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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Project Pulse:​ A Health Sciences Initiative

By: Margret Lo, Student Reporter

 Project Pulse.jpg

(photo courtesy of Project Pulse)


On November 18, two Loretto Abbey students attended Project Pulse, a youth-led conference aimed at educating students about the multiple professions that can be found within the health sciences. Held at the Ontario Science Centre, 30 students from across Toronto spent eight hours listening to speakers, learning how to network, and were also given the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of professionals and university students.


This workshop focused on educating today’s youth about the many pathways that are available to those interested in healthcare. The first part of the day looked at the achievements of one particular individual, Jessie MacAlpine. At the age of 18, MacAlpine discovered that mustard seed oil could be used as a tool to cure malaria and was named one of Forbes’ 20 under 20. Since then, MacAlpine has been researching her discovery, while also being a full-time student studying molecular genetics at the University of Toronto. Within her presentation, MacAlpine provided insight on the importance of communication, particularly in the sciences, and how the lack of clarity can affect the reputation of a scientist.


Throughout the day, we were given the opportunity to talk to students attending university programs such as McMaster University’s Health Sciences, Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School (QuARMS), and University of Toronto’s Medical School. As one of the attendees, I was able to ask multiple questions, especially about the university application process and what makes a person stand out. One piece of advice that each panellist provided was the importance of being “true to yourself and emphasizing your individuality.”


The next part of the day provided a workshop discussing how to network with professionals who we are bound to meet in the future. Rosen Chang, a Grade 12 student said, “The networking session… made me get out of my comfort zone and helped me realize how beneficial it is to network.”


The last part of the day was definitely the most anticipated as we welcomed Andrea Tricco, a professor who was recently awarded a tier 2 Canada Research Chair. Tricco shared her research and discussed her hopes in improving healthcare by advancing research based on knowledge synthesis, a process that involves combining information from multiple research studies allowing physicians, patients, and policy-makers to make educated decisions about healthcare. Her presentation provided great insight in how to become a successful researcher.


Project Pulse was an informative event, helping to educate all the students who attended. Being an annual occurrence, Project Pulse only gets better every year!  Want to attend? Like their Facebook page, Project Pulse, and stay tuned for their next conference, taking place in November 2018!