On May 18, 2022, a group of a dozen students from Collège de Béthusy in Lausanne visited the CIBM premises at the Radiology Department of the CHUV to discover the field of biomedical imaging and to learn more about the daily work of researchers in a clinical environment. The core of the visit organized by Dr. Solange Denervaud, a specialist in child neurodevelopment, consisted of a diagnostic radiological imaging course, ultrasound workshop, and the MRI workshop.
The visit began with a light lunch in the CIBM CHUV seminar room where Dr. Pina Marziliano, CIBM Executive Director gave a short introduction of the interinstitutional center and shared the importance of collaborating in research. She was then joined by Prof. Matthias Stuber, Head of the CIBM MRI CHUV-UNIL Translational MR Imaging Section who greeted the students with inspiring questions that sparked their interest in research. Two girls and one boy were especially thrilled about the idea of becoming scientists.
Then, the children engaged in a presentation delivered by Prof. Alban Denys, Head of the Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Department, which covered medical radiology’s history and diagnostic tools. The interactive and enthusiastic nature of Prof. Denys’ session raised a lot of interest among the students who asked many insightful questions.
A tour of the labs that followed, gave students a chance to see different infrastructures. They were split into two smaller groups to visit the 3 Tesla (3T) MRI scanner and an ultrasound simulator, normally used by medical students. Mr. Amadou Diop, a technician in medical radiology (MRT), showed children the MRI scanner, described its magnetic field, and scanned each child that had volunteered. The students were excited by the possibility of observing their own brains and being able to take the images home with them. During their time at the MRI, the students also discovered the mock MRI scanner, usually used to reassure young patients before a clinical exam in a real MRI scanner. In parallel, students were able to use the simulator of ultrasound under the supervision of Mr. Giuseppe Gullo, head of MRT of the ultrasound unit, in a very joyful atmosphere. There, they could scan an artificial human body to learn about the abdominal structures. Both activities generated a lot of enthusiasm and interest among the students. The children and their teachers were very appreciative of this unusual afternoon. They left the CHUV with a big dose of new knowledge about biomedical imaging and eager to receive the 3D printed models of the scanned images of their brains.
We thank Dr. Denervaud for the inspiring initiative, as well as, Ms. Coline Grasset, a master’s degree student from UNIL, for her assistance and sharing the behind the scenes with us throughout the visit.
The visit is part of CIBM’s community engagement efforts aimed to inspire and encourage young people to pursue science careers. We look forward to future student visits.