Tag: food safety
As part of the renovation this summer, our program was asked what equipment we might need to help usher in new teaching and research opportunities for our students. We were excited to have the opportunity to evaluate what our faculty and students want to do in our labs and to adjust our equipment to allow that work to happen.
Our labs are extremely well supplied with equipment for teaching genetics and molecular biology, so this summer we will add some equipment to help us investigate cell physiology and growth. One of those items we made sure to include was fermenters. We ordered five. These fermenters will allow our students to study growth of microbes. Maybe they’ll find out how to maximize growth of oil-eating microbes, how to improve antibiotic production by bacteria they isolate (maybe one of them will come up with a new drug?!), or how to modify foods to improve their safety. Just another example of how BIMS puts learning into action to solve world problems.
The vision of the Biomedical Science program at McMurry is to teach biology from the perspective of molecules, cells, and human health. It is often easy to see the emphasis on molecules and cells. We have courses like Genetics, Microbiology, Human Physiology. However, we are never far from a discussion of how these elements of biomedical science influence human health and wellness. To say one does not go without the other would be a fair statement.
I believe our focus on human health really contributes well to understanding the concept of public health. Public health can be seen in a variety of ways. Most obvious would be the emphasis on healing the sick or preventing illness. Our courses focus on these elements as we study how life works, what happens when it doesn’t work well, and how man has contributed to rectifying the problems to restore health. Less obvious, but no less important, is the need for us to consider exercise and wellness and health policy and administration and education when we consider health and wellness of individuals AND communities. When expanded in these ways, such things as promoting active lifestyles, dietary awareness, food safety, veterinary health care, and mental health all contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of what constitutes public health. Limiting ourselves to consideration of DNA and drugs and cells and microbes severely restricts and underestimates the concept of health in all its dimensions.
McMurry’s BIMS program represents one of the keystones for a comprehensive approach to teaching public health and safety on our campus. The Department of Kinesiology’s Exercise Science & Human Performance program is an excellent partner, along with the Department of Psychology’s focus on mental health. Who knows – maybe one day we will borrow from these and other areas of campus to build a bona fide Bachelor’s degree in Public Health!