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About the Lectures

About the Speakers

Past Lectures




. . .topics of current relevance presented by NIH researchers

The 27th annual Medicine for the Public Lectures took place September – October 2003, at the NIH Clinical Center's Masur Auditorium, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 10, Bethesda, Maryland. The annual lecture series, which is free and open to the public, is presented at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. The actual lectures along with speaker biosketchs, radio interviews and NIH Videocasts for each of the 2003 presentations are available below.

September 16, 2003
"Alzheimer's Disease: Advances and Hope"
Speaker: Trey Sunderland, M.D.
About the Lecture | About the Speaker
Real View Lecture (Requires RealPlayer software and high-speed internet connection.)
NIH Radio Interview
September 23, 2003
"Preparing for SARS, or Smallpox, or Whatever Comes Next: Responding to Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism Threats"
Speaker: David Henderson, M.D.
About the Lecture | About the Speaker
Real View Lecture (Requires RealPlayer software and high-speed internet connection.)
NIH Radio Interview 1 | NIH Radio Interview 2
September 30, 2003
"Sickle Cell Anemia: Moving from Pain to Cure"
Speaker: Dr. Mark Gladwin, M.D.
About the Lecture | About the Speaker
Real View Lecture (Requires RealPlayer software and high-speed internet connection.)
NIH Radio Interview
October 7, 2003
"Stem Cell Transplantation: Promise in Cancer Treatments and Blood Disorders"
Speaker: Michael Bishop, M.D.
About the Lecture | About the Speaker
Real View Lecture (Requires RealPlayer software and high-speed internet connection.)
NIH Radio Interview 1 | NIH Radio Interview 2
October 21, 2003
"When Too Much Iron Is Bad: Hemochromatosis, the Silent Blood Disease"
Speaker: Susan Leitman, M.D.
About the Lecture | About the Speaker
Real View Lecture (Requires RealPlayer software and high-speed internet connection.)
NIH Radio Interview
October 28, 2003
"Complementary and Alternative Medicine: From Promises to Proof"
Speaker: Stephen Straus, M.D.
About the Lecture | About the Speaker
Real View Lecture (Requires RealPlayer software and high-speed internet connection.)
NIH Radio Interview

About the Lectures

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"Alzheimer's Disease: Advances and Hopes"
Despite many recent advances in the understanding of Alzheimer's Disease, its diagnosis is still based on vague clinical criteria and confirmed only by biopsy or autopsy. Diagnosis by an experienced doctor is accurate 80-to-85 percent of the time. Dr. Sunderland will describe the rationale behind, and progress to date, of a comprehensive study to examine the spinal fluid of Alzheimer's patients during the course of their illness compared to healthy patients. The research study also involves an extended view of a special group of normal subjects perceived to be at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. The hope is to isolate specific biological traits which may aid in the early identification of the disease.

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"Preparing for SARS, or Smallpox, or Whatever Comes Next: Responding to Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism Threats"
The world has recently seen an emergence or reemergence of infectious diseases such as smallpox, SARS, West Nile virus, and monkeypox. What is the public perception of these diseases? How are they spread? Are we prepared if they occur close to home? How will hospital workers be protected? Dr. Henderson will cover these issues and how the Clinical Center has responded to new diseases in the past. He will also address new technologies controlling the airborne transmission of disease..

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"Sickle Cell Anemia: Moving from Pain to Cure"
Sickle cell disease is one of the most common inherited blood disorders in the United States. Scientists have learned a great deal about the medical condition during the past 30 years—what causes it, how it affects the patient and treatments that do or don't work. Understanding the disease and its warning signs aids researchers working to unravel the mysteries of sickle cell. Dr. Gladwin will cover those topics and related ongoing clinical research. Current investigations include efforts to understand the role of lung complications in adults with sickle cell disease and evaluating the role of current and future therapies in sickle cell disease treatment.

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"Stem Cell Transplantation: Promise in Cancer Treatments and Blood Disorders"
Bone marrow transplantation has been in clinical use for more than 30 years. The bone marrow contains stem cells that give rise to the blood components, including white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Today, bone marrow transplantation is more commonly referred to as stem cell transplantation, as stem cells can be obtained from several other sources other than the bone marrow, including the peripheral blood and umbilical cord blood. Stem cell transplantation is commonly used for a variety of malignant disorders such as leukemias and lymphomas. However, it is also used for a number of other diseases such as immune deficiency states and non-malignant blood disorders. Dr. Bishop will discuss current research efforts that focus on increasing the application of stem cell transplantation to a broader patient population by increasing the potential stem cell donor pool, decreasing transplant-related toxicities and investigating its use in diseases not commonly treated with stem cell transplantation.

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"When Too Much Iron Is Bad: Hemochromatosis, the Silent Blood Disease"
Too little iron in the blood results in a disorder called anemia. Yet too much iron in the blood can also cause health problems. Less well known, but carrying potentially serious effects, is a blood disorder called hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis affects 1 in 200 Caucasians in the United States. It can cause liver damage and premature arthritis. This easily detectable and treatable disorder, often called the silent blood disease, is the focus of Dr. Leitman's presentation. She will also cover current hemochromatosis research.

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"Complementary and Alternative Medicine: From Promises to Proofs"
Arthritis, depression, menopause, cancer—for millions of Americans, these and other health concerns are not being adequately addressed through conventional medicine. Many are turning outside the medical mainstream to approaches that embrace the whole person-mind, body and spirit. In fact, Americans spend more money for complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, than for all other health care needs. From acupuncture to massage therapy to dietary supplements, CAM approaches are affordable and accessible, but largely untested. Dr. Straus will discuss current research on which CAM practices work, why and how they work and whether they are safe.

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About the 2003 'Medicine for the Public' Speakers

Trey Sunderland, M.D.
David Henderson, M.D.
Mark Gladwin, M.D.
Michael Bishop, M.D.
Susan Leitman, M.D.
Stephen Straus, M.D.

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Past lectures:

2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997

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