Date: Friday, May 3, 2024
Location: Prestige Vernon Lodge & Conference Centre, 3914 32nd Street, Vernon
Time: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

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. 


8:30 am - Registration and Welcome Activity

Network with other students from the Southern Interior as you get situated for the day. 

Are you passionate about health sciences? Learn more about career opportunities and speak directly with our knowledgeable staff at Interior Health’s booth.

8:55 am - Welcome and Introductions

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

9:00 am - Research Lecture: Fast Lane Medicine - A Day in the Life in the Emergency Department

“I put a bead in my nose.” “My baby can’t breath!” “I’m dizzy and the world is spinning.” Ever wondered what a shift in a pediatric emergency department is really like?  We will use cases from the pediatric emergency department to explore the highs and lows of a career in pediatric emergency medicine and demonstrate how the things you learn in physics, anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology class apply to the every-day care of children and families in this fast-paced and diverse medical specialty.  Presented by Dr. Garth Meckler

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 2024 Mini Med School Faculty! 

10:05 am - Break

--- 10 minute break ---

10:15 am - Research Activities: Part #1

Get ready for some hands-on science! Participants will work in groups and participate in a selection of the research activities below over the day. 

Under the Microscope: Staining Pancreatic Tissue: Examine tissues and organs under the microscope as you learn more about medical diagnoses for scientific studies. In this activity, participants will have the opportunity to stain dull grey pancreas tissue with chemical dyes and examine the findings under a microscope. Please note, this activity will require the handling of biological specimens. Participants will be required to wear the proper safety equipment. Presented by Dr. Yi-Chun Chen

Smart Triage: Prioritizing Children Using Technology: When a child shows up at a busy emergency department, they need to be quickly assessed to see how urgently they need care. How can we do this in a global health setting where there are frequent power outages and few nurses? Explore the Smart Triage platform! Using a mobile app, dashboard, sensors and Bluetooth tracking, learn how to quickly prioritize patients, track their progress throughout a hospital, and manage their treatments. Presented by Dustin Dunsmuir

Neuroimmune Odyssey: Journey Into the Mind: Ignite your curiosity as you investigate the role of the immune system in psychiatric disorders. In this activity, you will learn more about the brain-immune connection while delving into case studies. Explore the intricacies of the brain and its role in mental health by immersing yourself in a unique virtual reality experience using the game InMind. By the end of this session, you will be fostering a deeper appreciation for neurobiology and mental health research! Presented by Ninon Freidel

From DNA to Protein: A Building Challenge: Uncover how information in your DNA codes for proteins. In this activity, you’ll race against the clock and work as a team to build the 3D structure of a protein from a DNA sequence... but everything might not be as simple as it first appears. Presented by Hannah Illing

CodeQuest: Deciphering Cancer Genomes: Embark on a thrilling CodeQuest adventure! Become virtual genetic detectives by using online bioinformatics tools to analyze real-world data and unveil crucial insights into cancer biology. In this hands-on activity, you will analyze a publicly available gene expression dataset containing information on multiple cancer types. Through a series of bioinformatics tasks, you will also decipher the unique language of gene expression, identifying biomarkers that could revolutionize cancer diagnostics and treatment. Presented by Abisola Kehinde

Pandemic: the Escape Room: A mystery illness has caused mass hospitalizations and mass hysteria in Vancouver. Without quick action, the sickness may cause permanent damage to our population and society. Can you race against the clock to manage its spread and identify the culprit? Join us to learn how experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) manage outbreaks of unknown pathogens, and the basics of infectious disease immunology! Presented by Emily Mason

Anesthesia and Pain Management: Let’s dive into the pivotal role of an anesthesiologist! Anesthesiologists specialize in administering medications to reduce pain and keep you asleep through surgery, while simultaneously monitoring your body’s vital functions. We will explore the components of anesthesia including anesthetics, analgesics, and more. Through a fun and interactive exercise, let’s learn about the different drugs that are used for these different components. Presented by Bianca Vizcaino

11:15 am - Lunch

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.

Are you passionate about health sciences? Learn more about career opportunities and speak directly with our knowledgeable staff at Interior Health’s booth.

12:15 pm - Research Activities: Part #2

Get ready for some more hands-on science! 

1:15 pm - Break

--- 15 minute break ---

1:30 pm - Research Lecture: When AI meets Healthcare

The AI revolution is upon us. Smart algorithms are being trained on large datasets to predict every aspect of our lives. Health and health care has been slow to adopt AI for diagnosis and clinical decision making due to the known risks of these algorithms. Do you know about the risks? What and who can you trust? We are inclined to trust what we read – especially about our health and illnesses. Cutting-edge research will help us adopt the best of the AI revolution and avoid the pitfalls – we hope! Presented by Dr. Mark Ansermino

2:00 pm - Break 

--- 10 minute break ---

2:10 pm - Health Pros Tell All! 

Explore a variety of career opportunities and interact with health science experts. This discussion will be driven by participants, so get your questions ready!

3:00 pm - Closing Remarks

Participants will at 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