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USA Health System
News Release
Mobile, Ala. (May 28, 2009)
Contact: Paul Taylor, (251) 470-1682

June Med School Café “The Science of Repairing the Brain”


The University of South Alabama Physicians Group will host a Med School Café featuring two members of the USA College of Medicine faculty who will provide an update on Parkinson’s disease. The lecture will take place June 12, 2009, at 11:30 a.m., at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center at 65 Government St. in downtown Mobile.

The presentation will be given by USA College of Medicine faculty members Dr. Jeffery Sosnowski, assistant professor of pathology, and Dr. Anthony L. Gard, professor of cell biology and neuroscience.

Their lecture will describe the anatomy and pathology of Parkinson’s disease and emphasize how pioneering treatments of this neurodegenerative disorder led to our current understanding of the regenerative potential of stem cells transplanted into the brain.

Parkinson’s disease is an incurable degenerative disease of the brain that typically affects people over the age of 50. In the United States, it is estimated that 60,000 new patients are diagnosed each year, joining the 1.5 million Americans who currently live with Parkinson's disease.
Drs. Sosnowski and Gard are both experts in the anatomy and function of the brain and represent the close collaborative relationship that clinicians and scientists have in an academic medical center. Together, they teach the medical neuroscience course given to all USA students in their second year of medical school.
Dr. Sosnowski is a neuropathologist, who received his specialized training in the diseases of the nervous system at Johns Hopkins University before coming to USA. He will present an overview of the causes of Parkinson’s disease, the affected anatomy of the brain and its neurological consequences.
Dr. Gard, a neuroscientist, specializes in brain development and signaling events that direct the differentiation of the various cell types of the central nervous system. While at USA he served for several years on a scientific review panel for the National Institutes of Health that evaluated research grant proposals from the country’s leading laboratories studying molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain and spinal cord repair, including neural stem cells.
This lecture coincides with a traveling exhibit - “Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.” The exhibit is hosted by the USA Biomedical Library and the Exploreum. Lecture attendees will receive discount admission. The exhibit uses Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as a springboard for visitors to explore issues about personal and societal responsibility in scientific research and development. The exhibit was developed by the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., in collaboration with the American Library Association.
The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information regarding the lecture or to make reservations, please call (251) 460-7770 or email
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Date last changed: October 19, 2009 4:30 PM