Saturday, May 28, 2022

uOttawa Science – Biomedical Science

Hello my name is michael johns i'm a professor in the department of biology and a member of the biomedical science program and it's a great pleasure to deliver this presentation to new potential students at the university .

Of ottawa those high school students that are considering coming to our university and studying the bim program it's a shame that i'm not able to to meet with you in person and to deliver this information in person as i as i and we have done in the past um but you know we we carry on um .

We all need an education and we move forward so it's it's uh it's i'm glad that you're hearing that you're interested and i'm happy to relay this information to you so i want to start off by just describing a few details about the bim program .

And i'll get into some details on different courses that you can take all the way to what you get out of the program and where you go from there um these are some images of uh in front of some of our buildings this is our zebra fish facility where we do a lot of our biomedical research .

Um at uh in the biomedical science program um now so the bim program we're really part of the department of biology and you know the bim program like many of our specialty programs in science really .

Make up the bulk of our biology students it used to be the case where most students in biology were in biology now most of our bio students are interested in some of these programs such as such as bim because they're specialized and they really have a focus of different different types of courses .

That'll that i'll describe so within the faculty of science we're located in department of biology and for those of you that are interested in seeing a map if you attend the university and you're looking for us you'll find us in the jeandron buildings biosciences diorio the dean's office is in the stem .

Building which at the time of this construction of this map it was the building itself was under construction of course now it's finished but this is the really where bio and bim is located in this complex of buildings associated with biology and we're at the downtown campus um .

If you have questions about the the bim program these can all be addressed uh to our director odell nanova so she's a biologist in our department and she's the head of the bim program also dr katy gilmour who is the assistant .

Chair of biology she can help and of course our chair jeremy kerr and department biology is knowledgeable as well but about this program myself i'm currently a member of bim i've mentioned this already in the past i have been coordinator of the honors program .

For bim i did that for about three years so i really got to know a lot about the the honors research projects and courses that we have in the department and the courses that i teach are part of the bim program and really what that means is many of the students that i teach in my courses are in the bim program some are .

In biochemistry some are in biology chemistry some even in physics but many of the bim students that go through our department take my courses as well well why should you study biomedical science why should you study bim well many of you coming out of high .

School have interests in the health sciences in medicine perhaps the health profession and what bim is is a collection of um not just courses that you can take that are tailored to your interests that you can see yourself tailor as you go through .

The program through the degree but you also get a lot of good laboratory experience so so you get some flexibility to help explore your interests you know if you're interested in biochemistry then you would lean towards the biochemistry program or biopharmaceutical science or environmental biology but if you're .

Interested in biomedical science then then this is for you and we have a lot of courses that we offer in different departments in chemistry in biology even in physics and these can be tailored and you can take these as part of your your .

Studies in biomedical science okay so it helps you to get a very strong background in basic and health related related sciences now one thing that we're also very proud of is the laboratory experience that you get in this program so the first three years you will be taking lab .

Doing work in what we call teaching laboratories so these are laboratories that um you would you would do lab reports in as part of course like chemistry and some biology courses we offer laboratories so these are these are weekly .

Um labs that you you go you you follow instructions you carry these labs and you write a report at the at the end it's a very uh traditional way of studying biology that has been going on for for many years certainly in my own education the biology lab is very critical to a .

Degree in biology so these are what we call teaching laboratories so you do some it's not research but it's you're learning how to get laboratory skills and then in years three and four you start doing research and i'll get into a little more detail there as well so you work in not in .

Teaching labs but you you work in research labs of professors such as myself to to carry out original research and you can do research throughout the academic year during the summer in some cases you could get a job working in a lab or a volunteer and you .

Could do work in labs through co-op placements and some high schools have co-op programs already so for those that are in co-op in high school you might be interested in something like this in the bim program so by the end of this program .

We we find that students can demonstrate a good depth in knowledge uh knowledge of methodologies you know how to carry out science the scientific method um our students are very good at applying this knowledge um .

So what you've learned in our program you you can then take with you as you move forward into your career communication skills this is something that we um we focus on especially in the senior years when you start to present uh scholarly seminars and communicate your research with other students and with your .

Professors and also it's important to be aware of the limits of knowledge and this is something that that i like to think that we learn in all of our courses especially in the main program and so all of this helps you to build independence and professional capacity .

And we hope that you'll carry this forward in a successful career whatever that may be now i want to talk a little bit more about the laboratory experience so in years one and two you you learn that the foundations of science and specifically in .

In the lab now this is just sort of a display of different courses that you can take in your first and second year following with your semesters and the green arrows indicate those courses that are um are where there are laboratories that you will take like an organismal biology the principles of chemistry .

Or introduction to cell biology genetics so these are labs that you'll take so in the first two years you really learn about the foundation of science you know human anatomy and physiology these are some very important courses that you take during these these two years as well as as an introduction or integration of .

Laboratory experience into your into your courses okay so so really the foundations in the first two years that you acquire so you can you can pause the video and have a look at these um these uh these courses here in a little more detail if you like .

Now here is an example of a typical student's schedule in the first year in the winter term so the fall term is from september to early december and then you have exams just before the christmas holidays and then in the new year so a student might have um so these are the courses that you .

Might find for for full course load in first year so you can have a look at this and imagine what it might be like to to take these courses we generally give our our lectures um in 80-minute time slots these are actually shown in 90-minute time slots but technically they're 80 minutes you've .

Got 10 minutes to get from one lecture to another so in some cases you have to run across campus which is a lot of fun but often you can make it in 10 minutes without any any problem and i i can well speaking for myself and many other colleagues that of course were tolerant .

To students coming in a few seconds late if they've had to cross campus for for class that's not really a problem okay so this gives you an idea um and again you can have a look at this uh on your own time and and see what it might be like to to have different different courses in your first year and how these might be distributed .

Throughout the term and of course you have different you have some spaces in which you can meet up with friends and have some coffee and and study go to the library catch up on some some lectures that you want to review for an exam for example years three and four the focus is more on research experience .

Not just research experience but actually should also say that many of our courses in which you're you're not doing research you're not doing labs you're starting to think more like a scientist you're starting to think about the scientific method you're looking into the literature you're not just learning general .

Principles but now you're being uh expected to think to uh to at a higher level more is expected of you in these senior years and uh there's one course that's uh that's a lab here so generally um as is shown here in this this red box throughout your your experience as a bim student .

You get a really high degree of flexibility and the ability to modify take courses that you that you that you like as you as you go forward and there's some options here in your final year you begin to really see you've got all those foundation courses out of the way as you get to third and fourth year you .

Can now start to select the courses that you want to help round out your uh your academic career and these are some examples of courses it's not an exhaustive list but these are courses that you can take and i can say for myself i teach .

Bio 3153 cell biology and membrane physiology that's down here this year i'm also going to be teaching well it's not well it's a seminar course but it's not listed on this it's not on this page and i can say for myself that you know one thing i try to do in cell biology is i introduce some concepts that i talk .

About a little later on in my membrane physiology course so it's a sort of a mix of cell biology and physiology and this is really what we try to do in this program we offer all these courses and we're pretty careful at making sure that students coming into these courses have the prerequisites .

And that they're following kind of a stream or a common thread to these courses and this is something that you'll want to watch for as you go through the program this program or any program you really want to choose courses with with the idea in mind that you want to get into some of these upper level courses later on so if you've got .

Your ma got your eye on actually these are mostly third and fourth your courses that are shown that are shown here but if you've got your eye on some of these courses well you need to start taking in second and third year courses that you need as prerequisites for this so something to think about so these are some of these upper level courses that .

You'll take as you get in the third and fourth year now we have different options different streams within biomedical science for example you can focus on bio biomedical science biostats cell molecular medicine medicinal chemistry and neuroscience is one example .

And i'm myself i'm a neuroscientist and so these are some examples of courses that you might take in your in your last last couple of years that are gearing you towards this specialty in neuroscience so you you will need to know a little bit about .

Cell biology that gets into membrane physiology some neural basis of behavior principles of neurobiology this is the other course that i'm doing in the coming year it's a fourth year seminar course in which our research students go into the literature explore different original articles and make presentations .

In a scholarly manner amongst their peers okay so this is an example of the neuroscience option or stream within bim and courses that you might take with that selection now you have the choice to do research in the biomedical science program in third year you can take bim 309 which is .

A research practicum so this is a six credit course so this is actually equivalent to two courses you can take two lecture-based courses and this would be the same value of that in terms of credits so it's a full year of research by 12 hours a week in a lab there are some lectures there may be .

Discussions workshops associated with this and you would work closely with the professor to carry out a small research project likely linked with a mentor in the lab probably a graduate student to help you through uh in your fourth year you can take a 409 project so this is the the grand .

Research project um which is the pinnacle of biological programs in our in our faculty and this is a nine credit course so this is the equivalent of three lecture based courses so this is a large research project so in lieu of taking three courses you instead focus on this research project .

And um there's a little more of an expectation here these are fourth year course students it's a full year of research you work independently on a project this is going to be your thesis so at the end of the project you write up a major paper that we call a thesis you give a poster presentation .

At the annual research poster day and through the year you work in a research lab and you do this in a consultation with a professor and oftentimes the the help of mentors in the lab such as phd and master's students so in my own lab every year i take on at least three honors students and many .

Of these are bim students and uh bim students are are very high quality and i'm always happy to have a bim student in my lab and i'm usually very excited about the the research that they that they're able to produce in one year so we start off training in the in the lab to get some experience and then once they're fully .

Trained to do these techniques that they've learned from me or my my graduate students they then work independently to carry out their research project and there are some other courses that are associated with thesis such as these seminar courses and we can .

These are details that you can look into i think when you get a little closer to your fourth year program but the idea is to get you into research to understand how to read research articles and how to do original experiments in the lab and i should say that .

Doing research in biology there is really an element of creativity to it this is something that i started to see when i got into research myself you know going through science you don't always appreciate the element of creativity in in scientific research but .

But you do for those of you out there that are creative people that have creative minds perhaps you're an artist or a musician or something like that you'll be pleasantly surprised or if you'd like to write as i do um you'll be pleasantly surprised at the creative elements that .

You can actually get with programs like this and we have annual research symposia this is just a an old ad from the 2019 symposium this year the symposium be a little different because it'll be done remotely online nationally by the time you reach your .

Third and fourth year we'll be long past this covet 19 pandemic and so the in your third and fourth year we sometimes have awards that students can get and i'll talk about that in the next slide .

Such as the europe award in which students can get scholarships or studentships of a thousand dollars canadian and uh so this this is an award that that is attached to the research scholarship so if you have interest in getting .

Scholarship opportunities there's a link down here you can find that on our website there are a number of different um and these are usually for upper year years three two two three and four students uh not usually in first year but as you finish first year and go into your up your upper year levels in the .

Bim program you can start thinking about applying for the undergraduate research opportunity program this is the europe program the insert which is the natural sciences and engineering research council of canada award undergraduates research awards so you can take these up these are very .

Commonly used or awarded to students for research during the summer and we also have work study programs that uh are also ways for you to get into the lab so basically these are all programs designed to give scholarships to students .

To get them into the lab and in some cases providing a fair salary for the summer or actually anytime during the year but most commonly in the summer so if you have any interest in looking at some of these .

These programs please refer to this link at the bottom there and we have also within the bim program these are relatively new editions you can also integrate some courses if you're interested in in science on entrepreneurship or if you're interested in science policy and i'll leave you to read .

Uh this slide and you can integrate entrepreneurship or policy in your program if that's something that you decide to do we also have a french immersion stream this um so naturally we're a bilingual university we offer courses in french and english and for those that are .

Taking the bim program in english you can opt to take some courses in french and i believe it's 14 courses throughout your academic career in the four years if you take 14 courses in french you then qualify for this french immersion stream of bim and so you can look at that .

Part of the program at this link right here and these are some happy faces of the faculty of science undergraduate office that can that can help you i don't have the names here i don't want to take the time to introduce everybody but if you go to the website .

You can certainly see a lot of these these friendly faces there and you can get in contact with them here's an email down here and some the telephone not too many people use fax anymore but the number is there just in case but if you have any questions you can contact us and we're in the genre building .

Room 172 and if you need other help during your career as an undergraduate student in the bim program we have a science buddies program this is on our first floor of the the sean drandar building i believe that these individuals are also available by email but you can wander over there and you .

Can get some assistance from upper level upper year students that have gone through a lot of these these programs and courses and they can help you do a lot of things you can ask questions about course material navigating your way through courses and just speak to other students that are a little further advanced than .

You and it's always nice to have a mentor somebody that can that can help you give you some ideas so what do you do after your your degree in bim well you can work you can check that box or you can go off to graduate studies you can do a master's degree or phd degree .

You can teach you can go on to teachers college you can go to a professional school medicine dentistry law and if you need advice we have a career development a career development center that can help you navigate some of these decisions decisions i have a lot of students that .

That ask me you know what do i do now that i've that i've got my degree where do i go from here and it's you know it's really a complicated thing to to advise i sort of sit down with students and have a conversation and sometimes that helps to learn a little more about a student but their interests .

Sometimes i think a student knows what they want to do but they're not quite sure what that is but it is an important decision and it's it's one that we all make and i hope that we can help you make that decision when you get there many of our students go on to a variety of really interesting careers .

Many students go to health canada many of my former bim students have gone on to careers in medicine dentistry i have one former student that's now a veterinarian other government agencies health canada i've mentioned already environment canada and of course careers in the private sector .

These are also possible um so we hope that you'll you'll see that by studying biomedical science this will give you a way to acquire knowledge laboratory experience uh basic knowledge in biology .

And these different aspects of science that you'll be exposed to throughout your studies in bam and we hope that you'll be able to take that experience and take that with you in in your future career and so with that i like to say thank you for listening to this this presentation um we hope to welcome you to the .

Biomicroscience program this is a shot taken from an aquarium these fish actually look like they've been photoshopped but onto this image but they haven't i've seen those fish they're actually in the tank they have very bright colors this this aquarium is actually .

Functional on our first floor of the one of our biology buildings and we hope they'd be able to see it so again um i miss not seeing you in person and i really do enjoy interacting with high school students and answering your questions it's fun to hear what you're interested in i really enjoy the ideas that you have .

The excitement that you have and i hope that you're really excited to come to university and i hope that you choose to come to the university of ottawa and we hope that you choose the bim program and if you have any questions this is a recorded video as you will have no doubt have .

Learned by now but i will also be available in person at the open house for a question and answer session so perhaps i will get the chance to meet with you some of you um in in that manner so with that i'll uh i'll i'll say goodbye and uh the best of luck .

To you and i hope to see you at the university

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