Department of Biology Hosts Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Discovery Day

Dr. Heidi Schraft (Associate Professor and Applied Life Sciences program coordinator) along with support from the biology technicians welcomed high school students from Thunder Bay and Ignace for Discovery Days in Health Sciences.  Students worked as epidemiologists to discover the cause of a foodborne disease outbreak.  Working in groups, they meticulously followed the same steps the Public Health Agency of Canada takes when an outbreak occurs.  Students reviewed interview information from patients, statistically analyzed those data, hypothesized potential food sources from a restaurant, identified potential pathogens isolated from patient and food samples as cultured on different media, and confirmed the pathogen by preparing and running a DNA gel (DNA bacterial fingerprinting).  Students discovered that solving an outbreak is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle and epidemiology would be a very interesting health sciences career.