Caduceus Newsletter:  Fall 2012.06, Week of September 23 


Image from the U.S. Department of Energy Genome Program web site:   http://genomics.energy.gov  

Dr. Stan Eisen, Director
Preprofessional Health Programs
Christian Brothers University

650 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN  38104

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Caduceus Newsletter Archives:



Winners of this year’s IgNoble Awards have been announced!


Koji Tsukada yells into his invention the "SpeechJammer" during a performance at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony


For more information, please go to Marginalia.


Table of Contents:


1.  Events coming up.  
2.  Many Species, One MedicineTM:  The University of Pennsylvania offers a VMD-PhD Combined Degree Studies program. 
3.  International Service Learning (ISL) still has space opening for several trips during Thanksgiving and Winter Break.   
4.  The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy announces its annual Virtual Pharmacy School Fair. 
5.  Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis, named after the Czech medieval philosopher, theologian and religious reformer Hieronymus Pragensis (Jeroným Pražský, Jerome of Prague, offers a variety of courses related to the history of medicine and healthcare policy.   
6.  Ecology in the Pre-medical Curriculum:  A position paper from the Ecological Society of America. 

7.  Marginalia:  The IgNoble Awards have been announced! 


1.  Events coming up.  

·         Thursday, September 28, starting at 6 p.m.:  Mock interview sessions, hosted by BBB, student lounge on the 2nd floor of the Cooper-Wilson Science Center. 

·         Thursday, October 4, 12:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. in AH 122.:  Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Summer program for children, and a newly-created year-long program for adults, by Kelly Reed.  Pizza and soft drinks will be served. 

·         Tuesday, October 23, starting promptly at 6:02 p.m.:  It’s National Mole Day!  Local celebrations will be held at the Spaghetti Warehouse.  For more details about National Mole Day, please go to http://www.moleday.org/ .

·         Thursday, November 1, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in Sabbatini Lounge:  Annual Health Career Opportunities Fair, anchored by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.  Representatives from a variety of regional clinical healthcare graduate programs and from US military scholarship programs will be available to answer questions;

·         Thursday, November 1, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., in rooms AH 103, AH 121, AH 122:  Presentations regarding the Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Ross University School of Medicine. 


2.  Many Species, One MedicineTM:  The University of Pennsylvania offers a VMD-PhD Combined Degree Studies program. 


Rabbits help lower cholesterol. Cats may lead to a breakthrough in the AIDS epidemic. And dogs have taught doctors new heart surgery techniques. Even lobsters help scientists understand Parkinson's disease. Since the turn of the century, animal research has helped wipe out such diseases as smallpox and polio while increasing the human lifespan by 28 years. Whether it's fighting epilepsy, finding a cure for Alzheimer's or making progress in brain and spinal cord trauma, the link between human health and animal health is absolutely crucial.


The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine provides an outstanding environment for the training of future veterinary scientists through our combined VMD-PhD program. It's an excellent way for you to continue your education while impacting the future of medicine ­ for humans and all species.

Who knows what today's research could do for future generations? Find out more by visiting www.PennVetPhD.org



3.  International Service Learning (ISL) still has space opening for several trips during Thanksgiving and Winter Break.   

ISL… seeking inspiration through service!

International Service Learning


We still have space available on the following Thanksgiving and Winter Break teams:


Costa Rica, November 17-25

Belize, Costa Rica, December 9-22

Jamaica, December 15-23

Panama, Hike for Humanity, December 27-January 9


Visit our schedule for more information.     


Faculty: We can integrate our existing programs with your academic courses, allowing you to tailor the service learning experience to your educational goals. Students gain valuable skills and global perspective, while the underserved receive medications and care to which they would otherwise have little or no access. 


Our Mission:  ISL strives to enhance academic learning through service experience, while providing quality health care and other services for the underserved. We utilize in-country professionals and offer practical experience through socially responsible programs which observe the highest ethical standards and inspire students to a lifestyle of service. 


Find out more:  www.ISLonline.org   



http://islonline.org/images/facebook_icon_1.png  http://islonline.org/images/twitter_icon_1.png  




4.  The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy announces its annual Virtual Pharmacy School Fair. 

Greetings Advisors!


Please share the information below about the Virtual Pharmacy School Fair with your students!  You can also attend on the days of the event – there is no need for you to register, just stop by and check it out during the event.


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Best regards,



Jennifer Athay Adams, Pharm.D.

Senior Director of Strategic Academic Partnerships

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

1727 King Street, Floor 2

Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703-739-2330 ext. 1024

Cell: 703-801-9609

Fax: 703-836-8982

jadams@aacp.org   **Please note the new email address**


 Discover · Learn · Care:  Improve Health



From: Gayle Oliver-Plath [mailto:gayleo@careereco.com]
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 12:41 PM
To: Adams, Jen
Subject: Virtual Pharmacy School Fair - October 3-4 - Meet 70+ Pharmacy schools in one event and Decide where You want to go to school !




Virtual Pharmacy School Fair: October 3rd-4th

Pharmacy School Students--Decide where you want to go to school!

Unique opportunity to meet Admission Representatives from 70+ Pharmacy schools nationwide
Registered Schools Listed Here: http://aacp.careereco.net/virtual-fair/chat-with-organizations

Connect real-time with schools without leaving your home or office.  Attend the fair online from anywhere! 
Register herehttp://aacp.careereco.net/students-alumni/virtual-fair-registration


What students have said about prior events:


"The Virtual Fair was extremely convenient and useful. I was able to communicate with multiple schools of my interest and ask questions. This Virtual Fair also saved me time and traveling fees if I were to visit the schools’ campuses instead.”


“I thought the virtual fair was extremely helpful. Chatting with the school representatives helped give me some direction for what I’d like to pursue, as well as some helpful tips/expectations for the application process.”


“I feel that this was great concept...It gave me an opportunity to ask questions that may not have been answered on their website and to see other potential students’ questions that I may not have thought to ask.”

“It was perfect. I loved the fact that school representatives gave out their e-mail addresses and encouraged us to contact them.”


"The whole system was very user friendly.”


Begin or refine your pharmacy school search at the Virtual Pharmacy School Fair on October 3rd-4th.


Questions: aacp@careereco.com or 770-980-0088


Gayle Oliver-Plath





(770) 402.7520 c

(770) 980.0088 o






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5.  Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis, named after the Czech medieval philosopher, theologian and religious reformer Hieronymus Pragensis (Jeroným Pražský, Jerome of Prague, offers a variety of courses related to the history of medicine and healthcare policy.   

This email is a paid announcement being sent as a service to Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis (CHP).  Please direct your inquiries to them.


Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis logo Collegium




Dear Health Professions Advisors:


Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis (CHP) provides a study abroad experience in Prague to students from leading American institutions of higher learning such as Brown, Harvard, Northwestern, Wesleyan, Yale, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bowdoin, Bryn Mawr, Carlton, Pomona, Swarthmore, Vassar, and to students of comparable academic standards. CHP is programmatically small program (30-40 students per semester) where a special attention is paid to academic as well as personal students' needs.


For Spring 2013...


CHP has prepared in cooperation Brown University a new curricular component, History of Medicine and Health Care Policies. It consists of two courses:

  • History of Medicine
  • Health Care Systems and Policies

The program is intended for pre-medical students as well as for students of history, sociology, health economics, and political science.


For more information see, please, the attached concise description of the program and/or visit www.chp.cz.



History of Medicine & Health Care Policies


Program origin

On basis of discussions, which took place during CHP Advisory Board meeting, and in cooperation with experts from Brown University, CHP has prepared a new curricular component History of Medicine and Health Care Policies. It consists in two new courses: History of Medicine and Health Care Systems and Policies.


Targeted groups of students

The program is intended only for (future) students of medicine as well as for students of history, sociology, health economics, and political science. It will be offered for the first time in Spring 2013.



The History of Medicine


The course provides students with an overview of early modern and contemporary history of European medicine. Although the course presents students with a traditional chronological exposition on the history of medicine from the end of the Medieval Age to the 20th century, it is mostly organized by problem-oriented narratives. The course demonstrates that history of medicine is based not only on biographies or institutional histories; the history of medicine is conceived as a component of a broader horizon outlined by social context, politics, emerging philosophical ideas, health policies, history of education, race, bio-medicine etc. The course consists of in-class lectures complemented by excursions to Prague health facilities. 


The course is taught by specialists from Charles University, namely from the School of Medicine (Karel Černý, PhD, Hana Másová, PhD, and Petr Svobodný, PhD).



Health Care Systems and Policies


The main goal of this course is to familiarize students with current health policies and systems, their historical development and their main existing challenges. It is designed to promote a deeper understanding of health policy, to highlight the tendencies of development and to facilitate prediction of future problems in the 21th century in the context of economic globalization. The course is divided into three blocks:

  1. Health care systems and their functions
  2. Key concepts in health policy
  3. International comparison of selected health care systems and policies.

Every block starts with theoretical background; the topics will be discussed in a comparative perspective. Since there is no ideal health care system and policy, the course approaches these issues as a never ending process parameters of which are always in flux.


The course is the co-taught by Petr Háva, M.D. from the Charles University School of Social Sciences and Timothy M. Empkie from Brown University.


For more visit www.chp.cz and/or write to zstary@chp.cz.

CHP Logo with school name   


6.  Ecology in the Pre-medical Curriculum:  A position paper from the Ecological Society of America. 

The URL is http://www.esa.org/education_diversity/ecology_MCAT.html

Ecology in the Pre-medical Curriculum


Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians, a 2009 report of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), proposes eight core competencies that pre-medical students should fulfill in their undergraduate education, as an alternative to the traditional required courses in the pre-medical curriculum. More recently, changes have been proposed for the MCAT to reflect this shift to core competencies. Despite the positive change toward core competencies, the proposed competencies largely ignore the importance of evolutionary biology, biodiversity, ecology, and environmental science in the pre-medical and medical curriculum.

In the AAMC-HHMI report, evolutionary biology is included to a limited degree in the pre-medical core competencies (Competency E8). In addition, the report includes ecological principles in the competencies for the medical curriculum (Competency M6), such as:


·         "Apply the principles of host–pathogen and pathogen–population interactions and knowledge of pathogen structure, genomics, life-cycle, transmission, natural history, and pathogenesis to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious disease."

·         "Apply the principles of symbiosis (commensalisms, mutualism, and parasitism) to the maintenance of health and disease."


However, these ecological principles are not reflected in the pre-medical competencies.


What's New?

"Add Ecology to the Pre-Medical Curriculum," a letter initiated by members of EHRC and led by Dr. Chris Beck of Emory University in response to MCAT changes.

Dr. Chris Beck, et al. 2012. Add Ecology to the Pre-Medical Curriculum. Science: 1301. Science: 1301. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.335.6074.1301-a




Proposed Core Competency on Ecological Principles and Biodiversity for The Pre-Medical Curriculum


Competency: Demonstrate an understanding of taxonomic diversity and fundamental ecological processes and how they relate to human health.

1. Discuss the features of the major phyla of plants, animals and microbes.


·         Explain how bacteria differ from viruses and protozoans.

·         Discuss the features that are common to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from free-living taxa.

·         Provide an example of a pharmacologically active secondary metabolite that is unique to a single plant family. 


2. Discuss concepts of population growth and regulation.


·         Explain how the population dynamics of a vector will influence disease transmission in a vector-borne disease.

·         Explain the concept of carrying capacity and whether it is applicable to all species.


3. Discuss the outcomes of species interactions.


·         Define biodiversity and know how it relates to the prevalence of diseases like Lyme disease.

·         Explain how host-parasite dynamics differ from other species interactions.


4. Demonstrate an understanding of the impacts that humans have had on ecosystem processes and the importance of those processes.


·         Explain what is meant by global climate change and how its consequences can impact human health.

·         Explain the concept of ecological services from the standpoint of improving water and air quality.

·         Compare the ecological correlates of disease transmission for people living in urban, suburban, and rural locations.



Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians, "Report of the AAMC-HHMI Committee" (AAMC, Washington, DC, 2009);www.hhmi.org/grants/pdf/08-209_AAMC-HHMI_report.pdf.

AAMC, "5th Comprehensive Review of the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT)" (www.aamc.org/download/182662/data/mr5_preliminary_recommendations.pdf).


Other Resources

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Kathleen A Alexander, and J Weldon McNutt. 2010. Human behavior influences infectious disease emergence at the human–animal interface. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8: 522–526. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/090057

Katherine F. Smith, Andrew P. Dobson, F Ellis McKenzie, Leslie A. Real, David L. Smith, and Mark L. Wilson. 2005. Ecological theory to enhance infectious disease control and public health policy. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3: 29–37. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295(2005)003[0029:ETTEID]2.0.CO;2

Courtney Richmond, Diane Ebert-May, and Janet Hodder. 2005. Lyme disease: a case about ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3: 557–558. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295(2005)003[0557:LDACAE]2.0.CO;2

Richard S. Ostfeld, and Robert D. Holt. 2004. Are predators good for your health? Evaluating evidence for top-down regulation of zoonotic disease reservoirs. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2: 13–20. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295(2004)002[0013:APGFYH]2.0.CO;2

Julie E Helson, Todd L Capson, Timothy Johns, Annette Aiello, and Donald M Windsor. 2009. Ecological and evolutionary bioprospecting: using aposematic insects as guides to rainforest plants active against disease. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7: 130–134. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/070189

Richard W. Merritt, M Eric Benbow, and Pamela LC Small. 2005. Unraveling an emerging disease associated with disturbed aquatic environments: the case of Buruli ulcer. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3: 323–331. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295(2005)003[0323:UAEDAW]2.0.CO;2

Todd A Crowl, Thomas O Crist, Robert R Parmenter, Gary Belovsky, and Ariel E Lugo. 2008. The spread of invasive species and infectious disease as drivers of ecosystem change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 6: 238–246. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/070151

Sara H Paull, Sejin Song, Katherine M McClure, Loren C Sackett, A Marm Kilpatrick, and Pieter TJ Johnson. 2011. From superspreaders to disease hotspots: linking transmission across hosts and space. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (e-View) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/110111

Alan R. Townsend, Robert W. Howarth, Fakhri A. Bazzaz, Mary S. Booth, Cory C. Cleveland, Sharon K. Collinge, Andrew P. Dobson, Paul R. Epstein, Elisabeth A. Holland, Dennis R. Keeney, Michael A. Mallin, Christine A. Rogers, Peter Wayne, and Amir H. Wolfe. 2003. Human health effects of a changing global nitrogen cycle. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1: 240–246. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295(2003)001[0240:HHEOAC]2.0.CO;2

Phyllis D. Coley, Maria V. Heller, Rafael Aizprua, Blanca Araúz, Nayda Flores, Mireya Correa, Mahabir Gupta, Pablo N. Solis, Eduardo Ortega-Barría, Luz I. Romero, Basilio Gómez, Marla Ramos, Luis Cubilla-Rios, Todd L. Capson, and Thomas A. Kursar. 2003. Using ecological criteria to design plant collection strategies for drug discovery. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1: 421–428. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295(2003)001[0421:UECTDP]2.0.CO;2

Meredith A Barrett, Timothy A Bouley, Aaron H Stoertz, and Rosemary W Stoertz. 2011. Integrating a One Health approach in education to address global health and sustainability challenges. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9: 239–245. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/090159

R Jory Brinkerhoff, Corrine M Folsom-O'Keefe, Kimberly Tsao, and Maria A Diuk-Wasser. 2011. Do birds affect Lyme disease risk? Range expansion of the vector-borne pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9: 103–110. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/090062

Nils Chr Stenseth, Herwig Leirs, Anders Skonhoft, Stephen A. Davis, Roger P. Pech, Harry P. Andreassen, Grant R. Singleton, Mauricio Lima, Robert S. Machang’u, Rhodes H. Makundi, Zhibin Zhang, Peter R. Brown, Dazhao Shi, and Xinrong Wan. 2003. Mice, rats, and people: the bio-economics of agricultural rodent pests. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1: 367–375. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295(2003)001[0367:MRAPTB]2.0.CO;2

Katherine Ellison. 2009. Toxins and toddlers. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7: 228. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295-7.4.228


Journal Articles

David J. Newman and Gordon M. Cragg. 2007. Natural Products as Sources of New Drugs over the Last 25 Years. J. Nat. Prod. 70:461–477. doi:http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1021/np068054v

Aaron S. Bernstein and David S. Ludwig. 2008. The Importance of Biodiversity to Medicine. Journal of American Medical Association 300:2297-2299. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2008.655



Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein, eds. 2008. Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity. Oxford University Press.



Dr. Chris Beck, et al. 2012. Add Ecology to the Pre-Medical Curriculum. Science: 1301. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.335.6074.1301-a



One Health Initiative – an initiative to examine the relationship between animal and human health (http://www.onehealthinitiative.com/)

EcoHealth – the International Association for Ecology and Health (http://www.ecohealth.net/)


Copyright © . All rights reserved.



7.  Marginalia:  The IgNoble Awards have been announced! 

From:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19667664


Ig Nobel honours ponytail physics

Jonathan Amos

Patrick Warren

Patrick Warren says the behaviour of hair is a very serious issue for his company, Unilever

A UK/US team that came up with an equation to predict the shape of a ponytail has earned itself an Ig Nobel.

Patrick Warren, Raymond Goldstein, Robin Ball and Joe Keller picked up their prestigious award at a sellout gala ceremony at Harvard University.

Igs are intended as a bit of a spoof on the more sober Nobel science prizes.

Other 2012 winners included teams that studied how chimps could recognise each other from their behinds and why coffee will spill out of a moving mug.

But although some of this celebrated research might sound daft, much of it is intended to tackle real-world problems and gets published in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.

Dr Warren, who is a researcher for Unilever in the UK, said he was thrilled to pick up his Ig.

"I'm amazed that a piece of work I've done has attracted so much attention," he told BBC News.

"My field, statistical physics, is not something that many will have heard of, so I'm really pleased we've done something that's caught the imagination."

His and his co-workers' research produced what has become known as the "Ponytail Shape Equation".

It takes into account the stiffness of the hair fibres on the head, the effects of gravity and the presence of the random curliness or waviness that is ubiquitous in human hair to model how a ponytail is likely to behave.

Together with a new quantity the team calls the Rapunzel Number, the equation can be used to predict the shape that hair will take when it is drawn behind the head and tied together.

"I've been working on this for a long time," said Dr Warren. "At Unilever, as you can imagine, there is a lot of interest because we sell a lot of haircare products. But there are wider applications where you have a lot of fibres coming together, such as in fabrics.

"I've also wondered if we can contribute something to the whole area of computer animation. Hair, for example, is something that is very hard to make look natural in animated movies."

Thursday's Ig Nobel ceremony at Harvard's Sanders Theatre was the 22nd since the American science humour magazine, Annals of Improbable Research, started the event.

The gala is always attended by real Nobel Laureates, who are tasked with handing out the prizes. Recipients get 60 seconds to make an acceptance speech. If they run over, a young girl will start to shout "boring". Another tradition is for everyone in the theatre to throw paper planes.

The full list of 2012 Ig Nobel winners:

Real Nobel Laureates lean to the left

The real Nobel Laureates invited to this year's event demonstrate the science behind the Psychology Prize

Psychology Prize: Anita Eerland and Rolf Zwaan (Netherlands) and Tulio Guadalupe (Peru/Russia/Netherlands) for their study Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller.

Peace Prize: The SKN Company (Russia) for converting old Russian ammunition into new diamonds.

Acoustics Prize: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada (Japan) for creating the SpeechJammer - a machine that disrupts a person's speech by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.

Neuroscience Prize: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford (US) for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere - even in a dead salmon.

Chemistry Prize: Johan Pettersson (Sweden/Rwanada) for solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the town of Anderslöv, Sweden, people's hair turned green.

Literature Prize: The US Government General Accountability Office for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.

Physics Prize: Joseph Keller (US), Raymond Goldstein (US/UK), Patrick Warren and Robin Ball (UK) for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail. Prof Keller was additionally given an Ig for work he contributed to on non-drip teapots in 1999 but for which he had been wrongly overlooked at the time.

Fluid Dynamics Prize: Rouslan Krechetnikov (US/Russia/Canada) and Hans Mayer (US) for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.

Anatomy Prize: Frans de Waal (Netherlands/US) and Jennifer Pokorny (US) for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends.

Medicine Prize: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti (France) for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimise the chance that their patients will explode.

Koji Tsukada yells into his invention the "SpeechJammer" during a performance at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony

Acoustics Prize winner Koji Tsukada yells into his invention, the SpeechJammer

Dr. Stan Eisen, Director
Preprofessional Health Programs
Biology Department
Christian Brothers University

650 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN 38104

E-mail: seisen@cbu.edu
Caduceus Newsletter Archives: http://www.cbu.edu/~seisen/Caduceus.html