Science Festival

First, choose your class period

Then take a look at our presentations below

Note, however, that enrollment ended on Nov 07, 2017.

Physician Assistant School and the PA Profession

We will describe the responsibilities and various roles of Physician Assistants in the medical field, and also explain PA school and the requirements for applying to graduate programs.


SpeakerUT Southwestern Physician Assistant Students

Admittance to the program requires: -Completion of baccalaureate degree, including required prerequisites, prior to matriculation -Earned at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in science and undergraduate coursework -Hands-on patient care experience generally required or strongly recommended prior to matriculation -Completion of GRE -Demonstrated leadership ability/past leadership experience

UT Southwestern Physician Assistant Students UT Southwestern

You can Make a Difference In a Child's Life: Pediatric Emergency Medicine

If you are energetic and love to help children, Pediatric Emergency Medicine is a career that combines critical care and primary health care in a high paced, exciting environment. Come hear what emergency medicine for children is all about and how you can make a difference in a child's life.


SpeakerPam Okada, MD

  • Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
  • Residency: Pediatrics: Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Fellowship: Pediatric Emergency Medicine: University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX
  • Current Position: Professor of Pediatrics and Attending Physician in the Pediatric Emergency Department

Physician University of Texas Southwestern Medical School; Children's Medical Center

Full Presentations

A Day in the Life of a Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse...

I will give an overview on how I figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up and how important it is to feel passionate about what you do. I'll also outline the steps I took to get into the Nurisng field and why I fell in love with pediatric hem/onc.


SpeakerGretchen Hirschey

  • HPHS Graduate 1987
  • Graduated Dec. 1991 with BSN in Nursing from UT Austin
  • Began work at Children's Medial Center (now Children's Health) in the summer 1990 as a Medical Assistant
  • Worked Christmas Break at Children's as a Pediatric Nurse Technician
  • Started as an RN in January 1992 at Children's on the Hem/Onc unit- quickly became charge nurse, preceptor, and Stem Cell Transplant certified
  • Became the Educator for the same Hem/Onc unit 1998-2001
  • Became the Outpatient Manager for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders 2001-2005 (retired to be home with my kids)
  • Back to work part time April 2008 CCBD Clinic
  • Promoted into Manager role again in January 2011-present in the CCBD Clinic

RN, BSN, CPHON Practice Administrator for the Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Children's Health, Dallas

Adult Cardiology and medical device implantation

I will discuss general adult cardiology, medical device implantation, and bring a factory representative from St Jude Medical to discuss the business side of medical device sales.


SpeakerScott Stephenson, MD

Adult cardiologist specializing in pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillaters.

MD Texas Cardiac

At the Leading Edge of Discovery: Finding New Ways to Treat Cancer

This presentation will cover education and training in the medical research field, the career paths available, and also an in-depth view of a career as an academic cancer researcher at a medical institution.


SpeakerAngelique Whitehurst, PhD

  • Education *Bachelors Degree (BA and BS) in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Virginia Tech. *PhD from UT-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas (UTSW). *Professional Experience *Post-doctoral Fellowship at UTSW
    • Assistant Professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill *Associate Professor at UTSW in the Harold Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center *Research Specialty - Cancer Biology.
      • Understanding the molecular mechanisms that permit uncontrolled growth of tumor cells
      • Identifying new targets for future therapies *Other Significant Professional Activities
      • Director, of the Molecular and Cellular Training Graduate (PhD) training Program at UTSW.
      • Editorial Board of Molecular and Cellular Biology (research journal).

Associate Professor UT-Southwestern Medical Center

Biomedical Sciences - The science discoveries that drive the future of medicine.

A philosophical look at the modern approach to scientific thought and research discovery in biomedical sciences and career options in the life sciences.


SpeakerStuart Ravnik, Ph. D.

  • BS in Biology, and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship in Genetics from Columbia University in New York
  • Faculty member in Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University in Lubbock
  • Moved to Dallas in 2002 to become Assistant Dean in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Southwestern. Became Associate Dean in 2014.
  • Was Associate Director of the STARS (Science Teacher Access to Resources at Southwestern) Program from 2006 to 2016.
  • Expert in genetics, reproductive biochemistry, research ethics and bioethics, and college and graduate admissions

Associate Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences UT Southwestern Medical Center

Careers in Computer Science

Learn about the amazing and diverse career opportunities in Computer Science.


SpeakerScott Bedford

  • BS in Industrial Engineering - Texas A&M; MBA - SMU
  • Co-founder of Source Media in 1988, a NASDAQ traded company
  • Co-founder of MultiView in 2000, a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus
  • MultiView is a digital marketing company specializing in the B2B space

Chairman and CEO MultiView, Inc.

Discovery of a neuroprotective chemical

Dr. McKnight will describe efforts over the last 6-7 years towards the discovery of a chemical that is capable of protecting neurons from dying in animal models of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and amyotrophicic lateral sclerosis. These efforts have involved chemists, biologists and biochemists working within the Department of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center.


SpeakerSteven McKnight, PhD

  • Received his bachelors degree in biology from UT Austin and his PhD in molecular biology from the University of Virginia
  • For many years he worked at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Embryology on the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore
  • He co-founded a biotechnology company in San Francisco with Drs. Robert Tjian and Dave Goeddel where he worked until 1995 when he returned to Texas to become Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

Professor & Chairman, Department of Biochemistry UT Southwestern Medical Center

Engineering Overview

General Discussion and Facts on Engineering; A Few Tips on Choosing a College; and What is Engineering School Like?


SpeakerLloyd Denman, P.E.

  • Highland Park High School, Class of 1983; National Merit Commendee, Varsity Football
  • Vanderbilt University, Class of 1987; Civil Engineering Degree, 2-year full academic scholarship; Fraternity member
  • Southern Methodist University, Class of 1991; Master of Business Administration
  • Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas and California

Assistant Director of Engineering City of Dallas

Inducing strokes and exciting brain tumor cells: investigations to study how brain cells communicate

Summary of a new development in stroke modeling to study brain recovery as well as the use of channel rhodopsin to excite tumor cells in order to identify molecules released.


SpeakerJennifer Long

*Highland Park High School graduate, class of 2006 *Rhodes College graduate, class of 2010 *8th year teaching high school science *UT Southwestern STARS participant *Conducted neuroscience research in summers of 2015, 2016

science teacher Highland Park Independent School District

Neuroimaging and the Treatment of Stroke

This session will introduce students to the educational and training pathways and day to day practice of a medical doctor specializing in the treatment of stroke.


SpeakerLee Pride, M.D.

  • High School: McCallie School Chattanooga, TN 1981
  • B.S. Biology University of the South Sewanee, TN 1985
  • M.D. University of Alabama School of Medicine Birmingham, AL 1989
  • Training:Internship: Internal Medicine 1989-1990
  • University of North Carolina Residency: Neurology 1990-1993
  • University of Texas Southwestern Dallas Residency: Radiology 1993-1997
  • University of Texas Southwestern Dallas Fellowship: Neuroradiology 1997-1999
  • Faculty University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 1999-Present

Neurointerventional Surgeon Professor of Radiology and Neurosurgery, UT Southwestern Medical Center

New Advances in Surgery using the da Vinci Robotic System

New advances in robotic technology have allowed surgeons to perform, and patients to undergo difficult procedures in a minimally invasive way. Students will have an opportunity for a hands on experience with the da Vinci Surgical Robot.


SpeakerRichard Salter, MD

  • Attended Abilene Christian University, graduated 1983
  • Attended Texas Tech University Medical School, graduated 1988
  • Internship and Residency at University of Kentucky, completed 1992
  • Specialized practice in Ob-Gyn in Dallas for 18 years, started Advanced Ob-Gyn Associaites in 2008
  • Main interest is in minimally invasive and advanced gynecologic surgery, utilizing the da Vinci surgical robotic system.

MD, Ob-Gyn Advanced Ob-Gyn Associates

The Career of a Physician-Scientist

Medicine is undergoing a sea of change at many levels: changes in healthcare delivery, economics, biology and technology. Whereas these myriad changes we face can be daunting at first, there has never been a more exciting time to make the world a better place through science and medicine!


SpeakerJoseph Hill, MD, PhD

  • Cardiologist-scientist whose research focuses on molecular mechanisms of remodeling in the stressed myocardium.
  • Graduated with an MD, PhD from Duke University
  • Pursued postdoctoral scientific training at the Institut Pasteur in Paris
  • Clinical training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
  • Faculty of the University of Iowa for 5 years
  • Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Harry S. Moss Heart Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center since 2002
  • Research focuses on deciphering mechanisms of structural, functional, and electrical remodeling in heart disease with an eye toward therapeutic intervention.
  • Editor-in-Chief of the #1 cardiovascular journal Circulation
  • Active clinical practice focusing on general cardiology, hypertension, and heart failure.

Professor of Medicine and Molecular Biology, Chief of Cardiology UT Southwestern Medical Center

The Science of Performance Nutrition - On the field, in the classroom!

Discover the nutritional science behind human performance whether it's demonstrated in running faster on the court or scoring higher on the test.


SpeakerMeridan Zerner

  • BS in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University
  • MS Nutritional Science from Oklahoma University
  • 28 years in fitness, nutrition and wellness
  • dietitian for Cooper Clinic, Cooper Fitness Center, Cooper Corporate Solutions, etc. for >16 years
  • Writer, media spokesperson, instructor, lecturer and marathoner!

Sports Dietitian MS, RDN, CSSD, LD Cooper Clinic

What is Cyber Threat intelligence?

This presentation will discuss what Cyber Threat Intelligence is and how it fits into the world of information security. I will discuss nation-state threat actors, hackers, and the insider threat. As well as a discussion about tools, tactics, and procedures (TTPs), and our place in the incident response process.


SpeakerSarah Sabotka

*Background in investigations and worked for an animal protection agency doing so, prior to returning to graduate school *Earned my Master's Degree in Cybersecurity with dual concentrations, in Cyber Intelligence and Computer Forensics *Prior to coming to Experian, I worked for a major financial institution - my entire Cybersecurity career has been within the private sector *Areas of interest include studies about nation-state threat actors, insider threats, and supply chain attacks

Senior Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst Experian