UVa Medical Alumni News Letter, Volume March, 1952
Members of the School of Microbiology, from left to right, Dr. Catherine Russell, Dr. Alto E. Feller, Dr. Wesley Volk, and L. Lee Kupferberg. From the UVa Medical Alumni News Letter, March 1952. The attached article is entitled "Schools Created From Old School of Bacteriology Offer Interesting Examples of New Educational Trends," and reads: "What alumni remember as the School of Bacteriology and Preventative Medicine gas evolved into two separate schools -- the School of Microbiology and the School of Social and Environmental Medicine.... These schools...are representative of the new trends in medical teaching and theory that are developing at the University Department of Medicine as they are at other progressive medical centers throughout the country. "A summary of the program of the School of Microbiology and its Chariman, Dr. Alto E. Feller, could be made in two words -- teaching and research -- but behind these are many theories unused in the school days of most University Medical Alumni. Teaching: The catalogue describes Microbiology as 'A study of host-parasite relationships of medical importance and of the principles of infection and immunity. It is a course which furnishes the student with the fundamentals of microbiology needed for continued study of the mechanisms of infectious disease, for critical appraisal of medical literature and for a rational approach to the problems of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases.' "The course in Microbiology this year, however, offers even more. A study of it demonstrates the integration of pre-clinical and clinical that is takin gplace in the University Department of Medicine. It is trying in t he mechanisms of disease with the basic sciences by bringing clinical, epidemiological and preventive medical aspects into its teaching rather than to confine the study to the fundamental technological picture alone. "Second year men, who in years past had little knowledge of the whole patient, see cases presented that represent infectious diseases such as pneumonia, subacute bacterial endocarditis, tuberculosis, septicemia, etc. Discussions follow as to how the agents produce the disease and how these agents behave in the population. Pre-clinical students report a heightened interest in these presentations. While engrossed in the study of the biochemical, biophysical and biological properties of micro-organisms, they are naturally anxious to see also a little of the type [of] medicine they will know in later years. In addition Dr. Feller presents the basic science picture of microbiology to the third year clinical students when he meets with them one and a half hours each week, and with the house staff attends medical ward rounds. He is also an active participant in weekly clinico-pathological conferences. "Research: "'A vigorous teaching program,' Dr. Feller said, 'can be maintained only by a staff which is also engaged in research. Every member of the School of Microbiology is absorbed in the solution of a special problem. Dr. Catherine Russel, Instructor, is working on 'Leptospira Infections in the Developing Chick Embryo,' which research is supported by a grant from the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Wesley A. Volk, Acting Assistant Professor, is engaged in a basic research program on bacterial metabolism. Dr. Feller, with L. Lee Kupferberg, Research Assistant, is recipient of a grant from the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board for wokr in isolating the common cold virus. "This emphasis on research extends to students also. They are encouraged not only to think about research problems, but to come into the laboratories to try a hand. "The long-range plan of the School of Microbiology includes the organization of a program whereby house staff members can rotate through the school and receive training. Looking into the future, Dr. Feller also hopes to establish a graduate student program leading to the Ph.D. Degree."
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