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Mini Med School: Transforming Our Understanding of Human Health

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Mini Med School: Transforming Our Understanding of Human Health

During the final quarter of the Stanford Mini Med School, we will address some of the most timely and important topics in contemporary medicine and the biosciences. We will start with an introduction to the immune system and see how it defends us and also defines our biological selves. We will then focus on autoimmunity and degenerative disease (such as arthritis) and take up the complex story of vaccines — such as the H1N1 vaccine — and scientists’ and physicians’ successful and failed efforts to protect us from disease. From here, we will turn our attention to movement and movement disorders (e.g., Parkinson’s disease) and then consider important issues of gender, health, and disease, taking time to discuss heart disease, osteoporosis, and the general promotion of health in both sexes. Other major topics surveyed will include: aging, how the aging process works, and what we can do about it, and the always intriguing topic of diet and calories and the consequences of having too many or too few. Finally, we will conclude with a discussion of cancer: what is it, what we are doing about it, how we can diagnose cancer early through imaging at the molecular level, and the promise of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.
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