History of Medicine

Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library- Annual Dinner and Presentation is November 7

Hieronymous Brunschwig, 1494

The Annual Dinner and Presentation of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library will take place the evening of November 7, 2012 at 6:30 in the evening at the Airport Doubletree Hotel.  Richard Ludueña, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, will speak on the topic, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:  Inbreeding and Incest in Royal Families.

The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library invite students in all of the schools to attend the dinner and become members of the Friends’ group.  The cost to students for the dinner and annual membership is $30.  Students are encouraged to apply for sponsorships which cover the cost of registration and membership for one year.

For all others, the cost of the dinner is $55.

All who are interested in the history of medicine are invited to an intriguing presentation and an enjoyable evening of good food and conversation.

Complete information about the dinner and presentation, as well as the year’s activities of the Friends group, can be found in the organization’s newsletter, which is available online or in the Special Collections Reading Room on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library.

Students interested in requesting a sponsorship for the dinner should contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian: Hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu.  The general registration form for the Annual Dinner and Presentation can be found here:  Registration Form.

 

 

Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library: Spring lecture series focuses on infectious disease discovery and epidemiology

U.S. Public Health Service Poster- Syphilis

U.S. Public Health Service poster: Images from the History of Medicine database, National Library of Medicine

The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and the Briscoe Library launched a spring lecture series in February featuring Dr. Gregory Anstead of the School of Medicine speaking on the topic, Beyond Bugs and Drugs: Infectious Disease Discovery and Epidemiology.  The second installment in the series, focusing on Syphilis, will take place at noon on Thursday, March 24 in the Howe Conference Room, on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library.

Dr. Anstead, whose interests include clinical trials of new antiretroviral and antifungal drugs and the historical epidemiology of infectious diseases, is director of the Immuno- suppression and Infectious Diseases clinics of the South Texas Veterans Healthcare System.

As always, the event is free and open to everyone.  Please bring your lunch and join us!

The series will continue in April and May with talks on Hantavirus (April 28) and HIV in America (May 26).

For more information about the spring lecture series, contact Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, at borchers@uthscsa.edu.

Historical exhibit documents the resourcefulness of health professionals and volunteers in the aftermath of Hurricane Beulah

Hurricane Beulah is still recognized as one of the most significant storms to make landfall in Texas.  On September 21, 1967 the storm moved into the mouth of the Rio Grande and inundated South Texas with heavy rainfall.  The memories of the hurricane and its aftermath were still fresh in the minds of many who attended the May 6th opening of a photography exhibit which chronicles the response of health professionals and local volunteers to refugees displaced by flooding in Starr County.

Hurricane Beulah caused extensive flooding on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.  To escape the rising floodwaters, over 14,000 refugees from Camargo, Tamaulipas crossed the border into the small town of Roma, Texas.  The refugees were in desperate need of food, shelter, and medical care.  It was in Roma that Dr. Mario E. Ramirez, the only physician in town and Starr County’s Public Health Service Director, rose to action in the face of a crisis.  For several weeks, Dr. Ramirez along with volunteers from the local community, UT Medical Branch in Galveston, Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio as well as the U.S. Army worked to help the hurricane victims.

In 2007 the Library at the UT Health Science Center Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen was named for Dr. Mario E. Ramirez. The Ramirez Library subsequently received materials from Dr. Ramirez’ personal archive and library, a rich collection of photographs, letters, and documents. Many of the materials donated by Dr. Ramirez are related to Hurricane Beulah, including 139 photographs and 185 pages of letters, newspaper clippings, and personal journal entries.  The photographs were taken by George Tuley, a Rio Grande City teacher, who would later go on to a 39-year career as a photojournalist at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

The photographs portray the use of makeshift medical equipment in the absence of IV poles, incubators, and oxygen tents.  The photographs also document the transformation of a high school into a packaged disaster hospital where blackboards were used to record patient information including diagnoses and treatments.

In 2009 the Ramirez Library received a Library Technology Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) to support the digitization, cataloging, and uploading of the Hurricane Beulah photographs to the UT Health Science Center Libraries Digital Archive as well as the creation of a traveling exhibit.  The full collection of Hurricane Beulah photographs from the Ramirez Collection can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/beulahphotos.  The photography exhibit will remain on display at the Ramirez Library, and a traveling version of the exhibit will be made available to local schools, libraries and museums.  For more information, please contact Graciela Reyna, Assistant Director, Mario E. Ramirez, M.D. Library at (956) 365-8850 or reynag@uthscsa.edu.

Kathleen Carter
Ramirez Library Librarian

History of Anatomy class visits the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Ten students from the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences visited the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library on the evening of Tuesday, April 24 to view more than 40 items from the library’s rare book collection.  The visit was the conclusion of the School of Medicine’s enrichment elective, ELEC 5022, and the graduate school’s CSBL 5015. The class, which was taught by Dr. Charleen Moore of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, covered the history of anatomy from ancient times through the 19th century.

Among the items on display:

ALBINUS, Bernhard Siegfried (1697-1770), Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body, London, 1st edition in Latin – 1749

HOOKE, Robert (1635-1703), Micrographia, London, 1667

VESALIUS, Andreas (1514-1564), De humani corporis fabrica libri septem, Basel, 1543

Students also viewed the oldest book in the Nixon library’s collection, CELSUS, Aulus Cornelius, De  medicina, 2nd edition, 1481.  De medicina is a member of a class of books known as incunables,  the first books to be produced by the printing press in the late 15th century.

The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  To schedule a visit, contact Anne Comeaux, Assistant Library Director for Special Collections, comeaux@uthscsa.edu or Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian, hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu.

 

P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library- class visit

Dr. Charleen Moore and students from the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences visited the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library on April 24.

 

ALBINUS, Bernhard Siegfried (1697-1770) Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body, 1747

Among the books on display in the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library on April 24: ALBINUS, Bernhard Siegfried (1697-1770), Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body, 1749.

History of Medicine lecture on November 8- Apocalypse Cow: The Strange Rise and Fortunate Decline of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Gregory Anstead MD, PhD, Director, Immunosuppression and Infectious Disease Clinics, Veterans Healthcare System, will be the speaker at the next Noon Lecture of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.  He will speak on the topic, Apocalypse Cow- The Strange Rise and Fortunate Decline of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, popularly known as Mad Cow Disease.  The Noon Lecture Series provides opportunities for informal learning and conversation. Everyone is invited.  Please feel free to bring your lunch.

For more information about the Noon Lecture Series contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian, Hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu.

 

History of Medicine lecture series continues with HIV-AIDS

  • Thursday, May 26, noon to 1 p.m.
  • Howe Conference Room

In the fall of 1980, Dr. Michael Gottlieb of UCLA Medical Center received a referral on a gay, white male in failing health with wasting, Pneumocystis pneumonia, and oral candidiasis.  Over the next few months, he and other colleagues observed the syndrome in four other patients, and described the new entity of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in 1981.  In 1984, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) responsible for this syndrome was discovered.

Infection with the HIV virus was found to predispose persons to opportunistic infections and cancers.  Epidemiologic investigations revealed the disease was transmitted sexually, by blood products, IV drug use, and from mother-to-child. Cases of AIDS exploded throughout the world in 1980s and 1990s. Millions upon millions have suffered and died. Efforts to control the disease have been hampered by prejudice against infected persons.  AIDS has become one of the greatest public health challenges in modern medicine.  Currently, about 33 million people are infected across the globe.    Efforts to develop vaccines against HIV have failed.  Nevertheless, in the last 15 years, combination antiretroviral therapy has transformed the treatment of HIV infection, converting a deadly disease into a chronic, manageable condition.  Analysis of the history of the HIV epidemic in the United States reveals the power of these drugs and also the deficiencies of drug therapy to combat this disease.

Dr. Gregory M. Anstead
Director, Immunosuppression and Infectious Diseases Clinics
South Texas Veterans Health Care System

History of medicine lecture series continues: Beyond Bugs and Drugs: Infectious Disease Discovery and Epidemiology

Navajo Painting

The deer mouse, an important carrier of hantavirus disease, depicted in Navajo art. Photo by permission, Ben Muneta, M.D.

Hantavirus

Thursday, April 28, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Howe Conference Room, Briscoe Library

In May of 1993, members of the Navajo Nation in the Fours Corners area of the United States were stricken by a deadly pneumonia of unknown cause.  In less than two months, investigators from the CDC determined the infection was due to a new virus related to the Hantaan virus of Asia.  The infection was spread to humans by exposure to rodent excreta. 

The Four Corners area had a population explosion of rodents in 1993 due to an El Nino climate event, which caused an abnormally high level of precipitation.  Subsequently, it was discovered that many other species of Hantaviruses were lurking in the rodents of the New World. 

The spring lecture series, Beyond Bugs and Drugs: Infectious Disease Discovery and Epidemiology, sponsored by the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and the Briscoe Library, continues on April 28.  In the third talk of the series Dr. Gregory Anstead of the School of Medicine, director of the Immunosuppression and Infectious Diseases clinics of the South Texas Veterans Healthcare System, will explore the rapid discovery of the etiology and reservoir ecology of Hantavirus as evidence of the power of epidemiology and molecular diagnostics. 

As always, the event is free and open to everyone.  Please bring your lunch and join us!

For more information about the spring lecture series, contact Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, at borchers@uthscsa.edu.

History of Medicine noon lecture will explore the treatment of diabetic pregnancy in the early 20th century

pregnancy“We Named Her Priscilla: Diabetic Pregnancy in early 20th century and Dr. Priscilla White”

Thursday, November 14, 12:00 noon
Howe Conference Room
5th floor, Briscoe Library

Kirsten Gardner, Ph.D., will talk about Priscilla White, a 1923 graduate of Tufts University Medical School whose groundbreaking work contributed to deeper understanding of diabetes, including diabetes in pregnancy.

Dr. Gardner, an Associate Professor of History at UTSA, is a past president of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.  Her research interests include women’s health, particularly the history of female cancers. Recent articles include “Hiding the Scars: A History of Post-Mastectomy Prostheses,” “From Cotton to Silicone: A History of Breast Prosthesis Since World War II”, and “Informing Women: Early Cancer Detection Skills.”

History of Medicine noon lectures, hosted by the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, provide opportunities for informal learning and conversation. Everyone is invited. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian

History of Medicine presentation for March: Malaria in Central America

Panama CanalMarch 27, 6:00 pm

Howe Conference Room

5th floor, Briscoe Library

Eva Galvan, MSII and Member-at-Large for the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, will be the presenter at the March meeting of the History of Medicine Society.  Eva will speak about  The Impact of Mosquito Control on the Building of the Panama Canal.  Everyone is invited.

The History of Medicine Society is an interest group of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.  Membership in the Friends is open to students, faculty and staff of the UT Health Science Center as well as members of the broader community.  For information about membership, contact Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian, at 567-2406 or hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu.