Thursday, December 31, 2009

Edwin Gerhard Krebs [1918-2009], Nobel Laureate, Dies

Dr. Edwin G. Krebs, who shared the 1992 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology with Dr. Edmond H. Fischer "for their discoveries concerning reversible protein phosphorylation as a biological regulatory mechanism," died December 21, 2009. His death was reported in a New York Times obituary.

His Nobel Lecture on Protein Phosphorylation and Cellular Regulation as well as an autobiography is available on the Nobel web site. (Krebs is no relation to Hans Adolf Krebs [1900-1981], who won a Nobel Prize in 1953, for the discovery of the citric acid cycle, also known as the "Krebs cycle").

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Student Essay Contest in North Carolina History

The North Carolina Museum of History is accepting entries for the 2010 Fourth Annual Student Essay Contest for undergraduate and graduate students. A prize of $200 will be awarded for the best research paper about North Carolina history. Judging will be based on historical accuracy, quality of written communication, and contribution to the field of local history. The winning essayist must be willing to present a lecture at noon on May 12, 2010, during History à la Carte, an informal lunchtime program held each month.

All contest submissions (including cover page) must be e-mailed as a Word or PDF attachment. Send submissions to contest coordinator, Rachel Dickens, at, by midnight on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010.

All papers must be 15 to 20 double-spaced pages (including footnotes and bibliography), prepared with 1-inch margins and typed in 12-point font. A cover page with the following information must be attached to the submission: title, student’s name, abstract of 100 to 150 words, college affiliation, educational status (undergraduate class year or graduate level), mailing address, phone number and e-mail address. The student’s name should not appear on the paper, as the essays will be judged through a double-blind review process by a panel of three judges in the history and public history fields.

For additional details, call Dickens at 919-807-7969. For more information about the N.C. Museum of History, call 919-807-7900.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Is Ready To Ride!

Or so says a team of health care professionals at UNC Hospitals and School of Medicine that has given Santa Claus the thumbs-up for the rigors of heavy lifting and worldwide travel. Doctors involved in this thorough pre-holiday examination include Santa's personal physician, Tim Carey, MD; endocrinologist, John Buse, MD; cardiologist, Cam Patterson, MD; psychologist, Cynthia Bulik, PhD; and geneticist, James Evans, MD, PhD, who observes that "Santa is clearly a mutant." Dr. Bulik has been especially busy this season, and also offers up a psychoanalysis of the Grinch.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2009 Norma Berryhill Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Houpt

Dr. Jeffrey Houpt delivered the 2009 Norma Berryhill Distinguished Lecture entitled, "What We're Like When We're at Our Best and Today's Realities," on September 30, 2009. Dr. Houpt is Dean Emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine.

The two volumes of collected Norma Berryhill Lectures covering the period 1985-2008 have recently been made available online.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

UNC Forum on Health Care Reform and Electronic Medical Records

The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Accenture, LLC, are sponsoring the forum, Toward Health Care Reform through Electronic Medical Records, to discuss the use of electronic medical records and its impact on the the U.S. health care system.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 -- 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM (reception to follow)
Michael Hooker Research Center, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation Auditorium, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Registration is available online.

Presenters include:

Jonathan Oberlander, PhD

Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Associate Professor of Social Medicine, UNC School of Medicine

Tim Carey, MD, MPH
Director of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Medicine and Social Medicine, UNC School of Medicine

Deniese M. Chaney, MPH
Partner, Accenture Health and Public Service

* * *
FREE PARKING will be available in the McCauley Deck beneath the FedEx Global Education Center on Pharmacy Lane off of McCauley St. near Pittsboro St. (Map/Directions).

Norma Berryhill Lectures: 1985-2008

The Norma Berryhill Distinguished Lectureship was established at the UNC School of Medicine in 1985 by its Dean, Stuart Bondurant, MD, to honor some of the School's most accomplished scientists and scholars. The lectureship serves to recognize Norma Berryhill, who with her husband Dr. Walter Reece Berryhill, made substantial contributions to the development and success of the School, which began its four-year curriculum in 1952. Mrs. Berryhill was herself the subject of the 1992 lecture delivered by Dr. George Johnson, Jr.

The lectures have twice been collected and published by the Medical Foundation of North Carolina, and to reach a broader audience, each volume has now been made available online, both by individual lecture (Volume I; Volume II) and as complete volumes in PDF (Volume I; Volume II). Each print volume is also held by various UNC Libraries (Volume 1; Volume 2).

:: Norma Berryhill Lectures: 1985-1999 / The School of Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; edited by Drs. William W. McLendon, William B. Blyth, and Floyd W. Denny, Jr. (Chapel Hill: Medical Foundation of North Carolina, Inc., 2000) [PDF of entire volume]

1985 :: Genetics at Chapel Hill: The Evolution of a Program of Graduate Education and Research
John B. Graham, MD, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Pathology

1986 :: Carolina: A Research University -- Genesis and Consequences
G. Philip Manire, PhD, Kenan Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

1987 :: The Growth and Development of Pediatrics in North Carolina and at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Floyd W. Denny Jr., MD, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics

1988 :: A Potpourri of Thoughts Concerning the Development of Scholars and Women Scientists
Mary Ellen Jones, PhD, Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Nutrition

1989 :: The Department of Surgery: A Historical Perspective
Colin G. Thomas Jr., MD, Byah Thomason Doxey-Sanford Doxey Professor of Surgery

1990 :: Carolina's Contributors to Nephrology
Carl W. Gottschalk, MD, Kenan Professor of Medicine and Physiology

1991 :: Esse Quam Videri: The Essence of the University and the Medical School
William B. Blythe, MD, Marion Covington Professor of Medicine

1992 :: Norma Connell Berryhill: A North Carolina Treasure
George Johnson Jr., MD, Roscoe Bennett Gray Cowper Professor of Surgery

1993 :: Lessons from an Epic
Stuart Bondurant, MD, Dean, School of Medicine, Professor of Medicine

1994 :: Basic Research in a Clinical Department
Judson J. Van Wyk, MD, Kenan Professor of Pediatrics

1995 :: The Magic Continues
Christopher C. Fordham III, MD, Chancellor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, School of Medicine

1996 :: The Leaven of Letters
Frank C. Wilson, MD, Kenan Professor of Orthopaedics and Chief Emeritus

1997 :: Chapel Hill Odyssey: On the Crew and at the Helm, 1965-1997
Joseph S. Pagano, MD, Director Emeritus, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor of Medicine and Microbiology

1998 :: From Morbid Anatomy to Pathogenomics: A Century of Pathology at UNC
Joe W. Grisham, MD, Kenan Professor and Chair Emeritus, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

1999 :: The Power of Community
P. Frederick Sparling, MD, J. Herbert Bate Professor of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology

:: Norma Berryhill Lectures: Volume II, 2000-2008 / The School of Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; edited by Drs. William W. McLendon and Elizabeth Dreesen (Chapel Hill: Medical Foundation of North Carolina, Inc., 2009). [PDF of entire volume].

2000 :: The University, the School of Medicine, and the Department of Surgery in the 21st Century: Re-examining the Social Contract
George F. Sheldon, MD, Zack D. Owens Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Department of Surgery

2001 :: Carolina: Lighthouses on the Hill
Edward A. Norfleet, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology and Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology

2002 :: Fifty Years as a Bench Scientist
Oliver Smithies, MA, DPhil, Excellence Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

2003 :: The Observations of a Former Student: A Half-Century of Constancy and Change
Harold R. Roberts, MD, Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Medicine and of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

2004 :: Structure and Function: Developing Pulmonary Medicine at UNC
Philip A. Bromberg, MD, M.D. Bonner Professor in Pulmonary and Allied Diseases

2005 :: Medicine's Arrow, Medicine's Cycles
Joel E. Tepper, MD, Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology

2006 :: Great Expectations: The Art of Graduate Medical Education at Chapel Hill
Robert C. Cefalo, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology

2007 :: My Brief Sojourn at UNC: The First 40 Years and the Next
H. Shelton Earp III, MD, Lineberger Professor, Director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology

2008 :: Cystic Fibrosis: A Disease of Mucus Dehydration
Richard C. Boucher Jr., MD, William Rand Kenan Professor of Medicine

Note: A video of the 2009 Norma Berryhill Lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Houpt entitled, "What We're Like When We're at Our Best and Today's Realities," is also available online. Dr. Houpt is Dean Emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Gift of Books

What does a world-famous neurosurgeon get a prominent epidemiologist for the holidays? Well, if the year is 1915 and you are Dr. Harvey Cushing [1869-1939], then the gift of choice for Dr. Milton Rosenau [1869-1946] is a copy of the two-volume work, The Life of Edward Jenner, M.D. . . . with Illustrations of His Doctrines, and Selections from His Correspondence, by John Baron, M.D., F.R.S. Published in 1838, Cushing's presentation copy to Rosenau is among the holdings of Special Collections at the Health Sciences Library.

Pasted in on the bottom portion of the inside front cover of volume one is the following handwritten note on Cushing's letterhead from The Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston:

Dear Rosenau,

You and Jenner and John Baron will find each other congenial company
I trust. I present them to you with my sincere Christmas Greetings.


Harvey Cushing

Dec. 25, 1915

The gift is a fitting one as Dr. Jenner [1749-1823] was of course a pioneer of the smallpox vaccine (see An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the variolae vaccinae . . . (1798); the print volume is housed in Special Collections), and his life story would have been both familiar and of great interest to Rosenau, who himself was the author of the first comprehensive public health text, Preventive Medicine and Hygiene (1913), and was the first head of Harvard's Department of Preventative Medicine and Epidemiology. Upon retiring in 1935, Rosenau came to the University of North Carolina, and served as Director of the Division of Public Health (1936-1939) and then as Dean of the newly created School of Public Health (for more information on the School's history, visit HSL's online exhibition).

Dr. Cushing's achievements as a surgeon and educator were many, and include the development of a variety of surgical techniques for the brain. He discovered the endocrinological basis for what is known as Cushing's Disease, and introduced the sphygmomanometer to North America, which greatly promoted the measurement of blood pressure as a vital sign. He was also a biographer in his own right, and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1926 for The Life of Sir William Osler.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

150th Anniversary of the Birth of Doktoro Esperanto

Today is the 150th anniversary of the birthday of Dr. Ludwik Lazar Zamenhof, who was born in Bialystok, Poland on December 15, 1859 and died in 1917. He studied medicine in Moscow and Warsaw, and began his practice as an ophthalmologist in 1886 in Vienna. He was a gifted linguist as a young boy, and attempted to create a universal language while still a secondary student.

Esperanto was the name Zamenhof gave to this artificial language, and in 1887 he is said to have published the book, Lingvo internacia. Antaŭparolo kaj plena lernolibro (International Language. Foreword And Complete Textbook), but no record for this is present in WorldCat. Zamenhof used the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto, or "Doctor Hopeful," and though Esperanto has not achieved his goal of becoming a common language among the world's peoples and thus an instrument for improved global communications, it still has many thousands of adherents. The Universal Esperanto Association is the largest present day organization of Esperanto speakers, with members in over 100 countries. In 1907, Zamenhof was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by 12 members of the British Parliament for his work in creating Esperanto.

The earliest works by Zamenhof held in a library are apparently the German text, Internationale Sprache: Vorrede und vollständiges Lehrbuch, and the French text, Langue internationale, préface et manuel complet, both appearing in 1887. An early English translation of Zamenhof's work was published in 1889 as An Attempt Towards an International Language, by Dr. Esperanto. The translator was Henry Phillips, Jr., and the Rare Book Collection at UNC's Wilson Library has a presentation copy autographed by Phillips. An online edition of Esperanto (The Universal Language): The Student's Complete Text Book, Containing Full Grammar, Exercises, Conversations, Commercial Letters, and Two Vocabularies (1907) is available on the Internet Archive.

Note: In honor of Zamenhof's birthday, Google is flying the Esperanto flag on its search page (image above). Google does not yet offer Esperanto translation on its site, but does provide machine translation for many other languages. One such tool is the blog translator found in the righthand column of this blog, which will translate any of the postings found here into one's choice of several dozen languages.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Human Rights Day 2009

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on December 10 to mark the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted in 1948. In her statement to commemorate the occasion, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay observed:
I would therefore like to encourage people everywhere--politicians, officials, business leaders, civil society, national human rights institutions, the media, religious leaders, teachers, students, and each and every individual--to honor Human Rights Day 2009 by embracing diversity and resolving to take concrete and lasting actions to help put an end to discrimination.
The Declaration was proclaimed through United Nations General Assembly Resolution 217 A (III) and has been translated into more than 300 languages and dialects. The English version is available here, while other versions are available via an online database. A guide to UN Human Rights documentation as well as various related UN databases are also accessible on the UN Human Rights web site.

Where the Bullitt Club Got Its Name

The namesake for the Bullitt History of Medicine Club is, of course, Dr. James Bell Bullitt [1874-1964]. Dr. Bullitt served as professor of pathology at the UNC School of Medicine from 1913-1947, and as shown in the photograph here, was fond of pipe-smoking and the whittler's craft, something he practiced often, particularly during meetings.

Dr. Bullitt was well known to Dr. John Graham, who first met him in 1939 while a second-year medical student at UNC. As UNC only had a two-year program at that time, Dr. Graham's medical degree was earned at Cornell University in 1942. He joined the faculty at UNC in 1946 as an instructor in pathology, and spent his entire illustrious career at the university, being instrumental in establishing a genetics curriculum which laid the groundwork for today's Carolina Center for Genome Sciences. Dr. Graham retired in 1985 as Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and was an internationally recognized expert in blood coagulation, genetics, and human population dynamics.

In 1985, Dr. Graham was also named the School of Medicine's first Norma Berryhill Distinguished Lecturer. (The Berryhill lectures have been compiled into two volumes; the first collection, covering 1985-1999, will be made available online shortly, and the second, covering 2000-2008, is now online).

In 2002, Dr. Graham published the book, Memories and Reflections: Academic Medicine, 1936-2000. It contains 29 fascinating essays, including two biographical pieces on Dr. Bullitt. Entitled James Bell Bullitt, M.D., 1874-1964: A University of North Carolina Giant and The James Bell Bullitt Enigma: A Case of Metaphorical Siamese Twins, these have been added to the Bullitt Club web site for those interested in learning more about the man who was referred to as "Gentleman Jim" and whose creed was mens sana in corpore sano (a sound mind in a sound body). His method of examining medical students' knowledge of histological slides was governed by strict rules and led to what Graham describes as "Bullitt-English." Exams lasted exactly 30 minutes, and no more than 50 words could be used to describe both tissue and diagnosis; anyone exceeding either limit risked an "F."

UNC Symposium on Public Information in a Digital World

The School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and School of Government (SOG) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) will hold a day-long symposium called "Preparing Stewards of Public Information in a Digital World" on January 15, 2010 from 8-5 in the Warren Jake Wicker Classroom of Knapp-Sanders Building on the UNC-CH campus. The symposium will include panel discussions and other interactive sessions related to lessons and strategies for professional preparation to engage in public information stewardship. Registration for the symposium costs $45 (or $25 for students) and can be done online.

The themes of the day will include persistent issues in the stewardship of electronic records; the "policy game" – what it is and how to play it successfully; advancing professional values through IT policies and systems; and professional education – context and strategies of SILS and the SOG at UNC.

The symposium is part of Educating Stewards of Public Information in the 21st Century (ESOPI-21), which is a three-year collaboration between SILS and the SOG at UNC-CH, sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

ESOPI-21 is based on the belief that the stewardship of public information is a fundamental responsibility of a democratic society. Public information (e.g. agency records, government publications, datasets) serves as evidence of governmental activities, decisions, and responsibilities at the local, county, state, and federal levels. Providing appropriate access to public information promotes accountability, rights of citizens, effective administration of policy, and social memory.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Digital Publishing at UNC Press

The program for the December meeting of the UNC Scholarly Communication Working Group will be "What's New with Digital Publishing at UNC Press." Dino Battista, Senior Director of Marketing at UNC Press, will describe some ongoing and new publishing programs at the press, such as ebooks, bringing out-of-print books back into print as print-on-demand titles, large-print editions, and audio books.

When: 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m., Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where: Room 214, Davis Library

The Scholarly Communication Working Group is sponsored by the Odum Institute. For more information about the group, visit their web site.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2010-11 Paul Klemperer Fellowship in the History of Medicine

Each year the New York Academy of Medicine offers the Paul Klemperer Fellowship in the History of Medicine. The Klemperer Fellowship supports research using the NYAM Library's resources for scholarly study of the history of medicine. It is intended specifically for a scholar in residence at the NYAM Library. To see a list of recent fellows, click here.

Each Klemperer fellow receives a stipend of $5,000 to support travel, lodging and incidental expenses for a flexible period between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011. Besides completing a research project, each fellow will be expected to make a public presentation at NYAM and submit a final report. We invite applications from anyone, regardless of citizenship, academic discipline, or academic status. Preference will be given to (1) those whose research will take advantage of resources that are uniquely available at NYAM, and (2) individuals in the early stages of their careers.

The selection committee, comprising prominent historians and medical humanities scholars, will choose the fellow from the pool of applications. These fellowships are awarded directly to the individual applicant and not to the institution where he or she may normally be employed. None of the fellowship money is to be used for institutional overhead.

Applications must be received by NYAM by Tuesday, March 2, 2010; candidates will be informed of the results by May 4, 2010.

Application forms and instructions are available online. Potential applicants for either fellowship are encouraged to visit the NYAM website to further acquaint themselves with NYAM and its library. When using the online catalog of the NYAM Library, please be aware that entries for a considerable portion of the collections have not yet been converted to electronic form.

Requests for application forms (for those unable to access the forms through the web) or further information should be addressed to:

Historical Collections
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
Email: Telephone: 212-822-7313

Please tell others about our fellowships! Download and print a color flyer of this announcement in pdf format.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2010 McLendon-Thomas Award in the History of Medicine

The Bullitt History of Medicine Club is pleased to announce the 2010 McLendon-Thomas Award in the History of Medicine, which is open to all UNC-Chapel Hill students in the health sciences.

Purpose: To encourage interest and recognize scholarship in the history of medicine, the McLendon-Thomas Award in the History of Medicine, with a prize of $500, will be given annually for the best unpublished essay on an historical topic in the health sciences.

Eligibility: Any current medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, public health, or allied health sciences student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may submit an essay. Prior winners are not eligible.

Format: The essay may address any aspect of the history of the health sciences and should be 3000-5000 words in length.

Judging: Faculty advisors of the Bullitt History of Medicine of Club will assemble a team of faculty members from various departments to judge the scholarship and quality of the submissions. The winner will be encouraged to present the essay at a program of the Bullitt Club.

Submissions: Entries must be submitted on or before April 1, 2010. Entries should be sent electronically via email attachment to Dr. Elizabeth Dreesen.

:: DR. WILLIAM W. MCLENDON served from 1973-1995 at UNC as Director of the Hospital Clinical Laboratories and as Professor and Vice-Chair of Pathology. Since his retirement in 1995 he has been Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. An MD graduate of UNC in 1956, he and Bob Whitlock (MD '57) were the student co-founders in 1954 of the Bullitt History of Medicine Club. Dr. McLendon is the co-author, along with the late Drs. William Blythe and Floyd Denny, of the recently published Bettering the Health of the People: W. Reece Berryhill, the UNC School of Medicine, and the North Carolina Good Health Movement.

:: DR. COLIN G. THOMAS, JR. joined the faculty of the UNC School of Medicine in 1952, and is currently Byah Thomason-Sanford Doxey Professor of Surgery. From 1966-1984 he served as Chair of the Department of Surgery, and from 1984-1989 as Chief of the Division of General Surgery. Dr. Thomas was one of the early faculty members of the Bullitt History of Medicine Club, and is the co-author, along with Mary Jane Kagarise, of the 1997 history, Legends and Legacies: A Look Inside: Four Decades of Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1952-1993.

World AIDS Day 2009: Universal Access and Human Rights

World AIDS Day has been observed annually on December 1st since 1988 and has served to increase international awareness in the campaign against HIV and AIDS. More than 25 million people are estimated to have died from AIDS from 1981 to 2007, with over 30 million currently infected with HIV.

In his World AIDS Day message, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé stated:

“The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is Universal Access and Human Rights. For me, that means doing everything we can to support countries to reach their universal access goals for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support--all the while protecting and promoting human rights.”

Further information on UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, is available on its web site, including its most recent biannual report (2008) on the global AIDS epidemic.

At the University of North Carolina, a number of events are being held from November 30 to December 5 in recognition of World AIDS Day; for details, see the schedule online.

Bullitt Club Lecture on the Fear of Premature Burial

The Bullitt History of Medicine Club will be meeting Thursday, December 10, 2009 at the UNC Health Sciences Library in the 5th Floor Conference Room (527). Please join us from 12 to 1pm for light refreshments and lecture. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Chris Dibble, MD/PhD student at UNC, will be speaking on "The Dead Ringer: Medicine, Poe, and the Fear of Premature Burial."

Chris' presentation is based on his winning entry for the 2009 McLendon-Thomas Award in the History of Medicine, an essay competition sponsored by the Bullitt History of Medicine Club, which honors Dr. William McLendon and Dr. Colin Thomas, Jr. and recognizes scholarly excellence in the history of the health sciences.

The essay competition is now accepting submissions for the current academic year, and is open to all UNC-Chapel Hill students in the health sciences: medicine, pharmacy, public health, dentistry, nursing, and allied health sciences. The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2010. For further information, please see the competition guidelines.

For further information about the Bullitt Club, including the schedule for 2009-10 and mp3 recordings of past lectures, please visit the Bullitt web site.

Note: The image above is a 1848 daguerreotype in the photograph collection of the American Antiquarian Society.