Friday, February 09, 2007

Neuropharmacology, PBL, and POD

Today was a pretty good day. We started out with neuropharm, which I really find interesting. They divided us into two groups of sixteen, but I wound up in the wrong group because I didn't check where I was supposed to go on the portal until afterward. As it turned out, this was a fortuitous mistake, because I ended up in Dr. Najm's group. He did a nice job with his seminar as usual.

Our PBL session today went well. We had a lot of learning objectives to go over since there were two cases this week, but that's a good thing. The past few Fridays have been pretty sparse, and I feel like I got a lot more out of today's session because we had enough learning objectives this time. Next week's case is going to be another double one.

The POD speaker today was an ophthamologist who studies how to prevent retinal damage or detachment in prematurely born infants. Basically, when premature infants are put into incubators with high levels of oxygen, it affects the development of blood vessels in their eyes. The blood vessels don't grow as much as they should because the baby's eyes don't need them in such a high oxygen environment. But as soon as the baby is taken out of the incubator and now is in a normal oxygen environment, the blood vessel growth in its eyes becomes excessive and abnormal, leading to retinal detachment and other problems. That happens because relative to the incubator, the baby's new environment is hypoxic (too low in oxygen). So these researchers are trying to prevent abnormal blood vessel growth and retinal detachment, and they are having some success. Pretty neat stuff.

This afternoon I need to meet with my summer research group, and then I'm outta here.

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