By Ethan Hall
Roughly 15 students filed into the DHS Career Center on Tuesday, April 9 to hear a presentation on stem cell bioengineering by Dr. Eduardo Silva. Silva is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis. He is also the principal investigator of Silva Lab at UCD. The lab focuses on the field of translation stem cell bioengineering. More specifically, the lab aims “to develop new material platforms that enable one to control stem/progenitor cell trafficking in the body”, reads http://www.bme.ucdavis.edu/silva/.
The presentation was one of many that have been put on by the Career Center throughout the year. A number of biomedical and bioengineering based presentations have also been offered at DHS thanks to the student Health Careers Club.
Silva started his presentation with the reason why he was there in the first place, “to share why [he] loves science.” The presentation covered the basics of stem cells and how they can be used to treat diseases such as cancer as well as how stem cells can be trafficked in the body. Students interested in the field inquired about Silva’s work and the practical implications of it.
Senior John Testerman was an avid listener to Silva’s presentation. “Stem cells are a very interesting science field with many applications.” Testerman said. Testerman is a self-proclaimed “science-fanatic” and therefore he greatly enjoyed presentation. “Stem cells can be used in cancer research, curing diseases, and healing injuries. Dr Silva was able to tie the big picture of stem cells and show the potential that the research has.” Testerman said.
Senior Jenna Arciero also harbors an interest in the scientific field, specifically relating to genetics. Before she was born, Arciero had doctors worried that she might be born with Trisomy 18, a genetic disease caused by extra chromosomal material which usually leads to premature death. “This experience has influenced me to focus my studies on genetic diseases so that in the future, I can contribute to the advancement of methods used to mitigate the effects of these disorders,” Arciero will be seeing Silva around at UC Davis next year where she plans to continue her higher education.