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NLM Convenes Symposium for Science Students

When was the first artificial heart implanted in a human? What does the space program have to do with artificial organs? Can an artificial gill allow humans to live like fish? A bear can live for long periods of time without kidneys. Can a human? What are the physical obstacles for using artificial organs?

The answers to these and other questions about organ and transplant research will be heard at an upcoming symposium, the Michael E. DeBakey Seminar in Medicine, Tuesday, March 6, 2007, at the New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. This is the third in a series of seminars to be convened by NIH's National Library of Medicine. Washington, DC and Chicago were hosts to previous seminars and a fourth will be held in Houston this fall.

"Developments and advances are occurring at incredible speed--all directed toward improving human health and the quality of life," noted Michael E. DeBakey, MD*, pioneering heart surgeon and Director, Baylor College of Medicine DeBakey Heart Center. He added, "I know that the presentations you hear today will kindle even greater interest, and I can ensure an exciting and fulfilling career to those who pursue this interest."

The Seminar will bring together top scientists and medical doctors in the organ and transplant field to discuss and demonstrate the latest advances in research. About 500 high school science students, invited from New York Metropolitan area, will be able to ask questions of the speakers following their individual presentations and explore exhibits featuring artificial body parts and the latest examples of medical breakthroughs. They will be able to see and touch heart stents, pacemakers, oxygenators (old and new), a coronary artery bypass graft and photo of DeBakey performing surgery, hearing aids (old and new), and the original DeBakey intravenous roller pump (1935) which led to the concept of the first heart-lung machine.

*Michael E. DeBakey, MD, who turned 98 years old this year, is an internationally recognized and respected physician and surgeon noted for his pioneering work in the field of cardiovascular surgery. Dacron pumps, arterial bypass operations, artificial hearts, heart pumps and heart transplants are common procedures in todays medicine, thanks to Dr. DeBakey.