Biomedical students prepare to solve medical mystery of diseases

Students work to raise awareness for the biomed program and its future of training scientists


Bailey Williams

Biomed students Sergio Ambriz and Jennifer Quach practice treating and cleaning wounds

Ruben Nava, Staff Writer

Like detectives trying to identify Patient Zero and the source of a disease outbreak, students in Akins biomedical program are training to solve the medical mysteries of the future.

The biomed program, housed in Akins STEM academy, trains students for careers in a variety of specializations, including forensic scientists, pathologists, thanatologists and more. The program has grown and changed in the last four years while experiencing many challenges along the way.

Science teacher Bailey Williams founded the program in 2013, when the STEM academy was looking to provide a new industry focus other than the mechanical engineering it was known for at the time.

Williams, hoped the program would encourage students to study these fields so they could be the next generation to develop new vaccines or solve mysteries about how the human body functions.

“Biomed is an alternative to nursing in Social Services (Academy) which is more about caring for patients,” Williams said. “Biomedical is meant to learn how to diagnose and treat those patients.”

Creating such a complex program at Akins was not easy. Williams had to take three different trainings that were two weeks long in different states. She also had to acquire specialized equipment like pipettes microscopes and the ELISA so students could have hands on experiences.

Senior Saba Naiyer said she has enjoyed doing experiments and dissections in the biomed classes.“We dissected sheep eyes, we built functional hands, and we created bacteria to see how they react to certain conditions and traits,” she said. “We do so much that covers all the science fields and later in the year we plan on dissecting pigs.”

The biomed students have also attended field trips, including the “body farm” at Texas State University, where researches study decomposition of the human body in different conditions.

Each level of biomedical science courses at Akins covers different areas of science on topics ranging from viruses to vaccines.

Senior Jhyzel Rojas, the biomedical program ambassador, said the students in the program have made awareness of biomedical field of science a priority this year as part of their capstone course project.

“Last year we had an idea to go to a few middle schools in the district to educate future high schoolers about biomed and hopefully get more kids interested, she said. “This year, almost the entire class came together to make this possible, being mostly independent as we set it all up to go to Mendez and Paredes.”

Williams said that biomedical science is a field of study worth exploring because of large scale job growth related to it.

Next year, there is a possibility that biomedical program could be a dual credit course for college, featuring actual college students and professors coming to help if it is approved