Media Advisory: It’s not brain surgery—oh wait, yes it is! UB Neurosurgery gives students a ‘hands-on’ introduction

Handling brain specimens from rats, dogs and humans, students will discover the world of neurosurgery

Release Date: May 16, 2013 This content is archived.

“This tour provides a great opportunity for Buffalo Public School students to see the unique blend of advanced medical science and cutting-edge research that goes on in this building. ”
Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, UB Associate Professor of Neurosurgery

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Twenty Bennett High School students will have the opportunity to check out brain surgery on May 17 when they tour the Gates Vascular Institute, hosted by the University at Buffalo Department of Neurosurgery.

Media are invited.  The tour takes place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the UB Neurosurgery facility at the Kaleida/UB building, which houses the Gates Vascular Institute/Clinical and Translational Research Center, 875 Ellicott Street on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Best time for visuals is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the 8th floor of the GVI/CTRC.

Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, associate professor in the UB Department of Neurosurgery in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will lead the tour.

Bennett High School is one of a dozen schools in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership, (ISEP) a nationally funded, UB-led coalition in Western New York. The coalition is designed to use interdisciplinary research to improve the knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers at ISEP schools to keep middle and high school students in the Buffalo Public Schools excited about science.

Siddiqui says he is eager to show students the advanced medical and research facilities at the Gates Vascular Institute, UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center and the Jacobs Institute.

“The GVI is a wonderful resource that sits right in the middle of the city of Buffalo and is a world leader in vascular medicine and vascular surgery and yet it’s unbeknownst to many local people,” says Siddiqui. “This tour provides a great opportunity for Buffalo Public School students to see the unique blend of advanced medical science and cutting-edge research that goes on in this building. Perhaps it will ignite a passion in some of them to pursue an advanced career in one of these exciting fields.”

Students will tour the angiography suites of the Gates Vascular Institute, where X-rays are taken of patients’ blood vessels in order to detect abnormalities. They will also tour the Toshiba Stroke and Vascular Research Center, where they will:

  • Learn about the evolution of the human brain by handling and examining brain specimens from rats, dogs and humans.
  • See a demonstration of how computers model aneurysms and how stents are deployed in blood vessels in order to treat them.
  • Learn how stents and shape-memory alloys are made
  • Watch a demonstration of a micro-CT machine that Toshiba researchers developed in the lab.
  • See and handle casts that researchers have made of arteries, which help them learn about and treat these life-threatening conditions.

The field trip was, in part, made possible by ISEP, a coalition of UB, the Buffalo Public Schools, Buffalo State College and the Buffalo Museum of Science, designed to keep students interested in science during the critical transition from middle school to high school.

“ISEP funding from the National Science Foundation included significant opportunities for field trip funding, an area that Buffalo Schools cannot afford as much as needed,” says Joseph A. Gardella, Jr., the John and Frances Larkin Professor of Chemistry at UB and ISEP director. “ISEP leadership always saw this as a means to inform students and teachers about the significant interdisciplinary research that is ongoing in Western New York, and to show them that this is an area where science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs are real. Besides the excitement it generates for students, faculty, teachers and staff, we hope that the students will take away the real opportunities for their future from field trips like those at UBNS today.”

ISEP allows for undergraduate and graduate students as well as volunteer faculty to work directly with Buffalo Public Schools teachers and students in their classrooms. More information about ISEP is at


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