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Where have all the parasitologists gone?

Peter W Pappas ppappas at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
Mon Dec 19 09:04:38 EST 1994

In article <3d2118$4kd at lastactionhero.rs.itd.umich.edu>,
Steve Meshnick  <meshnick at sph.umich.edu> wrote:
>          I've been thinking about the recent discussion on the fate of
>parasitology.  Unfortunately, we will always have two disparate functions
>- service and research.  Diagnostic/veterinary/medical parasitology is
>quite important and there will be a need for general parasitology courses
>until all parasites are eradicated (which will not occur for a while).
>On the other hand, research parasitologists have to be quite specialized.
> This is a result of two trends.  First, the volume of literature is such
>that it is nearly impossible to make real contributions working more than
>a couple of parasites.  Second, the NIH grant situation is such that one
>needs to stay focused.
>       Which brings me to a corollary of the original question.  How can a
>parasite-specific expert teach a good graduate-level course on general
>parasitology?  I work on malaria and pneumocystis, and feel comfortable
>teaching them (although the latter is a fungus and should really no
>longer be taught by us!)  But it is hard for me to keep up on other
>parasites.  A good course in modern parasitology can be taught in those
>schools where there are a large number of parasitologists on the faculty
>(i.e., Harvard or Case-Western), but what do you do when there are only
>one or two?
>        Does anyone think it would be possible to use this newsgroup to help
>with this?  For example, we could post syllabi,textbooks, and reading
>lists for our courses.
>Steve Meshnick
>University of Michigan School of Public Health
>email:  meshnic at umich.edu

As a brief follow-up to Steve's question, how does a "discipline-specific" 
parasitologist (like a cell physiologist/biochemist) teach a good introductory 
course that includes other disciplines (like immunopathology)?  Just like 
trying to keep up with other parasites, keeping up with other disciplines is 
virtually impossible!!!!
Peter W. Pappas, Professor/Chairperson, Department of Zoology,
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH  43210  USA
E-mail: pappas.3 at osu.edu; FAX (614)-292-2030,
PHONE (614)-292-8088

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