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Health Journalism 2006 - Field Trips

Field Trips

Take advantage of some great up-close looks at fascinating work being done in medicine and health care. There were a limited number of seats for each field trip, so attendees had to register for field trips in advance.


(Leave hotel at 8 a.m., return by 4:30 p.m.)
Conference early birds can take advantage of a daylong visit to the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston.

The 84-acre campus includes four schools, three institutes for advanced study, a major medical library, a network of hospitals and clinics that provide a full range of primary and specialized medical care, an affiliated Shriners Burns Hospital, and numerous research facilities. UTMB is a component of the University of Texas System. A continental breakfast and lunch in Galveston are also included.

See tour details


(Leave hotel at 1:15 p.m., return by 4:30 p.m.)
Baylor College of Medicine, founded in 1900, consistently ranks among the top of the country's 125 medical schools. For 2006, U.S. News & World Report has again ranked the College No. 13 on its list of top medical schools. BCM also is listed 11th among all U.S. medical schools for National Institutes of Health funding, and No. 1 for research expenditures in biological science by the National Science Foundation.

Field trip highlights:

  1. Human Genome Sequencing Center
  2. Children’s Nutrition Research Center

See tour details

(Leave hotel at 1:15 p.m., return by 4:30 p.m.)
University of Texas Health Science Center
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, located in the Texas Medical Center, brings together the Dental Branch, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Medical School, the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, the School of Health Information Sciences, the UT Harris County Psychiatric Center, and the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases. The School of Public Health was ranked No. 1 in the nation by the only study that ranks doctoral programs in health education.

Field trip highlights:

  1. Searching for the “universal donor” stem cell - Institute of Molecular Medicine
  2. Nobel Prize-winner on embryonic stem cells - Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building

See tour details


(Leave hotel at 8:30 a.m., return in time for awards luncheon)
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center was created by the Texas Legislature in 1941 as a component of The University of Texas System and is one of the nation's original three Comprehensive Cancer Centers designated by the National Cancer Act of 1971. M. D. Anderson, ranked among the nation's top two cancer hospitals since the inception of the "America's Best Hospitals" survey. More than 70,000 people with cancer receive care here each year, about a third of them from outside Texas. More than 12,000 patients participated in clinical research exploring novel therapies and diagnostic tests in 2004, the largest such program in the nation.

Field trip highlights:

  1. Proton Therapy Center
  2. Brain Suite

See tour details

(Leave hotel at 7:30 p.m., leave Museum at 9 p.m.)
The Houston Museum of Natural Science, in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation, is presenting Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies, including never-before seen whole-body plastinates.

Created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS 3 is the culmination of the German scientist and physician's 30-year career in anatomy. The show presents more than 200 authentic specimens, including organs and whole body specimens, that have undergone Plastination-von Hagens' groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving the body after death for medical study, which he invented in 1977.

During Plastination, all bodily fluids and soluble fats are replaced with reactive resins and elastomers such as silicon rubber and epoxy, through vacuum-forced impregnation. After gas, heat, or light curing, the specimens assume rigidity and permanence. "The purpose of Plastination from its very inception was a scientific one, to educate medical students. But the interest that laypeople had in the plastinated specimens inspired me to think of creating public exhibitions, which was followed by the realization that I had to offer a heightened sense of aesthetics, to avoid shocking the public and to capture their imagination," said von Hagens.

The striking whole-body plastinates in BODY WORLDS 3-people who in their lifetime donated their bodies for Plastination for the express purpose of educating future generations about health-allow viewers to see inside the staggeringly complex and completely interconnected network of muscles, tendons and blood vessels that make up our bodies.