Discover Cancer Research, Treatment and Prevention at Saturday Science
Visitors to Saturday Science on August 4 will be able to walk through a colon!
How do doctors detect cancer? What foods and beverages contribute to living a healthier lifestyle? What are some ways to reduce your risk of cancer? What does precision medicine mean?
All of these questions and more are waiting to be answered on August 4, when the UW Carbone Cancer Center, the Morgridge Institute for Research and WARF team up for Saturday Science! The event, which is free and open to all ages, will be held from 10am to noon at the Discovery Building, 330 N Orchard St on the University of Wisconsin campus.
The more than 25 stations will all be presenting hands-on ways to show visitors the cancer research, treatment and prevention work conducted every day at UW Carbone.
At one interactive station, for example, representatives from UW Carbone’s Small Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF) will demonstrate how light can be used in cancer treatment – from finding tumors to removing them during surgery.
“In our facility, we work to create and improve contrast agents that help clinicians see cancer,” said Justin Jeffery, the manager of SAIF, as he demonstrated how a watery, food-coloring-like solution emits fluorescent light when the correct wavelength of light shines on it. “This agent, which is chemically bound to a fluorescent dye, seeks out tumors. So, when we inject it into mice, the tumor will then light up allowing a surgeon to more easily see the tumor margin and remove it.”
The SAIF station will let participants interact with different types of light to see how they penetrate tissue. They will also demonstrate how the concentration of different imaging agents affects the intensity of fluorescence, showing the importance of developing agents that are easily visible but not harmful to patients.
Also hosting an interactive station is a group of three graduate students from UW Carbone member Elaine Alarid, PhD’s lab: Becky Reese, Kyle Helzer and David Lung. They will demonstrate how scientists use the scientific method by testing the effectiveness of sunscreens, including the difference seen in protection between different SPFs, or between lotions and sprays.
Reese said one of the most important reasons she is participating is to show that scientists conduct research by asking questions and predicting the answer, but then conducting an experiment that may not always line up with their prediction.
“We want our station to show the research process,” Reese said. “We’ll ask, ‘Ok, what do you think is going to happen? Let’s make a hypothesis.’ And if they get a different result than they expected, then it gives a chance to think, “Well, why didn’t it happen the way we expected?’”
Lung said he wanted to participate because his parents bought him science kits as a child and it sparked his interest in pursuing science.
“And now I’m here, in a cancer biology graduate program,” Lung said. “I’m hoping that doing an outreach event like Saturday Science can spur an interest in younger kids, and maybe science is something they will consider down the line.”
For more information about Saturday Science, please visit their website. For information about parking or public transportation options, please visit the Discovery Building’s parking and transportation page.
This free event is sponsored by Neckerman Insurance and Chubb.
Date Published: 07/11/2018