Science Café of Olympia – January 12

The next Science Café is January 12. The topic is Western Washington’s Contributions to the Development of Artificial Kidney.

When:   7:00 pm, Tuesday, January 12
Where:  Barnes & Noble Booksellers (in the cookbook alcove)
1530 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Olympia, WA

Until the 1960s, kidney failure was universally fatal. The pivotal developments here in Western Washington changed all of that. These developments made possible the acute and chronic treatment of patients using the “artificial kidney”, or blood dialyzer. Today, over 200,000 lives are saved every year in the U.S. due, in large part, to the pioneering research by Western Washington scientists.

This is a fascinating story of the people involved (including the “Life or Death” committee), and how research and development in the field of artificial organs depended on the interplay of advances in many areas of study outside the field of medicine.

Giving us his first-hand account of this story is Donald Lyman, Ph.D. Dr. Lyman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Bioengineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah. Prior to his retirement, he directed research in the synthesis and use of polymers for medical implants. Dr. Lyman was the recipient of the first grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (part of the National Institutes of Health) specifically aimed to create an interdisciplinary research center where scientists from different fields were brought together to develop a more comprehensive approach to finding biomedical solutions. He was also involved in the early development of the artificial heart.

Coming in February:
Bacteriophages: Natural, Self-Replicating, Self-Limiting Antibiotics
by Dr. Elizabeth Kutter, Evergreen State College

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