Lara Navarro and Everton Smith Win BIO400 Presentation Award
On April 10, 2023, our BIO400 students gathered together to present their reports on their internship experience.
The presentations showcased the various internships that the students undertook during the BIO400 course. Each presentation was unique and highlighted the different skills and experiences gained by the students during their internships. However, two students stood out from the rest. Lara Navarro and Everton Smith were awarded the Best Presentation Awards for their exceptional presentations.
The faculty members and attendees were impressed by the dedication and hard work shown by all the students in their internships. The event highlighted the importance of hands-on experience in the field of biology and its role in shaping the future careers of these students.
Overall, the BIO400 internship presentation event was a success, showcasing the talents and skills of the future generation of biologists. The Department of Biology and the UTM Experiential Education Unit look forward to continuing to provide such opportunities for its students in the future.
My name is Lara Navarro and I am a 4th year undergraduate student completing a Biology Specialist degree. I am most passionate about courses in anatomy and physiology, embryonic development, and the social determinants of health. When I’m not a student, I enjoy playing the piano, basketball, reading, walking my yorkie, and doing yoga.
Growing up, I always enjoyed the sciences; it was my favourite subject in school, I loved replicating experiments with my brothers at home, and going to the Ontario Science Centre was my most treasured summer trip. I came to admire the medical aspect of science through my mother who is a nurse—the medical jargon she used in our day to day lives inspired me, and her ability to care for our family through both love and science-based knowledge made me value the opportunity to help heal others. As I grew up, multiple experiences within the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) have made me feel a strong affinity to the hospital environment. It has become the driving force in my life to pursue a career in paediatric medicine, and to aspire to heal other children in the same way.
My internship placement this year was in the SEARCH Program at the Hospital for Sick Children. My role was to screen for and enroll patients and their families into various clinical research studies in the Emergency Department. As a research trainee, I worked with research assistants to identify eligible patients through medical charts, converse with physicians and the clinical staff to confirm this eligibility, then approach families to pitch and enroll them into studies with informed consent.
This internship gave me the opportunity to become immersed in a clinical setting and see the inner workings of a hospital department. I was able to directly witness how various medical staff (doctors, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, etc) function as a unit to strive to deliver the best standard of care for each individual patient. As a result, having this opportunity has reaffirmed that I want to continue pursuing a career in paediatric medicine.
I would highly recommend this course to any future students because it is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in your career field of choice. The BIO400 internship placement is also supplemented with weekly in-class workshops for professional development, which I found to be incredibly informative and insightful. Some of these workshops were on networking, how to make effective resumes and cover letters, and how to prepare for interviews. Overall, the instruction was exceptional and I always felt uplifted and supported by the staff behind this course. I would recommend all students considering this internship to apply without hesitation.
Hi! My name is Everton Smith and I am a fourth year Biology Specialist student here at UTM, graduating in June 2023! For BIO400, I was placed in the Multi-Organ Transplant Student Research Training Program (MOTSRTP) with the Ajmera Transplant Centre which is part of UHN’s Toronto General Hospital. In my placement, I was a member of a kidney transplantation research team along with two other undergraduate students. Throughout the year I worked on various tasks. Examples include data collection where I would review patient charts to collect information pertaining to their transplant experience. This included things like patient medical history, urine analysis results, and adverse cardiac events post transplant. My team and I also competed in a Dragon’s Den competition where we were developing a patient expert model for the Ajmera Transplant Centre to help foster healthcare innovation and research. Essentially, our aim was to develop a patient group who could meet regularly to come up with ideas for new research projects or ways to improve the Ajmera Transplant Centre. The program also offered a variety of unique educational opportunities in the form of journal clubs and seminars/workshops hosted by program alumni.
My BIO400 experience opened my eyes to the vast field of clinical research. I learned that I like being able to see the direct effects research findings can have on patient outcomes and patient care. My internship has influenced my next steps. It reaffirmed my interest in working in the medical field in the future and inspired my curiosity to learn more about topics in medical science. Next year, I will be doing a Master of Health Science in Medical Physiology at the University of Toronto where I will be able to continue learning more about different areas in medical science and have the opportunity to apply my knowledge to industry through the program’s internship placement. I will also be able to continue exploring my interest in clinical research through a literature review course offered by this master’s program.
I believe that BIO400 is an excellent course that Biology students at UTM should strongly consider. It offers students the opportunity to explore potential careers not commonly discussed as options for Biology graduates. It also allows students to apply skills developed in courses at UTM. I was able to use my critical analysis skills when conducting literature reviews and reading through scientific articles, as well as my knowledge of physiology to understand topics in kidney transplantation. Through this experiential learning opportunity, I got real life experience that has not only developed my personal skills, but also my CV!
Congratulations, Class of 2023 BIO400!