Tuesday, December 12, 2006

FCM, Renal Cell Seminar, Class Meeting, and Dean's Seminar

The FCM seminar today went fairly well. We were talking about medical errors and how (or whether) to communicate about them to the patients. The thing that was nice about today's session is that we met in our small groups first, and then we had a brief talk by a lawyer who works for CCF. So for one thing, we didn't have to worry about the speaker going over time. Plus, the lawyer did a nice job of making his presentation interactive. We went through some cases as a group and discussed what the patient should be told and how. It's kind of sad that we already are starting to consider what we have to do to avoid malpractice lawsuits, but it's obviously an important topic.

The renal cell seminar we had afterward was kind of a journal club. There were two articles that we had to read before class about how the cells of the kidney absorb water, and then two different people went over one article each with us in small groups of eight. The first guy we had was really great. He spent about 2/3 of the time going over the general concepts, and then he just talked about the paper for 15 or 20 minutes at the end. We all felt like we learned a lot from his part of the seminar. The second guy wasn't as good. He spent too much time going over the tiniest details from the paper he was covering and not enough time covering the basics. It seems like this is a fairly common problem whenever we have a PhD leading a seminar.

After seminar, we had a class meeting. Dean Fishleder came to talk to us about FCM, among other things. Several people were complaining to him about having to do the essay. I don't think we are going to get out of that one, and I'm not sure it's so terrible that we have to do it anyway. One of our competencies is knowledge of health care systems, and actually, this essay would be good evidence for that competency. Several students have also been talking with him and other members of the administration about how to fix FCM. The gist of his comments is that changes will be made to FCM, but no, they don't know exactly what will change yet. We'll find out in January. I'm not too sure that I like the sound of having FCM surprises in store for us next block....

In the afternoon, I read and went to the anatomy office hours with one of my classmates. We went through all of the cadavers again and practiced identifying the structures. Then in the evening, there was a talk by the Case SOM interim dean, Dr. Davis. She does research on cystic fibrosis over at Case, and she came to CCF to meet with the CCLCM students. Her talk was really good. Basically, she is working on coming up with drug delivery systems to deliver genes to treat people with cystic fibrosis. Since using viruses to deliver the genes causes an immune response, she is trying to use DNA nanoparticles. Right now her research team is working on getting FDA approval for a clinical trial. There was a reception after her talk, but I didn't stay for it because it was getting late and I still had to finish working on my learning objective for tomorrow.


Who M.D. said...

What are DNA nanoparticles? Are they delivered along with restriction enzymes so that they can incorporate into a human's DNA?

CCLCM Student said...

From Dr. Davis's website ( http://physiology.case.edu/faculty.php?id=37 ):

We construct DNA nanoparticles that consist of plasmid DNA compacted with polylysine, stabilized with polyethylene glycol. Their small size allows nuclear access in nondividing cells. These nanoparticles can transfect airway epithelium in vivo in CF mice to correct not only the CF chloride transport defect but also some of its downstream consequences. In addition, these nanoparticles are nontoxic, and can be dosed repeatedly.