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Vital Signs

Pages Past

In this section, we highlight tidbits from past issues of the magazine. These messages from yesteryear remind us of the pace of change as well as of some timeless truths.

From the Fall 1976 issue

The issue bearing the date above was Vol. 1, No. 1, of this magazine. And what a different magazine it was. The pages of that first issue are notable for their less-than-scintillating headlines (such as "Overseers Meet" and "Class of 1979 Arrives"), as well as for a pretty bland black-and-white layout. Of course, the same could be said of both the tone and the look of many magazines back then.

In truth, it was also a very different institution represented in that first issue. Perhaps most significantly—given the advent in this issue of a new section devoted to research news (see page 3 for its inaugural appearance and page 2 for an explanation about its genesis)—the Dartmouth medical research enterprise was much more modest in the mid-1970s than it is today.

That's evident from the fact that only a couple of the 40 pages in the Fall 1976 issue were devoted to research. But it's also evident that work of high quality, if not of great quantity, was going on.


Microbiologist Clarke Gray

There's a brief description of Dartmouth's nationally recognized program in sleep research: "For more than a decade, Peter Hauri, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Dartmouth Sleep Laboratory, has been conducting research to learn why people don't sleep and what can be done to help them get a

restful nightly slumber. . . . Dr. Hauri is currently evaluating the effectiveness of some nondrug procedures [and] has had good success substituting relaxation therapy and biofeedback for pills."

That 28-year-old issue also contained capsule descriptions of several research projects under way in the Department of Microbiology, noting, for example, that "Elmer Pfefferkorn, Ph.D., is studying the genetics and biochemistry of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii" as a means of exploring the host-parasite relationship in humans.

Such work, realized the department's then-chair, Clarke Gray, Ph.D., can be far-reaching: "The investigative approach . . . will help future researchers and practitioners remain effective in their respective fields long after graduation. In the words of Dr. Gray, 'Students in microbiology learn to observe critically—an ability which will help them confront, with confidence, the inevitable changes in scientific knowledge.'"

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