July 3-5, 2024

BioMedicine 2024

Welcome to BioMedicine 2024


Welcome to BioMedicine 2024, a symposium designed to highlight the research success of trainees in the field of biomedical sciences. This year marks our 10th annual BioMedicine Symposium. We are very pleased to welcome two distinguished scientists to join us for a milestone year - Dr. Steven Segal (Univ. of Missouri) and Dr. Brian MacVicar (UBC). We look forward to hearing their inspiring research and career stories.

With renovations taking place in the Faculty of Medicine education spaces, we are branching out this year to take advantage of other sites on campus and off campus for our event. These include the community room at Bannerman Brewing Co. on July 3 for an afternoon of flash talks, the Whale atrium of Core Science Building (poster sessions) and the Health Science Main Auditorium (oral presentations) on July 4, and the Emera Innovation Exchange Conference Centre at Signal Hill campus on July 5 for a second day of oral presentations.

Members of the Division of BioMedical Sciences and the planning committee would like to thank the Faculty of Medicine and the Office of Research & Graduate Studies for support of the visiting speaker program. Thank you to Jennifer Armstrong for graphics and photography support.

We hope you enjoy the symposium!

Planning committee members:

Sarah Hartery (Student rep)

Dr. Ann Dorward (BHD program rep)

Dr. John Law (IID program rep)

Dr. Matthew Parsons (Neuroscience program rep)

Dr. Mike Woods (HGG program rep)

Dr. Anil Zechariah (Cardio program rep)

Administrative Assistance:

Ms. Amy Carroll

Ms. Kim Hearn

Welcome to BioMedicine 2024

Visiting Speakers

  • Dr. Brian MacVicar, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS

    Dr. Brian MacVicar, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS

    Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, Faculty of Medicine, UBC

    Seminar: Impact of microglia-astrocyte communication on neuronal function and survival

    Synopsis: Dr. MacVicar will describe how communication between the brain’s glial cells (microglia and astrocytes) is important in supporting many important brain functions including the maintenance of neuronal activity and even neuronal repair. In this talk Dr. MacVicar will describe how brain function is supported by metabolic reprogramming of glia; how immunometabolism modifies feedback regulation of synaptic function and finally how metabolic reprogramming promotes astrocyte support of microglia immunosurveillance and promotes neuronal survival. The relevance to glial involvement in Alzheimer’s dementia will be discussed.

    Lab Bio: Dr. MacVicar’s research has focused on the interactions between nerve cells and the surrounding support cells of the brain called glia in the maintenance of brain function and neurodegeneration. In 1984 he was the first to show that astrocytes, previously thought to be passive, can display neuronal-like active voltage gated calcium and potassium ion currents and responses to transmitters . Since then his work has shown that that glia including astrocytes and microglia are not just support cells but are active participants in brain activity, both responding to and altering activity of nerve cells and directly modifying cerebrovascular responses. His work has been published in Science, Nature, Cell, J Neuroscience, Glia.

  • Dr. Steven Segal, PhD

    Dr. Steven Segal, PhD

    Dept. Medical Pharmacology and Physiology & Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri

    Seminar: Microvascular Resilience, Injury, and Regeneration

    Lab Bio: Research in the Segal laboratory centers on understanding blood flow regulation as exemplified by skeletal muscle in response to exercise. Studies have centered on elucidating the nature of signaling between skeletal muscle fibers and microvessels as well as between microvascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells in light of how these interactions are modulated by autonomic, sensory and somatic innervation. Ascending vasodilation describes the ability of signals initiated within the smallest microvessels (capillaries and terminal arterioles) to spread upstream into arteriolar networks and feed arteries that control the distribution and magnitude of tissue blood flow. Defining the morphology and physiology of microvascular networks is now being applied towards understanding how myofibers, microvessels, and peripheral nerves interact during regeneration and reinnervation following acute injury. Current studies focus on how “crosstalk” between these critical components of intact skeletal muscle affect each other’s ability to recover structure and function. Complementary studies center on understanding how vascular smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells of the vascular wall are differentially protected from acute oxidative stress in light of their ability to adapt to chronic oxidative stress, as occurs during advanced age or consuming a western-style diet. Gaining new insight into cellular mechanisms of regeneration and survival will translate into improving the ability to restore and protect tissue blood flow, organ function, and the quality of life in patients following traumatic injury.

Symposium Locations

Bannerman map.jpeg
Core Science building.jpeg
Whale (mar comm).jpg
Signal hill.jpeg

Artwork 2024

This year's BioMedicine 2024 poster is a compilation of our booklet cover art since 2015.

We had one new submission from an aspiring artist this year modelled on the 2019 Jackson Laboratory colouring calendar. A clear winner!

Artist: Wes Esseltine-Sharp

Age: 2.5 years

Mixed media (crayons, markers, paint, chalk, food, dirt, boogers)

Title: "My Mommy’s a Scientist"

BiomedicalSymposium_Cover 2024.jpg

Artwork 2024

Thanks to Dr. Sam Carew for submitting artwork on theme for the 10th anniversary of the symposium.

Title: "That One Week in July"

Description: Acrylic painting on canvas

Artwork 2024

Illustration 2024

Thank you to Dr. Sam Carew for submitting to the 2024 illustration competition.

Title: "Sanguineous Stars of the Mind"

Brief description: Astrocytes (yellow) are in direct contact with blood vessels, creating the blood brain barrier, to protect neurons (purple) from pathogens in the blood. I have developed an ex vivo protocol where acute hippocampal slices are exposed to inflammatory stimuli to induce an immune response, then post-fixed and re-sectioned onto microscope slides for immunohistochemistry. In this way, the cellular architecture is kept in-tact and neuroinflammation can be studied directly without the involvement of infiltrating peripheral immune signals.

Illustration 2024

2023 BioMedicine Photo Album

Symposium 2023.JPG

After-Symposium Location

A post-symposium trek to the Georgetown Pub is a long-standing symposium tradition (with karaoke; evidence available by request); 78 Hayward Ave.

Georgetown pub.jpeg


3rd Bannerman Brewing / 4th MUN / 5th Signal Hill Campus

Registration period

June 4, 2024 - 12:50 PM until June 14, 2024 - 11:30 PM

Submission period

June 4, 2024 - 12:50 PM until June 25, 2024 - 11:30 PM

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact adorward@mun.ca .

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