Tomorrow’s scientists enjoy Immunology Day

Hannah Brooks and Tahlia Ricketts were all smiles on Immunology Day.

Secondary school students have immersed themselves in the fascinating world of the immune system for the International Day of Immunology at Federation University’s Berwick Campus on Friday 10 May.

The international Day of Immunology was celebrated annually to raise public awareness of the immune system.

The day saw 40 Year 12 Biology students and five of their teachers reinforcing their learning about the immune system through two hands-on lab sessions and talks from practicing immunologists about their research and career pathways.

The event, Superheroes and Rogue Units, was organised by the Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology (ASI) in collaboration with Federation University’s School of Health and Life Sciences.

Under the guidance of postgraduate mentors and teachers from the participating organisations, students used microscopes and conduct diagnostic tests to view and compare the white blood cell response in health and during diseases like leukaemia and influenza infection.

Keynote speakers were Dr Justine Mintern, molecular biologist from Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute at the University of Melbourne; and Dr Danielle Auldist from Federation University’s School of Health and Life Sciences.

National Day of Immunology coordinator, Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology, Dr Gabriela Khoury said: “Our secondary school workshops are a fantastic opportunity for students to get a taste of immunology research and to learn about different career paths in science.”

“This is the second year we have ran our Day of Immunology program at Federation University’s Berwick Campus. The program was designed by ASI members to educate the next generation of immunologists,” she said.

Lecturer of veterinary bioscience at Federation University, Dr Danielle Auldist said the workshops were a great way for students to get a hands-on experience with researchers and to “learn about the science degrees at Berwick and the careers they lead to.”

Event co-organiser and laboratory demonstrator, Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology, Dr Erika Duan said: “VCE students gain hands-on experience learning about disease diagnosis, specifically influenza and cancer, using ELISA and microscopy techniques in the laboratory.”

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