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Medicine and Society, Orthopedics, Stanford News

Art and anatomy: Decades-old collaboration brings augmented reality into the hands of Rodin

Art and anatomy: Decades-old collaboration brings augmented reality into the hands of Rodin

This Wednesday, the Cantor Art Museum is launching a first-of-its-kind exhibit, “Inside Rodin’s Hands: Art, Technology, and Surgery.” This unique exhibit uses 21st Century technology to look inside the works of Rodin’s 19th Century sculptures.  As described by Tracie White in today’s Inside Stanford Medicine, the exhibit:

…is a feat of interdisciplinary collaboration that celebrates a long-time connection between sculptor Auguste Rodin’s fascination with the human form and medicine’s fascination with human anatomy.

“A deep and rich history unites the art of the museum with the medical school,” said Connie Wolf, museum director, which has one of the largest Rodin exhibits, with 200 of his sculptures, including the Thinker and the Gates of Hell. “These statues have inspired faculty at the School of Medicine. Art is informing medicine in this exhibit. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever done before.”

Indeed, the rich history that Wolf refers to goes back to the early 90’s when Albert Elsen, PhD, joined forces with Robert Chase, MD. Elsen, a leading authority on Rodin, was the person most responsible for amassing the museum’s huge collection. Chase, then head of the Division of Anatomy, knew his art, too, having taught a popular course on Renaissance art and anatomy.

Because Rodin was known to use models with diseases and deformities, these two “super docents” delighted in taking med students on strolls through the Rodin Sculpture Garden. They’d wend their way through the garden, from one statue to the next, prompting the students to determine whether there were actual clues belying a medical condition, or were they simply seeing the results of the sculpture’s artistic license?

In 1991, I was lucky enough to tag along on one of these walks. By that time, I’d logged scads of Saturdays and Sundays at the garden, usually with drawing pad in hand. This time, it was a very different kind of tour, more akin to doing rounds in the hospital. These works of art that were models for my drawings, were now being diagnosed like patients. I was fascinated from the get-go. The last stop on our tour was the Gates of Hell. After an introduction to the monumental bronze, the focus shifted to the final “patient,” the life-sized statue of Eve, positioned on the right-side of the Gates. She sparked the liveliest discussion of the tour: Was the model for Eve pregnant? If so, how far along might she have been?

I remember how excited I was, seeing Rodin’s art in an entirely new way. It never entered my mind, that decades down the road, I’d get to experience that newly enlightened excitement, again. Nor, did it occur to me that I’d get to witness the trajectory that spans the last 23 years.

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Medical Education, Orthopedics, Stanford News

Teen girls become orthopaedic surgeons for a day

Teen girls become orthopaedic surgeons for a day

girls in orthopedic classThere was a time when high-school girls were taught how to use a needle and thread to make and mend their clothes. On Saturday, in a large conference room at the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center in Redwood City, a group of Bay Area high-school girls was also taught how to use a needle and thread. Gloved, and dressed in scrubs as if they were in the OR, these girls learned how to suture an incision. They also practiced drilling into bones to set pins, they straightened scoliotic spines, and they tackled intramedullary nailing of a femoral shaft fracture - and that was just the morning portion of the all-day workshop.

Together with the Perry Initiative, Stanford’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery hosted 38 girls, giving them a hands-on sneak-peek into the fields of orthopaedic surgery and engineering.

The Perry Initiative is relatively new. It was established five year ago by two women from University of California, San Francisco: Lisa Lattanza, MD, an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery, and Jenni Buckley, PhD, who is now an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware. They are committed to inspiring young women to become leaders in orthopaedic surgery and engineering, and are now partnered with medical centers nationwide to hold these day-long outreach programs.

Amy Ladd - small Both women participated in Saturday’s event, along with Stanford’s Amy Ladd, MD, a professor of orthopaedic surgery and plastic surgery and chief of the Robert A. Chase Hand & Upper Limb Center. Ladd is intent on improving the odds for women by changing the face of science and technology to be more inclusive, especially with a focus on improving healthcare for everyone. “In my speciality, 4 percent of board-certified orthopaedic surgeons are women, and, despite that now women make up half of medical student classes, that number really hasn’t changed since I started almost 30 years ago.”

The large conference room transformed into a veritable beehive of blue-clad young women, hunched over their projects, asking questions, giving suggestions, drilling, pounding, stitching, laughing. Ladd notes that, “in today’s program, we’re doing exactly the same sorts of things I do with our med students and residents every day. In fact, in some ways we’re doing more because it’s so focused.” She takes another look at the scene and says, “I’ve got the best job in the world. We need to share the wealth!”

Judging by the enthusiasm in the room, and the electricity in the air, it’s not hard to imagine that a change is going to come, and the balance is soon to shift.

Previously: A day at med school for Bay Area teensBay Area students get a front-row seat to practicing medicine, scientific researchTeens interested in medicine encouraged to “think beyond the obvious” and Image of the Week: Med School 101
Photo by MA Malone

Medical Education, Stanford News, Videos

Whiz Kids: Investigating healing mechanisms in the oral mucosa

Whiz Kids: Investigating healing mechanisms in the oral mucosa

Over the past week I’ve been showing off projects from Stanford’s Clinical Anatomy Research Scholars, a program that brought 15 interns to campus this summer to do research alongside faculty in a variety of fields across biomedicine.

In this final installment of the “Whiz Kids” series, high-school student Julia Gross does a wonderful job explaining the research she did on the healing mechanisms in the oral mucosa.

The CARS program is based in the Division of Clinical Anatomy and is directed by W. Paul Brown, DDS.

Previously: Whiz Kids: Developing a program for “young anatomists”, Whiz Kids: Research looks at handling pediatric crises effectively, Whiz Kids: Creating an iBook about the heart, Whiz Kids: Using haptics for surgical simulation and Whiz Kids: Teaching anatomy with augmented reality

Medical Education, Stanford News, Technology, Videos

Whiz Kids: Developing a program for “young anatomists”

Whiz Kids: Developing a program for "young anatomists"

As regular readers have seen over the last week, I’ve been highlighting projects from the the Clinical Anatomy Research Scholars (CARS) program at Stanford. That program allowed 15 interns to come campus this summer to do research alongside faculty in a variety of fields across biomedicine.

Those students also produced YouTube videos on their work and entered them in NPR’s “What’s Your Big Idea?” contest. In this video, Ruby Moreno, an incoming Stanford undergraduate student, explains the program she developed to teach middle school students about anatomy.

The CARS program is based in the Division of Clinical Anatomy and is directed by W. Paul Brown, DDS.

Previously: Whiz Kids: Research looks at handling pediatric crises effectively, Whiz Kids: Creating an iBook about the heart, Whiz Kids: Using haptics for surgical simulation and Whiz Kids: Teaching anatomy with augmented reality

Medical Education, Stanford News, Videos

Whiz Kids: Research looks at handling pediatric crises effectively

Whiz Kids: Research looks at handling pediatric crises effectively

Over several previous posts, I’ve highlighted projects from the the Clinical Anatomy Research Scholars (CARS) program at Stanford. If you haven’t seen my earlier entries, CARS allowed 15 interns to come campus this summer to do research alongside faculty in a variety of fields, including medicine, surgical simulation, robots, and biomedical visualization.

Those interns also made short YouTube videos describing the work and entered them in NPR’s “What’s Your Big Idea?” contest. In this video, Colleen Hamilton explains her research project with the Center for Advanced Pediatric & Perinatal Education, which focused on how to handle pediatric crises effectively.

The CARS program is based in the Division of Clinical Anatomy and is directed by W. Paul Brown, DDS.

Previously: Whiz Kids: Creating an iBook about the heart, Whiz Kids: Using haptics for surgical simulation and Whiz Kids: Teaching anatomy with augmented reality

Medical Education, Stanford News, Videos

Whiz Kids: Creating an iBook about the heart

In earlier Scope posts, I’ve shown off projects from the the Clinical Anatomy Research Scholars (CARS) program at Stanford. CARS allowed 15 interns to come campus this summer to do research alongside faculty in a variety of fields, including medicine, surgical simulation, robots, and biomedical visualization. Those students also made their own video presentations describing the work and entered them in NPR’s “What’s Your Big Idea?” video contest.

In this video, Gunn High School student Nikki Murthy talks about the iBook she created about the heart. The book covers the vascular system, basic heart anatomy, heart diseases and more. Murthy and her collaborators also used 3D bioimaging to enrich the book. It’s an impressive feat – and it’s even more so when you realize Murthy is just 17 years old!

The CARS program is based in the Division of Clinical Anatomy and is directed by W. Paul Brown, DDS.

Previously: Whiz Kids: Using haptics for surgical simulation and Whiz Kids: Teaching anatomy with augmented reality

Medical Education, Stanford News, Videos

Whiz Kids: Using haptics for surgical simulation

Whiz Kids: Using haptics for surgical simulation

In an earlier post, I highlighted one very impressive augmented-reality project from the the Clinical Anatomy Research Scholars (CARS) program at Stanford. Through CARS, 15 lucky interns are invited to campus to conduct research alongside professors in a variety of fields, including medicine, surgical simulation, robots, and biomedical visualization.

Over the next week, I’ll be highlighting more video presentations from the students. In this video, high-school student Matthew Miller talks about his project studying how haptic technologies might improve surgical simulation.

This video has also been entered in NPR’s “What’s Your Big Idea?” video contest. You can get a sense of the videos submitted from NPR’s contest playlist.

The CARS program is based in the Division of Clinical Anatomy and is directed by W. Paul Brown, DDS.

Previously: Whiz Kids: Teaching anatomy with augmented reality

Medical Education, Stanford News, Technology, Videos

Whiz Kids: Teaching anatomy with augmented reality

Whiz Kids: Teaching anatomy with augmented reality

As part of the Clinical Anatomy Research Scholars (CARS) program at Stanford, 15 lucky interns came to campus this summer to conduct research alongside professors in a variety of fields, including medicine, surgical simulation, robots, and biomedical visualization.

This video shows off one such project by Monte Vista High School student Nishant Jain. In his project, Jain developed an augmented reality application that can be used to teach anatomy. Here’s how he describes his handiwork on YouTube:

In order to combat the challenges of current anatomical educational techniques, I have developed a prototype of an educational tool that has the ability to superimpose accurate digital models of human anatomy, that are derived from actual patient CT Scan Data, into real space, in real time. This will enable students to interact with a digital model as if it was present right in front of them, thereby providing a natural and intuitive experience that invokes spatial learning. Combined with annotations and video lectures by Stanford faculty that could be embedded in the software, this augmented reality system is a significant novel development that has the potential to revolutionize anatomical education.

As you can see, it’s pretty neat work. Jain, along with his fellow interns, also entered his project in NPR’s “What’s Your Big Idea?” video contest. I’ll be sharing more of these projects on Scope in the coming days. Right now, Jain’s video has 1,691 views and 255 likes!

The CARS program is based in the Division of Clinical Anatomy, and is directed by W. Paul Brown, DDS.

Sports

Tennis, anyone? New York Times examines tennis for the blind

There are three reasons why I love this time of year: the French Open wraps up on Sunday, followed by Wimbledon at the end of June and the U.S. Open at the end of August. Boring? Hardly! Thrilling? Frequently. The agility and strength of the athletes is jaw dropping as they slam the ball back and forth with precision and power, and sweat and grunts, delivering shots that make me marvel over and over again.

The current Grand Slam action definitely puts me in a tennis state of mind, so I was very interested in an article in the New York Times about a way to play tennis that had never occurred to me: blind tennis. Fortunately, it’s occurred to people who are blind or who have limited vision – and it’s growing in popularity.

Thomas Lin writes:

Blind tennis is made possible, scientists say, by the adaptability of the human brain – which appears to repurpose its visual area, the occipital cortex, to process sound and touch in response to blindness.

A series of studies discovered activity in the visual cortex when blind test subjects read Braille, and found that a blind woman could no longer make sense of the raised dots after suffering an occipital stroke. Another study, of sighted subjects who were blindfolded, showed that the occipital cortex began processing tactile and auditory information within five days.

If you missed the story or you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend doing so – and the story has a nice video that’s worth watching.

Events, History, Sleep, Stanford News

An afternoon with bedheads and Deadheads

An afternoon with bedheads and Deadheads

Yes, it might seem like sleep researcher William Dement, MD, PhD, and the late Jerry Garcia would make very strange bedfellows. But, that wasn’t the case at a Stanford event on Saturday. There, they blended together – albeit, in a circular way – like a sweet dream in a deep sleep.

More than 60 people with a variety of ties to the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Center came together at the Jerry House (yes, that Jerry) for the unveiling of a long-awaited plaque discussed earlier today. I was one of the people there to honor the Stanford “sleep camps” held there in the 1970s and ’80s.

A wide variety of those involved with the camps showed up at the event to revisit their pasts and talk about their presents. It was a fun, wacky reunion, bringing together 10 years worth of researchers and researchees. Some flew in from distant ports, and their entrances generated hugs and squeals and hearty handshakes. There was a coterie of “campers,” some the progeny of professors and staff, who happily dispensed memories and swapped tales. There were full-fledged doctors who, as undergrads, acted as “sleep counselors.” And there were sleep-research luminaries who were, back then, just getting the sleep-research field powered up.

The plaque, which was concealed under a very ’60s tie-died cloth, was unveiled, and the researchers who led the work at the camps spoke, acknowledging the importance of the research and expressing gratitude to all involved. The remarks of Mary Carskadon, PhD, expanded into a very detailed string of stories – a decade of escapades involving rambunctious kids, stealthy undergrads, and 24-hour-a-day volleyball tournaments.

There was an abundance of delicious food, a terrific Sancerre, a quantity of beer and an enormous, mega-cake with a stunning replica of the plaque laid out in the frosting. It was the perfect fuel for dancing on a sunny, spring-like afternoon, so when the Grateful Dead-inspired band let loose, people were ready. The air was charged, and the past quickly became the present. Gauging by the expressions on many faces, I don’t think I was the only one transported back to college days!

Previously: Thanks, Jerry: Honoring pioneering Stanford sleep research
Photo of Dement by Robert Tognoli

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