Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cholera History and UVM Research Presented in Dana Library Exhibit through December

Cholera History and UVM Research Presented in Dana Library Exhibit through December

Cholera epidemics have scourged human kind for centuries of recorded history.   Cholera: Man versus Microbe”, an exhibit currently on display in the Dana Library presents, the horror, the science, and the hope for eradication of this disease.
 The exhibit opens with bleak images depicting the emergence of cholera in 19th century Europe. A chronology of the discovery of the causative agent, vibrio cholera, follows with the contributions of the major researchers including Pacini, Snow, and Koch described.  A diagram shows how the cholera bacterium and its deadly toxin affect its human hosts and the panel notes the proven public health, rehydration, and vaccine therapies that reduce mortality when applied. The exhibit's final panel with images of cholera in the 21st century, and the contributions a group of UVM researchers in the Cholera Vaccine Study Group (Caroline Lyon and Beth Kirkpatrick are co-PIs )  are making to combat this devastating disease.

Bibliographies of historical and contemporary articles about cholera supplement the exhibit, as do relevant materials from the Dana Library collection. Of particular interest are reprints of original articles by John Snow.

The exhibit coincides with the 2013 UVM First Year required reading, the Ghost Map: the story of London's most terrifying epidemic--and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world by Steven Johnson. The epidemic described in the book is cholera; the impact is the advancement of urban public health through the research of John Snow.

Library Associate Professor Frances Delwiche MLIS of Dana Library is the exhibit curator. She was   assisted by members of the Vaccine Testing Center’s Cholera Vaccine Study group/Beth Kirkpatrick lab.

The exhibit will continue through December 20.  A reception to highlight the exhibit and UVM cholera research will be held in October 24, at 2:30 pm.

Research to discover cholera’s  microbial  cause,  how it is transmitted, and how to successfully treat it in individuals and populations has been a translational science journey which continues today. All CTS students and faculty are invited to visit the exhibit at Dana Library any day between now and Dec. 20, and  to come to the reception on October 24.

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