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Albert Crenshaw

Physiologist Albert G. Crenshaw was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 20, 1952. His father was a construction worker and his mother a domestic worker. Crenshaw did not take to science right away; rather, he attended Chowan Junior College on a basketball scholarship and received his A.A. degree from there in 1973. He then enrolled at West Virginia University and earned his B.A. degree in biology in 1977. Crenshaw went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in physiology and anatomy in 1994 from the University of Umeå. He was the first African American in Sweden to earn a doctoral degree in the medical sciences. Crenshaw’s Ph.D. thesis was entitled, Intramuscular Pressure Techniques for Studying Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

In 1978, Crenshaw moved to San Diego, California and accepted a position as a research technician at the University of California, San Diego in an orthopedic research lab. While there, Crenshaw had the opportunity to study abroad in Gothenburg, Sweden for eight months in a laboratory exchange program. In 1989, he relocated with the lab to the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field outside of San Francisco. Following his tenure at NASA, Crenshaw was invited and accepted a position as a Ph.D. student at the University of Umea and graduated in 1994. From 1995 to 1996, Crenshaw served concurrently as a research assistant in the East Hospital department of orthopaedics at the University of Gothenburg and as a research assistant in the department of anatomy at the University of Umea. He was then appointed as an assistant professor of physiology at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life in the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. In 2000, he became an associate professor at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Gavle in Umea, Sweden.

Throughout his career, Crenshaw has contributed over fifty scientific articles to journals such as European Journal of Applied Physiology, Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, Journal of Applied Physiology, and Journal of Orthopaedic Research. NASA awarded him the Certificate of Recognition during tenure as laboratory manager. Crenshaw resides in Umea, Sweden with his wife and two children.

Albert G. Crenshaw was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 21, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.002

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/21/2013

Last Name

Crenshaw

Maker Category
Middle Name

Guy

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

West Virginia University

University of Umea

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Albert

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

CRE02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Sweden

Birth Date

3/20/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Umea

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Physiologist Albert Crenshaw (1952 - ) , associate professor at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Gävle in Umeå, Sweden, was the first African American in Sweden to earn a doctoral degree the medical sciences.

Employment

University of California, San Diego

Veterans Administration Hospital

University of Gothenburg

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center

University of Umea

National Institute of Occupational Health

University of Gavle

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Albert Crenshaw's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Albert Crenshaw lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Albert Crenshaw describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his mother's growing up in Charlottesville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his mother's education and employment at the University of Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Albert Crenshaw reflects upon his decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree and not a medical degree

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his mother's brief life in Philadelphia, and the break-up of his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Albert Crenshaw describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Albert Crenshaw talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his parents' marriage and his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Albert Crenshaw describes his earliest childhood memory, of his grandmother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Albert Crenshaw talks about growing up near Charlottesville, Virginia, and the African American community around him

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Albert Crenshaw talks about attending Union Run Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Albert Crenshaw describes the sights, smells and sounds of growing up in Charlottesville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Albert Crenshaw talks about attending school in Charlottesville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his childhood interest in nature and sports

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his mother's employment after the family moved back to Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his fascination with insects, especially spiders

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Albert Crenshaw talks about the lack of a distinct education in science while in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Albert Crenshaw talks about attending the integrated Albemarle High School in Charlottesville, Virginia, and playing basketball there

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Albert Crenshaw talks about attending Chowan Junior College in North Carolina, where he played on the basketball team

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Albert Crenshaw talks about the mentoring that he received in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his older brother dropping out of school and his mother's emphasis on education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Albert Crenshaw talks about playing basketball in high school, and his mother's influence on his decision to go to college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Albert Crenshaw talks about attending Chowan Junior College, becoming a father, and developing an interest in biology

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Albert Crenshaw describes his decision to attend West Virginia University and his academic performance there

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Albert Crenshaw talks about the Black Student Union at West Virginia University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Albert Crenshaw talks about looking for employment in California after graduating from West Virginia University in 1977

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Albert Crenshaw describes his work at the University of California in developing a method for measuring the fluid pressure between muscle fibers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his mentor, Alan Hargens, at the University of California

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Albert Crenshaw describes his work with the cardio-thoracic surgery research group at the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Diego, California

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Albert Crenshaw talks about the applications for his method of measuring the fluid pressure between muscle fibers as well as his research in Sweden

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his experience in Sweden of working on nerve regeneration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Albert Crenshaw describes his experience with learning to speak Swedish as well as meeting his wife there

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Albert Crenshaw describes his research on the orthopedic condition known as compartment syndrome

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his return to Sweden in 1990

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Albert Crenshaw describes his work on helping NASA astronauts design exercises to prevent muscle degeneration in space - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Albert Crenshaw describes his work on helping NASA astronauts design exercises to prevent muscle degeneration in space - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Albert Crenshaw shares his reasons for returning to Sweden in 1990, his decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree there, and why he stayed

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Albert Crenshaw describes his doctoral dissertation, entitled 'Intramuscular Pressure Techniques for Studying Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Albert Crenshaw describes his life in Sweden - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Albert Crenshaw describes his life in Sweden - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his family's visit to Sweden

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his post-doctoral research on muscle morphology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Albert Crenshaw describes a typical day in his life as an academic scientist

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Albert Crenshaw describes the demographics of the student population at Umea University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Albert Crenshaw describes his research on occupational muscular-skeletal disorders - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Albert Crenshaw describes his research on occupational muscular-skeletal disorders - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Albert Crenshaw discusses the importance of being able to communicate science to a general audience

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Albert Crenshaw discusses the experimental design and methodology for his current research on occupational muscular-skeletal disorders

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Albert Crenshaw describes the application of near infrared spectroscopy and electromyography in measuring muscle oxygenation and brain oxygenation

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Albert Crenshaw talks about a few of his current research interests

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Albert Crenshaw reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Albert Crenshaw reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Albert Crenshaw discusses his mentoring responsibilities at Umea University in Sweden

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his interest in writing poetry

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Albert Crenshaw reflects upon being separated from the African American community while living in Sweden

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Albert Crenshaw describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Albert Crenshaw talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Albert Crenshaw talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Albert Crenshaw talks about growing up near Charlottesville, Virginia, and the African American community around him
Albert Crenshaw describes his research on the orthopedic condition known as compartment syndrome
Transcript
Now, can you describe the house you grew up in, and the neighborhood? Did it have a special name or, you know, and what was the demographics of Charlottesville [Virginia]?$$Yeah, yeah. Charlottesville is not a big town, as it is. It's primarily a University of Virginia town. We lived about five miles outside of Charlottesville. We lived east of Charlottesville, going toward Richmond [Virginia]. You would drive down the main road, and you would take a left on a dirt road, and you'd go up a hill, quite a ways up a hill. Maybe it would take you a couple minutes to get up to the top of the hill. Going up that hill, on the left side was my mother's [Reva Louise Sampson Crenshaw] house. If you continued up that hill, Uncle James lived up there. That hill was called North Hill. I don't know why. But anybody in that area, if you throw out the name North Hill, they know exactly what you're talking about, okay. So, there was actually one road--two roads--going up to North Hill, off of the main road. You could take a left, or you could continue down and take another left. You could go up on the other side. So, we had friends over here--or relatives--and then acquaintances over here. And on this side, we could walk across the hill like this. We were like on a hill. So, it's called North Hill. But it's near a little, another suburb of Charlottesville called Shadwell, S-H-A-D-W-E-L-L, yeah.$$Okay, alright. And, you know, so I know your uncle's an African American, so is your immediate family. Was that, like, an African American--$$Yeah.$$--enclave?$$Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, all me, yeah.$$Okay.$$Yeah. And I don't know who's related to who, but everybody called everybody cousins. So, I mean, we have treated each other like family, actually. And my mother was, I mean for a large part of the time she was alone, because she didn't, she hadn't met her new boyfriend for some years. And so she, she had people help her out with taking care of us. So we had, you know, Aunt Nancy and Aunt Ellen and people like that all around us all the time, yeah. But even though--I don't know if they were related or not, but it didn't matter. Yeah, yeah.$Okay, so in '84 [1984], you came back [to the United States, from Sweden]. Then you'd been working on the nerve regeneration?$$I had worked on the nerve regeneration in Sweden--$$Right.$$And then I came back to San Diego [California]. And I continued with the research on pressure, and we actually worked on something called compartment syndrome. We did a lot of work on that. But they're intricately related. Compartment syndrome and intramuscular pressure are very much related. It's an orthopedic condition that you get. You know what it is?$$No.$$Okay. When you get too much swelling in the lower leg--here. And in order to detect that, if the swelling goes up to a certain point, you have to have a surgical procedure, you have to. Otherwise, you could end up losing your, your, your, the use of your foot.$$Now, this swelling in the lower leg--$$Uh huh.$$--you hear older people complain of this all the time. Their ankle's swelling up, you know--$$Uh huh.$$Does that have to do with diabetes exclusively, or is some other--$$That swelling you're talking about has to. But the swelling I'm talking about has nothing to do with that. It's in the actual muscle. It's not in the joint. You're talking about swelling in the joint. This is in the muscle. If you--you can have this kind of swelling in the muscle if you have trauma. If you have a--take a baseball bat and you hit yourself on this leg. You break some blood vessels, and it starts swelling like this. And this compartment gets really, really tight. And when it does, it will kill other vessels in there. And then those vessels will spill over, and they will get more pressure and more pressure. And so that's why it becomes a syndrome, because it feeds itself, okay. So, what you need to do, be able to do, is to put something in there to measure how much pressure is in here. That is what those little tubes and things that I have been working with--to be able to measure the pressure. Once you have measured the pressure, if it's above a certain point, you have to go in and do what they call a fascia, a surgical procedure. You have to cut the balloon from around the muscle so that muscle can go "aaah", okay. So, when I went back to San Diego, I started working on these methods again, and worked, doing a lot of work, on compartment syndrome, trying to understand it better. And we had a model of creating it, in a dog model, and then we could take different kinds of measuring devices and see which one was the best, okay. So, we were trying to figure out how to best measure it, yeah.$$Okay, okay, alright.

Pamela Gunter-Smith

Provost and academic vice president Pamela J. Gunter-Smith earned her B.S. degree in biology from Spelman College in 1973 and her Ph.D. degree in physiology from Emory University in 1978. She conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. Gunter-Smith has also participated in notable professional development opportunities, such as the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Leadership Development Program and the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship at the University of Miami.

In 1981, Gunter-Smith began working as a project manager and research physiologist at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) where she supervised three independent laboratories and oversaw an independent research program to assess and mitigate the effects of radiation on intestinal physiology. From 1982 to 1992, Gunter-Smith held faculty appointments at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and George Washington University. In 1992, Gunter-Smith was appointed as chair of the biology department and associate provost for science and mathematics at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. During her tenure, she directed the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Biomedical Program, improved the curriculum in the natural sciences, facilitated the development of grants for the natural and social sciences, and was instrumental in providing a number of opportunities for the faculty and students. While at Spelman, she played a major role in fund-raising and developing institutional grants from private foundations and federal agencies. In 2006, she joined Drew University as its first provost and academic vice president. As the chief academic officer, she helped to develop and implement a new vision statement to strengthen the natural science departments. Gunter-Smith has been instrumental in developing a successful strategic plan, which resulted in a twenty-five percent increase in undergraduate enrollment.

For her efforts and research at the AFRRI, Gunter-Smith received the Director’s Award for Distinguished Service in 1992. In 2001, she received the Spelman Presidential Faculty Award for Scholarly Achievement. She received the Spelman College Alumnae Achievement Award in Health and Science in 2005.

Pamela J. Gunter-Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 11, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.062

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/11/2013

Last Name

Gunter-Smith

Marital Status

Married

Schools

St. Vincent School

St. Bernard Academy

Spelman College

Emory University

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

First Name

Pamela

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

GUN01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

It is what it is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/2/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chocolate

Short Description

Physiologist and university president Pamela Gunter-Smith (1951 - ) is provost and academic vice president at Drew University.

Employment

Drew University

Spelman College

Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:1398,15:2110,24:5225,34:14748,180:20406,205:21324,217:23772,253:29484,321:32890,328:35471,373:41597,414:43508,435:44145,443:47432,459:49433,483:49955,490:50303,495:50651,500:59669,625:60250,634:60748,643:67140,712:67520,765:67976,773:78920,910:83784,1030:93700,1096:94975,1119:95825,1132:96505,1141:97525,1157:100245,1206:101350,1223:102455,1239:104495,1285:119012,1453:119969,1471:120317,1476:121448,1496:122144,1505:122579,1511:126342,1519:127244,1524:146250,1743:146930,1753:149395,1793:152790,1825:153300,1832:163610,1975:163910,1980:164210,1985:169718,2021:169974,2026:173110,2101:174454,2136:174710,2141:182518,2231:182842,2285:185400,2291:186300,2302:190632,2346:191817,2375:201139,2546:201692,2555:213048,2715:218835,2761:220200,2796$0,0:1628,22:2368,35:2886,43:3996,61:4292,66:14187,195:14471,200:15110,212:20950,303:21376,310:22512,329:28738,400:30688,420:32800,429:33208,436:33480,441:50810,653:51175,659:52343,680:55409,731:61249,830:71340,920:75469,981:81677,1081:82259,1088:82938,1096:83714,1101:84781,1128:91796,1171:92176,1177:92784,1186:93468,1202:94076,1214:94608,1222:99396,1307:103504,1319:104778,1330:106052,1344:106640,1351:108465,1359:109145,1368:114890,1499:124754,1674:128056,1697:128916,1711:131056,1722:131992,1736:133000,1752:148074,1879:151860,1903:153160,1920:164833,2076:165372,2085:172032,2140:173579,2169:176855,2218:179403,2268:190390,2390:193978,2456:195148,2478:195616,2485:204588,2581:204968,2587:206412,2612:209148,2680:214760,2759:217420,2795:223440,2900:224210,2941:224700,2950:226590,2991:227080,2999:227710,3009:228340,3039:248528,3255:249620,3268:257068,3315:259876,3369:260266,3375:261358,3390:262138,3401:262762,3411:266872,3423:270020,3453:270790,3471:277980,3515:278548,3523:279116,3532:279542,3539:280394,3552:280749,3559:286003,3653:286713,3664:287423,3675:287849,3682:288559,3693:289127,3703:293474,3735:293828,3742:294064,3747:294536,3758:295008,3768:296778,3808:297781,3823:298430,3835:298843,3844:299256,3852:300731,3885:303880,3907
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Pamela Gunter-Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Pamela Gunter-Smith lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her mother's family background - part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her mother's family background - part 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her father's family business

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her father's education and career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her parents and how they met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about growing up as an only child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about growing up around a funeral home

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her childhood neighborhoods

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about growing up obscured from the typical racial tensions of the South

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her favorite musicians growing up, and her high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about accomplished African Americans in Nashville during her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her involvement in the church while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her decision to become a scientist

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her decision to attend Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Pamela Gunter-Smith recalls the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her experience at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her science instruction at Spelman College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her favorite musicians and social activities in college

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her experience at the Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her decision to attend Emory University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her studies at Emory University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her Ph.D. dissertation, titled 'The Effect of Theophylline on Amphiuma Small Intestine'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her experience at the University of Pittsburgh

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her experience at the University of Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her decision to join the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her career at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her professional activities and awards

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her transition into academic administration at Spelman College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her work at Spelman College - part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her work at Spelman College - part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about funding challenges for historically black colleges in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about balancing her professional activities and research with her personal life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her work at the University of Miami

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her connections to Donna Shalala, Johnnetta Cole and Audrey Manley

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her role as provost of Drew University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her decision to leave Spelman College to join Drew University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her professional accomplishments at Drew University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about the challenges of being a woman in the work-force and her future career aspirations

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her goals for Drew University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about the history of Drew University

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Pamela Gunter-Smith reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Pamela Gunter-Smith shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Pamela Gunter-Smith describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

3$8

DATitle
Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about growing up around a funeral home
Pamela Gunter-Smith talks about her science instruction at Spelman College
Transcript
Do you have an earliest childhood memory?$$The earliest childhood memory that I have was a traumatic one was, the funeral--the apartment was up a very steep, long flight of steps, probably I don't know 15 steps and I remember fall--tumbling down to the bottom of them when I was probably about three. That's the earliest memory that I have. It's funny that, I guess it was very traumatic but I have other, lots of memories of you know working around you know deceased and bodies and things like that because I had, that's how I had my anatomy lessons when I was a kid.$$Okay, so this--I would think that this demystified you know the body and death and--$$Um-hmm, absolutely.$$Yeah. I think it would have to. So well, tell us about--since we're on the subject yeah tell us about that, you know what the--$$Growing up around a funeral home or--?$$Yeah, you said you had your first lessons in anatomy.$$So I was always you know there. We, and we always had cases when I was there many evenings. And it was generally in the evenings that they would embalm the bodies. And I re--my dad never had the stomach for it. He was actually the business manager for the place. My uncle who was the photographer was the artist and so if there was a, an accident, he would do all the make-up and the facial restoration. And my other uncle was the gregarious one. He was the one that was out in the public and waving and going around. But one of the memories I have is that we had had a case that was--and I was probably about five, a case that was a, had been opt, opt--I can't--blanking on the word, had an autopsy. It's not right but--and I remember my uncle calling me into the morgue and standing up on a stool and he lifts the top of the skull and then starts to explain to me where the brain stem goes down and all of that. And I was always very fascinated by human anatomy because, I guess because I had those kind of lessons. Little, sounds a little strange now but you know it was just what happened.$$Yeah. And it doesn't--so many people are superstitious and afraid, especially in those days. The further back you get it seems that there's more like fear and spookiness attached to a funeral home and the funeral process and death and that sort of thing.$$But I grew up there. I was there every afternoon, every morning. And the, for the photography business where they actually developed the films, the lab, you had to go through the morgue to get upstairs to where the lab was. So you would have to walk through there. I would have to carry things back and forth and they would be doing whatever they were doing.$$Now did you do any photography as a youth?$$I didn't. I didn't do any of that but I have a son who's a photographer.$$Okay. So he kind of took after your uncle in that regard.$$Um-hmm.$Oh I've forgotten his name but the college physician who was well known in Nashville [Tennessee] used to take me and my two roommates, he was a surgeon, into surgery with him. And so we would go into surgery and work with--you know see what he was doing and he would instruct us. So there were a lot of people that had helped to promote that, to give us those types of experiences. His name was--his name, last name was Clinton, fairly well known in Atlanta [Georgia]. No, Clint Warner, Clint Warner was his name.$$Warner, okay.$$Yeah.$$Okay, so he would let you all go to surgery with him?$$Yes. Yes, and so my two roommates are both physicians and he would take us into surgery with him and while they were going oh, wow this is great, I'm like okay, let's move on this is boring. Let's move on. But yeah he would. He would you know ask the patients, they would say okay and we would go into surgery with him.$$That's something, oh okay. So you're getting a pretty I mean a real first hand--$$I'm a very much--$$--in-depth--?$$--in-depth training. I stayed in Atlanta during the summer working with Bill LeFlore [ph.] who was also a faculty member and Bernard Smith on their research project. We had just gotten funding from the NIH [National Institutes of Health] to promote minority scientists, student scientists. Between my junior and my senior year, I actually went to Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory [private nonprofit marine and biological exploration research facility] which most students didn't do until they were graduate students or post-docs and that door was open for me by Bill LeFlore who himself two years earlier had gotten a fellowship to go do that. So I, you know I have a lot of people who have made the right doors and opportunities open for me. You don't get to where you are by yourself. A lot of experiences count towards that.$$Okay. Now was there a certain part of biology that you focused on in terms of--?$$Well there are a couple. One is that Bill Leflore taught comparative anatomy. It was the hurdle that you had to pass if you were going to graduate as a biology major. By the time we got to his class, we started out with a class of 40 biology majors. We had been whittled down to 12 and by the time we got down with--done with his class there were six of us left. You would do all different types of dissections of different types of preserved specimens and my roommates just wanted to get done, I enjoyed the process. So mine were always perfect and mine were the ones they would use for the exams. There was one time when we weren't quite ready for the exam so we decided that we would steal all of the animals and take them to the dormitory that we had dissected out. So we took the animals out of the labs so that we were going to--you know the security guards would open up the labs for us. We took it to the dorm thinking that we couldn't have the test the next day. Well his figuring out that the animals, the specimens were gone, he had quickly dissected something, they looked awful, they looked like cheese. You couldn't figure out anything. He had put pins in it and he never said a word, he just went on with it. That was you know how that was. So you know I remember that. The other thing that I remember was that the William Townsend Porter Foundation of which I am now on the board of directors, sponsored a class with the Emory University School of Medicine in physiology that was taught at Spelman. It was a senior level course. And there was the only African American female physiologist that I knew at the time. Her name was Eleanor Eisen Franklin, she was a Spelman alum. She was on the physiology faculty at Howard University School of Medicine and she was one of the people that came in to teach the course. And that was a wonderful course because it was essentially what the medical students had, first year medical students had at Emory.