WATERLOO, Ont. (Tuesday, April 12, 2011) - More than 250 high school students from Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Brantford and the Greater Toronto Area will participate in hands-on activities and discover intriguing opportunities in the health sciences and related disciplines at the University of Waterloo on Tuesday, April 19.

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame/TD Discovery Days in Health Sciences program is offered annually at 11Canadian universities. Waterloo’s event features a full day of 16 interactive workshops, a keynote lecture and a career panel discussion.

"The University of Waterloo is proud of its continued support of this important national initiative that encourages young people to consider a career in the health sciences," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president of the University of Waterloo. "These engaging discovery day activities have been made possible thanks to a collaborative effort between the faculty of applied health sciences and faculty of science."

At 9 a.m., Stephen Scherer, senior scientist at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, will start the program with a presentation on applied genomics entitled Treasure the Rarities for They Reveal the Most. An expert in how human genes interact to cause disease, Scherer has received international acclaim for his discovery of the regions of the human chromosome that contain genes linked to autism. The talk takes place at the Humanities Theatre in the J. G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities.

Afterward, students will visit research labs and teaching rooms where they can synthesize Acetaminophen, stain cells using state-of-the-art 3D microscopes and analyze vitamin C, among other activities.

"Discovery day gives students an idea of what it’s like to be a health professional by interacting with educators and clinicians in a practical, hands-on setting," said Janet Tufts, executive director of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. "We hope the activities offered during discovery day at Waterloo will inspire students about the fascinating world of health."

Among the interactive workshops:

• Revealing the Ability in DisABILITY - The Art and Science of Recreation Therapy. Students will participate in wheelchair basketball and discover how people with disabilities can overcome barriers and use recreation to achieve optimal health and independence.

• Athletic Taping - Helping Athletes Maintain Peak Performance. Participants will learn taping techniques used by athletic therapists to help athletes remain injury-free.

• Imaging of the Human Eye. Students will use instruments to define the cornea's shape and image the optic nerve, retina and anterior segment of the eye.

News media are asked to check in by 8:30 a.m. at the registration desk located outside the Humanities Theatre in the J. G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities. Media are invited to join the students for the keynote lecture and any of the three workshops listed above.

About The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

A non-profit organization located in London, Ont., The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame offers the discovery days program through the generous support of corporate sponsors, namely TD Bank Financial Group. The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame celebrates discovery and innovation in the medical sciences both through discovery days and its laureate program. Stories of the 82 Hall of Fame laureates are found at www.cdnmedhall.org.

About Waterloo

The University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, is one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities. Waterloo is home to 30,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are dedicated to making the future better and brighter. Waterloo, known for the largest post-secondary co-operative education program in the world, supports enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. For more information about Waterloo, visit www.uwaterloo.ca.


Janet Tufts, executive director, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, 519-661-7785 or jtufts@cdnmedhall.org

Michelle Douglas-Mills, communications manager, faculty of applied health sciences, 519-888-4567 ext. 38345 or mdouglas@uwaterloo.ca

Joanna Magee, communications officer, faculty of science, 519-888-4567 ext. 38983 or jmagee@uwaterloo.ca

John Morris, Waterloo media relations, 519-888-4435 or john.morris@uwaterloo.ca

Waterloo news release no. 25

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