Thursday, January 22, 2009

Political Transitions

A new White House web site accompanied the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009. The site features a White House blog, and a section on Health Care and numerous other agenda topics. About the White House contains historical materials, including brief biographies of the presidents. President Harrison, for example, who early in his life briefly studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania under Dr. Benjamin Rush, holds the unfortunate distinction of being both the first president to die in office and the president with the shortest term.

In other presidential transition news, a Raleigh, North Carolina man netted $35,000 for the domain name, George Huger, according to a News & Observer article, purchased the expired domain two years ago anticipating a windfall. Yuma Solutions, The Bush Library Foundation's web developer, had apparently let the domain expire, and thus had to reacquire it at a premium.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and will be located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Its archives will contain President and Mrs. Bush's presidential and gubernatorial records, the papers of cabinet members and key decision makers, as well as other artifacts and materials.

Enduring Editions at UNC Press

UNC Press is launching a new series, Enduring Editions, to bring back into print many titles not currently available. More information is available at the press' blog and website. A list of projected titles can be downloaded here.

Duke University Press has made much of its backlist available electronically, as the e-Duke Books Scholarly Collection, which those affiliated with UNC can access via the UNC online catalog. The collection is described in a press release.

Both presses have published a number of titles on health-related topics; for example, UNC's series, Studies in Social Medicine, and other medical books, and Duke's books on medicine and medical humanities, as well as a few medical journals.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bullitt Lecture on Neuron Doctrine of 1891

The next noontime meeting of the Bullitt History of Medicine Club will be Wednesday, January 21, 2008 at the UNC Health Sciences Library in the 5th Floor Conference Room (527). Please join us at noon for light refreshments and lecture. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Dr. Aldo Rustioni, Professor of Cell Development and Biology at UNC School of Medicine, will be presenting a lecture entitled, "The Neuron Doctrine of 1891 and the 1906 Nobel Award for Physiology or Medicine."

Dr. Rustioni earned his M.D. in 1965 at the University of Parma (Italy), and was a resident in neurology at the University of Perugia (Italy). He served as assistant professor of Anatomy at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (The Netherlands) from 1968-1973, before joining UNC in 1973. In his talk, Dr. Rustioni will outline the development of ideas about the cell as the basic constitutive element of all biological tissues and address the controversy between scientists who believed the nervous tissue to be a fiber network and those who identified the neuron as the basic constitutive element of the nerve tissue. The Nobel for Medicine or Physiology was awarded in 1906 to the two main representatives of these opposite hypotheses, Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

For the schedule of upcoming events, visit the Bullitt Club web site; Bullitt lectures for Fall 2008 are now available online as mp3 downloads.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bullitt Club Member Wins Research Award

James Fraser, a third-year UNC medical student and Bullitt History of Medicine Club member, has won the $1500 William B. Bean Student Research Award sponsored by the American Osler Society. James' project title is "Molding an Independent Specialty: Plastic Surgery in Postwar America, 1919-1941," and he will present his work at the next annual American Osler Society meeting in Cleveland in April 2009. James will be exploring the story of how plastic surgery struggled to establish itself as an independent branch of surgery in the United States. An earlier version of his research was presented at a Bullitt Club meeting on February 20, 2008 in a talk entitled "A Faceless Odyssey: Reconstructing Facial Wounds in the First World War."