Emory Report
April 7, 2008
Volume 60, Number 26


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April 7, 2008

Drug creation still empirical
Since earliest man chewed plants and noticed medicinal effects, humans have tried to treat problems with the brain and mind, said Dennis Choi, executive director of the Comprehensive Neurosciences Initiative, in an April 2 Life of the Mind lecture.

“It’s only been since the 1970s that we’ve entered the age of proven value,” Choi said, noting that scientific testing of all drugs on the market was not completed until 1984.

Pharmacy has yet to enter a non-empirical age, he said. “We don’t yet know enough about biology, including nervous system biology, to actually connect all of the dots. In fact, society’s hubris in believing that we are now at a point of true rational drug design ahead of time is actually responsible for some of the lower performance of the drug development system in recent years.” — Carol Clark

Press doyenne berates Iraq war
“Having watched presidents with a jaundiced eye, I can tell you — they should be watched,” Helen Thomas told an overflow audience at the law school, where she gave the Women’s History Month keynote March 31. The “First Lady of the Press” shared stories drawn from more than five decades as a White House correspondent.

Thomas said Hillary Clinton should not heed calls for her to drop out of the Democratic primary. “She should run the good race — win, lose or draw,” she said, adding, “What has [Obama] done, really, to merit the presidency of the United States?”

Thomas saved her bluntest remarks for the George W. Bush administration. “We won the Cold War in 60 years and kept our powder basically dry,” she said. “You cannot spread democracy with the barrel of a gun.”
— Carol Clark

Herstory gathers health issues
“Gathering of Voices on Health Care: Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Holistic,” the National Black Herstory Conference and Awards Banquet, had a festive opening March 28 with a libation pouring ceremony and an energetic performance by musical group Giwayen Mata.

Robert Lee, associate dean of multicultural medical student affairs, said he and others are currently involved in “Emory Revisited,” a step in the recruitment of students of color to the medical school. “We’re celebrating,” Lee said, the things that have been accomplished over the years that have impacted not just people of color but “people of good will.” — Leslie King