Launched: VHIO´s Schools and Science Education Programme

  • VHIO opens its doors to bright young minds to learn about cancer research and discover science as a career path

Yesterday VHIO launched a new education programme, Schools and Science, and welcomed over 50 children from a local primary school, Les Aigües de Cardedeu, to meet our faculty, tour our laboratories and learn more about cancer, science and research as a possible future career path.

Bringing science to society, the main objective of this outreach programme is not only to teach young and inquisitive minds about the importance of research in solving cancer sooner, how we at VHIO conduct our investigation, but also to hopefully inspire some to ultimately become the next generation of cancer scientists. During their half day visit, our special guests were treated to a masterclass given by Elena Senís, Post-Doctoral Fellow of VHIO´s Cellular Plasticity and Cancer Group headed by María Abad, on cancer and the processes at play that transform normal cells into cancer cells, and how they keep growing and dividing to form tumors, as well as other aspects of cancer biology relating to their school syllabus.

Following Elena´s presentation, and with much excitement in the air, the children visited our laboratories and facilities, with hands-on activities including how to use microscopes to view cells in their various states – coached by José Jiménez, Laboratory Supervisor of VHIO´s Molecular Oncology Group led by Paolo Nuciforo, and an interactive workshop on the function and use of pipettes supervised by Verónica Rodilla and Antoni Luque, Post-Doctoral Fellow and Technician respectively, from our Growth Factors Group directed by Joaquín Arribas. The students also visited another VHIO facility where Marta Crespo, Translational Research Coordinator of VHIO´s Experimental Hematology Group, joined by Juan Nieto from her team, talked them through a range of cells under the microscope.

Throughout the course of their visit they also learnt about the basics surrounding liquid biopsy, the translational approach to research, and what sets VHIO apart as an internationally renowned comprehensive cancer centre. Of critical importance, during a final Q & A Session, we collectively reviewed the importance of cancer prevention and the avoidance of known risk factors including smoking, lack of exercise, obesity, and unprotected sun exposure. Particularly relevant to their school year, was conversation surrounding the HPV vaccine for 11-12 year olds.

VHIO´s Schools and Science Programme is open to all primary schools throughout the region.

For more information about this latest VHIO initiative contact: Amanda Wren, Director of Communications, Email: awren@vhio.net.

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