Thirty-two secondary students from a Texas A&M University summer program toured TVMDL’s College Station lab on July 18.
The students are attending a course in modern medicine, disease and immunology sponsored by the Duke University Talent Identification Program. The 8th, 9th and 10th graders represent middle schools and high schools from across Texas and the United States.
Dr. Terry Hensley, assistant agency director and a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension veterinarian, presented an overview of TVMDL.
Dr. Amy Swinford, branch chief for microbiology, walked the students through a case study that illustrated how diagnostics can help to identify an animal’s health problem.
Agency Operations Manager Jordan Brod then discussed lab biosafety rules and explained the use of personal protective equipment.
The students then broke into three groups to visit the sections of bacteriology, clinical pathology and molecular genetics.
In bacteriology, technician Kathy Gutierrez explained how the section cultures microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi to advance a diagnosis.
In clinical pathology, the section’s diagnostic lab supervisor, Sarah Eide, demonstrated how the section uses advanced technology to analyze blood, body fluids and other tissues.
In molecular genetics, diagnostician Dr. Loyd Sneed showed students how the section tests specimens for minute amounts of genetic material left that infection microbes leave in body fluids.