A tornado in the body

Rheumatoid arthritis caught writer Toni Locke by surprise, tearing through her joints like a tornado. Read your symptoms warnings and seek help early, she cautions, before irreparable damage occurs.  read article

“It’s not impossible at all”

Beset by frequent political turmoil and gaping poverty, Haiti has the highest HIV infection rate in the Western Hemisphere. Yet thanks to intensive public health and research efforts, the nation’s AIDS burden appears to be declining. If progress can be made “in this chaos, we know it can be done everywhere,” says pioneering Haitian physician Jean Pape.  read article

An explosion in the family

His father’s suicide nearly half a century ago continues to motivate Randy Blakely, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Center for Molecular Neuroscience, to search for clues to the development of depression and other serious brain disorders. The hope is that increased awareness, and improvements in diagnosis and treatment, may prevent events that can literally blow families apart.  read article

The next generation

A unique program at Vanderbilt University connects high school students with scientists. For one graduate, it was a life-changing experience.  read article

From auto parts to cell parts

Jack Roberts, internationally known for his research on free radicals, wasn’t supposed to become a scientist. After college, he planned to run the family auto parts businesses. But then he took physiology from “Doc” Rogers, and the course of his life was changed forever.  read article

Lwala diaries – a postscript

The previous issue of Lens chronicled the efforts of Vanderbilt medical student Milton Ochieng’ to construct the first health clinic in his village in Kenya. Abbie Foust, who spent her summer vacation surveying his village’s health needs, describes her life-changing experiences.  read article

Acts of grace

Grace to James Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D., is more than a manner of living -- it is an obligation. By emulating the grace he observed in his mother and in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Hildreth emerged from a childhood of poverty and despair to become a prominent AIDS researcher, dedicated to serving the underserved.  read article

Peeking into the womb

One of the most powerful applications of imaging science is the diagnosis of fetal abnormalities.  read article

The patient’s responsibility

No amount of work by the Food and Drug Administration can ensure the safety of the nation’s drug supply if doctors don’t prescribe or patients don’t take medication responsibly. But while medical and consumer education may improve drug safety, costs will probably continue to rise—and that may not be such a bad thing.  read article

Junk food in schools

Schools nationwide are packed with vending machines that provide schools with extra funding. These machines are often stocked full of sugary sweets at the expense of students’ health.  read article