Hello! My name is Christina Mosijchuk, and I am currently taking prerequisites for the Sonography program here at STCC. I was one of the participants in the guest talk on drugs that was held on Tuesday, October 18th. As students, we were very excited to partake in this, because it was hosted by our Anatomy and Physiology class! I was so glad to see that the auditorium was jam packed with not only our college students, but local high school students also. Dr. Elizabeth Evans spoke about the adverse effects of Drug abuse and Dr. Muthukumar about how medicinal drugs can be a boon to humanity. Both the talks were outstanding and inspiring.
During the guest talk, I was very fascinated by Dr. Murugappan Muthukumar’s presentation about a topical drug for the eyes. Dr. Muthukumar is a distinguished Wilmer Barrett professor of Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He has won numerous awards and distinctions, and was nominated as the best teacher 20 times! I was fascinated to learn about his research and was impressed with his brilliance and humility. He shared with us the positive effects drugs can have in an individual’s life, providing the example of the topical drug that is able to prevent, intercept and even reverse cataracts and presbyopia (farsightedness) in the eyes, without surgical intervention.He researches the lens of the human eye, its structure and functions. He explains the formation of cataract as an aggregation or clumping of the molecules that make up the lens, which then results in the undesirable scattering of light
In one of his slides, Professor Muthukumar presented a video about a little, blind boy, who had always wanted to “see”, or feel, what a firefighter is like. In this video we can see the child patting the firefighter up and down, feeling every part of him to learn and know what firefighters might look like. This video was honestly so sad, yet heartwarming, to see. Today, so many people in our world struggle with vision loss. Did you know that over 65 million people worldwide suffer from blindness, and about 25 million people become blind every year due to cataracts? Did you know that if you live long enough, you will eventually develop cataracts?
This drug that Dr. Muthukumar presented to us, will be able to help slow or stop cataracts from forming or progressing. One of the most interesting things I learned from his speech was that the proteins in your eyes never change, and you will never get a “new pair” of eyes, whereas in other body parts, tissues, muscles, etc., your body is able to rebuild proteins and reconstruct them as it develops, changes, and matures. I believe this would be a worldwide benefit, and it would change so many lives! The importance of “good” drugs, or beneficial/medical drugs, is vital in enhancing the world we live in today!
Overall I’m very thankful to my classmates and professor Reena Randhir, for organizing all of this! I’m also grateful that we had these UMASS professors come and discuss with us the importance of drugs and how they can affect an individual’s life, both negatively and positively! Big thank you to Dr. Elizabeth A. Evans and Dr. Murugappan Muthukumar for coming and sharing their expertise with us! I’m sure that everyone who attended left with having learned something new, and with a new perspective on drugs and their effects on people.
Very good work!