October 20, 1999

Medical School invites the public to Mini-Med Lab and Lecture Series

DAYTON, OHIO -- Are you a science buff who hungers for knowledge about modern medicine? Have you ever dreamed of becoming a doctor? Do you find scientific news confusing rather than enlightening? Has a family illness caused you to ponder the inner workings of the human body? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're a prime candidate for Wright State University School of Medicine's Mini-Med Lab and Lecture Series: "Back to Basics: Understanding Today's Medicine." No, there won't be any tests or homework. All you need is a sense of curiosity and four free Tuesday evenings in November.

You'll graduate with a background in and a basic understanding of such topics as immunology, microbiology, anatomy, biochemistry and neuroscience. The free series offers four evenings of easy-to-understand, interesting lectures and hands-on experiences led by medical school faculty. Programs will be held in the Frederick A. White Health Center on the Wright State campus, from 7 to 9 p.m., on Tuesdays, beginning Nov. 2.

In "Survival of the Fittest: Human or Microbe?" on Nov. 2, Neal Rote, Ph.D., chair and professor of microbiology and immunology and professor of obstetrics, will guide participants into the hidden world of microbes and antibodies. Find out why, in the war between the human immune system and its microscopic enemies, many a battle is lost
when bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics or the immune system misses its target.

On Nov. 9, Frank Nagy, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and of surgery, will present "Human Anatomy: Variations on a Glorious Theme." In this session, you will learn why there is no such thing as a typical human body. Following his talk, Dr. Nagy will lead participants in a hands-on exploration of computer programs medical students use to better understand anatomy. He was one of the developers of "Beyond Vesalius," a virtual reality program of sectional images of the human body.

On Nov. 16, Stephen Berberich, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, will present a lecture and lab on "DNA: Cloning, Fingerprinting & Cancer. " This session will explain how DNA works and how genetic traits such as blue eyes or susceptibility to certain diseases are inherited. You'll also learn how scientists are cloning pieces of DNA to develop treatments for diseases like cancer and how DNA patterns are used like fingerprints to identity a specific person.

The last session on Nov 23, Robert E.W. Fyffe, director of the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program and professor of anatomy, will present "Neuroscience: Frontiers in Brain Research." This session will explain some fundamental ideas about brain structure and function and illustrate how neuroscientists at Wright State are contributing to the massive and ongoing effort to understand the brain. After the lecture, participants will have opportunity for a hands-on demonstration of some of the computer software used to teach medical neuroscience.