BIMS

Tag: human health

New Micro Course Coming Next Year

by gwilson on Jun.01, 2010, under Program

student at microscopeBy popular demand, BIMS is adding a microbiology course for non-majors. In actuality, this is not a new course at all, but one that was taught for several years and then dropped because of staffing issues – there was nobody available to teach the course.  Now, with Dr. Wilson returning to full-time teaching after years as the Natural & Computational Sciences dean, that problem is a thing of the past.  BIOL 3403 Foundations of Microbiology returns to the catalog and will be taught in spring semesters and during summers.

BIOL 3403 is geared toward health professions where an understanding of basic microbiology and its impact on health is essential.  Its counterpart for BIMS majors – BIOL 3410 – provides a greater exposure to the biology and physiology and genetics of microbes.  Mineral cycling and the biology of the Archaebacteria (methane production, growth at extremes of temperature and salinity) and Cyanobacteria (photosynthesis) are clearly important to a biology major – not nearly so to someone who is pursuing an allied health career.  BIOL 3403 is likely to have a greater emphasis on microbes posing health risks and how they can be avoided or destroyed in a healthcare setting.  Antibiotics, immunity, and safe water and food are more likely to dominate discussions on a regular basis.  By providing direction and focus to the two courses, the non-majors course can be effectively taught without the extensive pre-requisites in previous biology and chemistry courses expected for the majors course.  The BIMS program sees the two courses as a welcomed response to the needs of two very different populations of students and allows the instructors to tailor their courses to the needs and interests of each.  At this time, it looks like Dr. Wilson will teach BIOL 3410 and Dr. Benoit will teach the new course, BIOL 3403.

Just another example of the responsiveness of BIMS to the needs of students!

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Public Health

by gwilson on Feb.28, 2010, under A Day in the Life...

Gram negative rodsThe 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!

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