The Gairdner High School Symposium is a half-day event held each fall that gives secondary students and teachers the opportunity to interact with Gairdner award-winning scientists and BC Children's Hospital researchers. 

This event is hosted in conjunction with the Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) and the Canada Gairdner Foundation, recognizing the world’s most creative and accomplished biomedical scientists who are advancing humanity and the world.


The next Gairdner High School Symposium is scheduled virtually for Monday, October 25, 2021, 8:30 - 11:00 am. 

8:30 am - Welcome & Introduction

Presented by:

  • Dr. Michael Hayden, Investigator, BC Children's Hospital; Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine; University Killam Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, UBC
8:35 am - Research Presentations

Featuring presentations by:

  • Dr. Mary-Claire King, Recipient of the 2021 Canada Gairdner International Award

    American Cancer Society Professor; Department of Medicine and Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; Affiliate Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA

  • Dr. Daniel J. Drucker, Recipient of the 2021 Canada Gairdner International Award

    Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto; Senior Scientist, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health, Toronto, Ontario

9:30 am - Research Jeopardy

A classic game show with a twist! This interactive game will let you compete for prizes and put your classroom knowledge to the ultimate test.

9:45 am - Break

15 minute wellness break. Time to reset your focus and reenergize! 

10:00 am - Research a Researcher

Explore a variety of career opportunities and interact with health science experts. This discussion will be driven by participants, so get your questions ready! 

Panelist include:

  • TBA

Moderated by:

  • Dr. Bruce Verchere, Investigator, BC Children's Hospital; Director, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics Academic Affiliations; Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC; Professor, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
10:55 am - Closing Remarks

Interested in Participating? 

The 2021 Gairdner High School Symposium is transitioning to an all virtual learning platform. Participation is free, but participants will require access to a computer, tablet or smartphone and a stable internet connection. 

Participation is restricted to BC students from grades 10-12. Interested students must register to participate. To maximize interactions between students and presenters, only 150 students will be enrolled.

BC Children's Hospital strives to empower youth and promote an equitable and inclusive learning environment. Further space is available for BC students from grades 10-12 who identify as First Nations, Inuit, or Métis. Students will be asked to self-identify as Indigenous on the registration form.

Why is the 2021 Gairdner High School Symposium online when students are back in the classroom? The Gairdner High School Symposium is typically held in-person at BC Children’s Hospital in space shared by our healthcare teams. In an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our hospital community, the decision was made to focus on virtual learning for 2021. We hope to welcome students back to BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute in 2022.  

Learn more about participating!


Video recordings of past education events, including these lectures, are available online. These may be useful for classes, or of interest to those who are unable to attend events. 

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