

8:55 am - Welcome and Introductions

Learn more about Mini Med School and the BC Children's Hospital researchers that are pursuing discovery and translating their research into life-saving clinical innovations and excellence in child health.

9:00 am - Research Lecture

Building Blocks of Immunity: What do Immune Cells Eat?

Right now your immune system is working hard to fight off infections. Your T cells, a type of immune cell, recognize infected or cancerous cells and remove them from your body. But what happens when these cells can no longer tell the difference between healthy and infected tissues? This can lead to the development of autoimmunity, an attack on your healthy tissues by your immune cells, as well as the growth of cancer or persistent infections. Join us to discover the biological fuels that change immune cell functions, what your immune cells “choose” to eat, the pathways that cause diseases, and current research into treatment strategies.

Presented by Dr. Ramon Klein Geltink, Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital; Assistant Professor, UBC Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. 

9:45 am - Ex-quiz Me? 

Test your health sciences knowledge! This interactive game will let you compete for prizes and gain more insight on the latest translational and clinical research topics. 

10:00 am - Research Leader Introductions

Meet the 2022 Mini Med School Faculty! 

10:05 am - Break

--- 10 minute break ---

10:15 am - Research Activities: Part #1

Attendees will work in groups and participant in a selection of the following activities. 


  • From children to elite athletes: Fundamental Motor Skills (FMS) are a critical building block for everyone
    Fundamental Motor Skills (FMS) are a set of physical skills divided into two groups (locomotor and ball skills). These skills can heavily impact sports performance for athletes, but are even more important for everyday activities, physical development and confidence. Explore some of these skills, practice measuring them and challenge your own mastery of FMS! Presented by Alysha Deslippe, Doctoral Student, UBC Department of Human Nutrition & Dietetics; Cohen Research Team, BC Children’s Hospital. 
  • Murder mystery: Immune attack
    There's been a murder and each of the body’s immune cells are suspects. Join us to discover who was just the messenger, who did the best they could, and who was trying to help but took it too far! Presented by Christine Wardell, Doctoral Student, UBC Department of Experimental Medicine & Surgery; Levings Research Team, BC Children’s Hospital. 
  • An Inside Look: Careers in Health Sciences
    Are you passionate and curious about a future career in health sciences? Facilitated by a current UBC masters student and former veterinarian, this engaging session will explore what factors you should consider when entering the health research field. Learn more about the transition to university, hear about real-world experiences and discover the rewards of working in health sciences. Make sure to bring your questions! Presented by Moones Yadegari, Masters Student, UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Lange Research Team, BC Children’s Hospital. 
  • Housing as Healthcare
    How is housing related to health? Discover what qualifies as adequate housing in Canada, and how having a reliable roof over one’s head is related to both physical and mental health. By reviewing several clinical scenarios, you will learn about what medical professionals may encounter when working with homeless or unstably-housed individuals, as well as some of the latest research and initiatives that are taking place to support this population. Presented by Lianne Cho, Medical & Doctoral Student (MD/PhD), UBC Department of Psychiatry; Honer Research Team, BC Children’s Hospital. 


  • Food Label Detectives
    Food nutrition labels are an essential part of food packaging, but are they telling you the whole story? Explore a variety of nutrition labels and use your investigative skills to better understand what you’re eating, how to make healthier choices, and what those nutrient content claims actually mean. Presented by Dr. Genelle Healey, Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC Department of Pediatrics; Vallance Research Team, BC Children’s Hospital & Dr. Travis De Wolfe, Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC Department of Pediatrics; Vallance Research Team, BC Children’s Hospital.
  • Ask a med student: Pathways from high school to medical school
    Are you considering a career in medicine and want to hear more about the journey to medical school? Facilitated by a current UBC medical student, this interactive session will discuss the academic pathways that students can navigate after high school. Learn more about preparing for university, completing an undergraduate degree, as well as tips for applying to medical school. Questions will be encouraged! Presented by Samantha Pawer, Medical Student, UBC MD Undergrad Education. 
  • Disease Detective: Think like an Epidemiologist
    Epidemiology is essential for public health and safety, helping shape the way we think about disease and disease prevention. By examining the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus and the impact of vaccination, you will learn about the patterns of disease, risk factors for disease transmission and the crucial role of epidemiology. Presented by Dr. Sarai Racey, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Population & Public Health; Ogilvie, Sadarangani & Bettinger Research Teams, BC Children’s Hospital. 
  • Integrating exercise into your daily life 
    Exercise has been proven to be beneficial in many aspects of life that range from mental health, energy levels and sleep habits, but how do certain exercises differ from one another? Uncover the physiological effects of exercise on the body as well as how to integrate it into your daily life. Facilitated by a former UBC Varsity athlete, this interactive session will provide insight into the many different applications of exercise and its impact on your health. Presented by Madeline Wang, Undergraduate Student, UBC; Assistant, Research Education & Services Team, BC Children's Hospital. 


11:15 am - Lunch

A selection of boxed meals (vegetarian and meat) will be provided for participants. 

Mini Med School is not a nut-free event. We cannot guarantee that there will be no cross-contamination by catering. Participants with any food allergies or dietary restrictions are asked to bring a lunch. We apologize for any inconvenience.

12:15 pm - Research Lecture

he Heart of the Matter
lub-DUB, lub-DUB, lub-DUB. Sound familiar? Congrats, you’re alive. Your heart beats 100,000 times each day and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood. But how much do you really know about your heart, especially if it develops abnormally? Do hearts differ between women and men? If so, how does that affect the presentation of heart disease in women compared to men? Learn more about heart anatomy and how our understanding of its structure has changed over the years. 

Presented by Dr. Najah Adreak, Study Coordinator, Harris Research Team, BC Children’s Hospital. 

1:00 pm - Research Activities: Part #2

Attendees will work in groups and continue to participant in a selection of the activities listed above. 

2:00 pm - Break

--- 15 minute break ---

2:15 pm - Who Wants to be a Health Scientist?

Challenge your assumptions about what it means to work in health sciences. This interactive activity will give you a better idea of the day-to-day responsibilities of those working in the medical or research field. 

3:00 pm - Closing Remarks

Participants will be dismissed at 3:05 pm.

Optional: 3:05 pm to 3:30 pm - Student Networking

Interact with our health science experts! After dismissal the Mini Med School Faculty will be available to network one-on-one with interested participants. 

Learn how you can participate in Mini Med School

Do you have more questions? Check out our Mini Med School FAQs or contact researchevents@phsa.ca