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'Need brains!': WNY students get stuck into medical science

A group of western New York high school students toured the Gates Vascular Institute in Buffalo to learn about medical science.

“They’re putting a tube up the vein to get rid of leakage in the brain. It looks cool,” said Nicholas Altemoos, a 9th grader atBennett High School.

Twenty freshman and sophomore students watched a recorded medical procedure on the human eye during their tour of Gates Vascular Institute, University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Research Center and the Jacob’s Institute.

Bennett science teacher Tanya Johnson says she hopes the experience will get her students thinking about the many career avenues medical science has to offer.

“The fact of the matter is that these opportunities are right in our own backyard. Our students need to know this and realize this and you don’t have to be an astrophysicist, there are so many other levels in the medical and STEM fields that you can go to, so they’re getting to see people that they see on T.V. or when they go to their pediatrician or what have you, but they get a chance to meet real physicians, real live people who are doing these wonderful things in science,” said Johnson.

During the tour kids touched human and animal brains, visited the inside of an operating room, and viewed 3-D X-rays of a human hand with pins stuck in it. Bennett 10th grader Shanasia King says she was really inspired by the digital aspect of medical science.

“I think it’s cool, because I really like art and I like technology and science, so I would like to do something like that it would be fun,” said King.

Associate professor in the UB department of neurosurgery, Dr. Adnan Siddiqui led the tour. He said it’s critical to ready the next generation of medical professionals at an early age.

“If we are to maintain that edge to provide the best medicine anywhere on the planet we have to make sure that our next generation is interested in it. Interested in science, technology and research and it starts off at this stage,” said Siddiqui.

The tour was put together by the nationally funded Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership or ISEP; a coalition of UB, Buffalo Public Schools, Buffalo State College and the Buffalo Museum of Science.

WBFO/Western New York reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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