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Fall 2013 Historia Medica Lecture Series

The Becker Library and the Center for History Of Medicine are pleased to announce the fall 2013 Historia Medica Lecture Series.  Four speakers will be presenting on a variety of interesting history of medicine topics this fall.  Mark your calendars for:

--Alan McComas on Thursday, September 26
--James Ravin on Wednesday, October 9
--Anne Stiles on Wednesday, October 16
--Robert Kolodny on Thursday, November 21

For more detailed information about each lecture and presenter, see the announcements below.


Thursday, September 26

Alan McComas, MD
Professor Emeritus
Division of Neurology
McMaster University

Lecture Title: “Insights and Impulse”
Location: Moore Auditorium
Time: Thursday, September 26, 4:30-5:30 pm

Dr. Alan McComas will be the featured speaker for the joint 31st Historia Medica Lecture and the Department of Neurology’s William M. and Pudge Landau Lecture.  His talk will focus on the nervous system and explanations for a newly recognized type of clinical disorder, the “channelopathy”.  Born in Australia and educated in the United Kingdom, Dr. McComas has spent most of his working life in Canada, where he was the first Head of Neurology and the founding Chair of Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. An ardent neurophysiologist, his research has spanned many topics including muscle development, nerve and muscle regeneration after injury, muscle fatigue, aging, muscle reflexes and touch sensation. He is, however, best known for having devised a simple electrophysiological method for estimating the numbers of nerve fibres supplying individual human muscles. Dr. Alan McComas is the author of “Galvani’s Spark: The Story of the Nerve Impulse.”


Wednesday, October 9

James Ravin, MD, MS
Associate Professor
Department of Surgery
University of Toledo College of Medicine

Lecture Title: “Eye Diseases of Famous Artists” 
Location: East Pavilion Auditorium
Time: Wednesday, October 9, 5:00-6:00 pm

Dr. James G. Ravin will be the featured speaker for the joint 32nd Historia Medica Lecture and the Department of Ophthalmology Bohigian Lecture.  He will discuss how eye problems have affected major artists, including Monet, Degas, O’Keeffe, and Pissarro.  Dr. Ravin attended the University of Michigan where he received his B.A., with distinction and with honors, 1964, M.D., 1968 and M.S. (Ophthalmology), 1974. He has always been fascinated by the capability of artists to place pigment on a surface and create something interesting. It was this fascination that during his residency and later, turned him towards the topic of identifying the problems of artists with physical defects and the effects of these problems on their works. Dr. Ravin is employed by and an officer of Drs. Ravin, Birndorf and Ravin, Inc., and its successor corporations, The Eye Center of Toledo, and TLC Vision of Ohio.


Wednesday, October 16

Anne Stiles, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Saint Louis University

Lecture Title: “Bram Stoker’s Brother, the Brain Surgeon”
Location: King Center, Becker Library
Time: Wednesday, October 16, 4:30-5:30 pm

Professor Anne Stiles will present the 33rd Historia Medica Lecture.  She will discuss Sir William Thornley Stoker’s innovations in brain surgery and his influence on the novel Dracula.  Professor Stiles  received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2006. She specializes in medical humanities, late-Victorian and Edwardian literature, and history of science. She was previously an Assistant Professor of English at Washington State University. In addition to teaching, Dr. Stiles serves as the director of the Medical Humanities interdisciplinary minor program, the English Department Faculty Liaison for the 1818 Advanced College Credit Program at Saint Louis University. She is the Victorian Section Co-Editor of Blackwell Publishing's online journal Literature Compass.


Thursday, November 21

Robert C. Kolodny, MD
Medical Director
Behavioral Medicine Institute
Amherst, NH

Lecture Title: “Unraveling the Mysteries of Human Sexuality:  The Masters and Johnson Story”
Location: King Center, Becker Library
Time: Thursday, November 21, 4:30-5:30 pm

Dr. Robert Kolodny will present the 34th Historia Medica Lecture.  His talk will focus on the history of his collaboration with William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Dr. Kolodny attended Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (M.D., 1969), where he co-founded the school's first course on medical ethics in 1969. He did his internship and residency at Harvard University and a fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. As the first medical student to study with William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson at what was then called the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation in St. Louis in 1968-69 (subsequently renamed the Masters & Johnson Institute in December 1978), Kolodny returned to WUSM after his training in 1972 and eventually became Associate Director, Director of Training and Head of the Endocrine Research Section of the Masters & Johnson Institute. His research focused primarily on the effects of drugs (both illicit and prescription) on sexual function, the effects of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and hypertension on sexual well-being, and studies of process and outcome of sex therapy, as well as topics in infertility. Dr. Kolodny has served as Medical Director and Chairman of the Board of the Behavioral Medicine Institute in Amherst, NH since 1983.

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