Where have all the parasitologists gone?

James Mahaffy mahaffy at dordt.edu
Mon Dec 19 10:23:28 EST 1994


Folks,

	In a recent post, Steve Meshnick <meshnick at sph.which.edu> said:
> 	   Which brings me to a corollary of the original question.  How can a
> parasite-specific expert teach a good graduate-level course on general
> parasitology?  I work on malaria and pneumocystis, and feel comfortable
> teaching them (although the latter is a fungus and should really no
> longer be taught by us!)  But it is hard for me to keep up on other
> parasites.  A good course in modern parasitology can be taught in those
> schools where there are a large number of parasitologists on the faculty
> (i.e., Harvard or Case-Western), but what do you do when there are only
> one or two?

	At the risk of being dismissed for not being part of the big boys,
what Steve is talking about should not be that hard.  At the good
undergraduate institutions we are often required to teach in areas we
are not doing research in.  If you have a good text and have read some
of the reviews you will be step ahead of where you want your students to
be.  They should not be expected to be experts in all of the areas.  And
someone like steve has the advantage that he can bring most current
advances from his own research when he is talking about malaria.  But
don't do like one of my graduate prof's did and spend most of your time
on your own research area.  Another thing I do in Cell Biology is force
the student to get into the literature by writing a paper on one aspect
of the field. 

	Of course to do it right requires time and won't help getting NIH
grants - but our students have a better track record than most major
colleges of getting into and doing well in med or graduate schools.  But
I better close and get a Bio 101 exam in shape for tomorrow. 

PS I do like the idea of sharing things that work. you have done
:
James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy at dordt.edu
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250



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