History of the Health Sciences

History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series

at Greenblatt Library


A new year for our History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series begins at a new time – 4:30-5:30 p.m. The Lectures will still be held in the Historical Collections and Archives Room (AB-225) in the Greenblatt Library and are free and open to the public.

If you have any questions regarding the Lecture Series or suggestions for future lectures, please contact Renee Sharrock at rsharrock@augusta.edu or 706-721-3444.


Upcoming Lectures

Thursday, October 26, 2017 – 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Speaker: Courtney Babb, DDS, DMD
Topic: A Brief History: 130,000 years of Dentistry in One Hour

Dr. Courtney Babb is an Instructor with the Dental College of Georgia and received her Doctor of Dental Medicine from the DCG in 2010.


Past Lectures

Thursday, April 27, 2017 – 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Speaker: Sergio E. Bustos-Valdés, DDS, PhD
Topic: History of the Dental College of Georgia

Dr. Sergio E. Bustos-Valdés, Professor Emeritus in Oral Biology, will present a history of The Dental College of Georgia. Dr. Bustos joined the DCG faculty in the first years of its establishment and served for almost 30 years before retiring in 1998.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 – 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Speaker: Robert Nesbit, MD
Topic: Dr. Virgil P. Sydenstricker: His Medical Contributions during World War II

Virgil Sydenstricker was the Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at MCG for 35 years until his retirement in 1957. Dr. Nesbit’s lecture will focus on Sydenstricker’s work in England early in World War II and his background which prepared him for that duty. Items from the Sydenstricker Collection held in Historical Collections and Archives will be on display during the lecture.

Thursday, September 29, 2016 – 5:30-6:30 p.m., in J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons (GB-1110)
Speaker: Major General Perry W. Smith, US Air Force (RET.)
Topic: Dr. Hervey Cleckley: The Medical College of Georgia’s Renaissance Man

Hervey Milton Cleckley was an American psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of psychopathy. His book, The Mask of Sanity, provided the most influential clinical description of psychopathy in the twentieth century. Cleckley co-authored with Dr. Corbett Thigpen the book, The Three Faces of Eve, published in 1957, the same year the movie was released.

Thursday, March 3, 2016 – 4:30-5:30 p.m.  
Speaker:  Wendy Turner, PhD
Topic:   A Fine Line between Magic and Science: Medieval and Renaissance Pseudo-Scientific Thinking and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter
Dr. Turner’s lecture will concur with the NLM traveling exhibition Harry Potter’s World that the Greenblatt Library will be hosting February 15-March 26. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016 – 4:30-5:30 p.m. 
Speaker:   Tom Robertson
Topic:    Resisting Sherman 
Tom Robertson will speak about his recently published book, Resisting Sherman: A Confederate Surgeon’s Journal and the Civil War in the Carolinas, 1865.Robertson’s ancestor, Dr. Francis Marion Robertson, served as a surgeon in the Confederate army. During the last few months of the Civil War, Dr. Robertson kept a daily journal documenting his journey of 900 miles across four states as he traveled with a Confederate unit. 

October 15, 2015
Speaker: Dr. Russell Moores
Topic: The Chronicle of George and Procuring Specimens for the Teaching of Anatomy
George is a mummified body discovered in 1913 in the Old Medical College of Georgia Building on Telfair Street after the College moved from there to today’s Augusta University Health Sciences campus. 

April 23, 2015
Speaker: Bill Andrews, MA
Topic:The Famous Hunter: The Life of John Hunter
John Hunter (1728-1793) is considered a founder of scientific surgery. He began his medical career as an assistant to his older brother William in his anatomy school in London. He studied surgery and served as a British army surgeon. As a skilled anatomist and surgeon, Hunter developed new ideas regarding the treatment of gunshot wounds, venereal disease, and other ailments, including tooth implants. He authored several medical books in the 18th Century. The Greenblatt Library has received from Leslie Wilkes, MD (MCG Class of 1965) his collection of John Hunter books as well as William Hunter’s Gravid Uterus. These books will be on display for attendees to view.

March 19, 2015
Speaker: Joseph P. Bailey, Jr., M.D.
Topic: Virgil P. Sydenstricker, M.D.
Dr. Virgil P. Sydenstricker was a Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at MCG from 1922 until his retirement in 1957. He was nationally and internationally recognized in the medical fields of hematology and nutrition. The Sydentstricker Wing of the GR Medical Center was named in his memory. View a brief biography and the finding aid to the Sydentstricker Collection here.

January 22, 2015
Speakers: Cargill Alleyne, M.D. and Robyn Hatley, M.D.
Topic: African American Academic Surgeons
Drs. Cargill Alleyne and Robyn Hatley shared their experiences and Dr. Robert Nesbit facilitated the discussion.

November 5, 2014
Speaker: Lisa Stephens, BSN, MN, DNP
Assistant Professor, Physiological and Technological Nursing
Topic: Nursing Anesthesia
Dr. Stephens gave a historical overview of the nursing anesthesia profession.

May 22, 2014
Speaker: A. Bleakley Chandler, MD
Chairman Emeritus, Pathology Department
Topic: Dr. Edgar Pund and Colleagues: Nature and Detection of Early Cervical Cancer

In the 1940s-1950s, Dr. Edgar Pund, Chair of Pathology at MCG, and his colleagues, conducted studies that contributed to the detection of early cervical cancer. Dr. George Papanicolau credited the work of Dr. Pund as proving that his method of detection – the Pap smear – was effective.  Dr. Pund served as President of the Medical College of Georgia from 1953 to 1958. 

April 24, 2014
Speaker: Bill Andrews, MA, CMI, FAMI
Interim Chair and Program Director, Medical Illustration
Topic: The Gravid Uterus

William Hunter’s historical book Anatomia uteri humani gravidi tabulis illustrata [The anatomy of the human gravid uterus exhibited in figures] was published in 1774.This rare book is considered one of the best anatomical atlases ever published and features life-size drawings.  Dr. Leslie Wilkes, Medical College of Georgia, Class of 1965, presented his copy of the Gravid Uterus to the Greenblatt Library in February 2013. The book is on display in the Historical Collections and Archives Room.

January 23, 2014
Speaker: Paul G. McDonough, MD
Professor Emeritus, Obstetrics and Gynecology; Pediatrics; and Physiology
Topic: The Life and Times of Robert B. Greenblatt, MD

Dr. Greenblatt was a world-famous endocrinologist whose research brought recognition to the Medical College of Georgia during his long-tenure here. The Greenblatt Library was named in his honor in 1988.  The Historical Collection and Archives houses the Robert B. Greenblatt Papers and his own personal book collection in the Greenblatt Room (AB-155). More information about this collection may be found in this finding aid

November 19, 2013
Speaker: Lee Ann Caldwell, PhD
Augusta University Historian-in-Residence
Topic: American Medicine in the Era of George Washington          

This lecture complemented the National Library of Medicine traveling exhibit Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine that Greenblatt Library hosted, October 28-November 7, 2013.

July 31, 2013 (Encore presentation on September 26, 2013)
Speaker: Renee Sharrock
Curator, Historical Collections and Archives
Topic: Treasures within the Historical Collections and Archives

Ms. Sharrock presented a history of the Greenblatt Library and highlighted rare books and artifacts preserved in the Historical Collections and Archives.

April 26, 2013
Speaker: Russell Moores, MD
Retired MCG Faculty Member
Topic: The Chronicle of George and Procuring Specimens for the Teaching of Anatomy

Dr. Moores spoke about George, a mummified body discovered in 1913 when MCG moved from the Old MCG Building to today’s Augusta University Health Sciences campus, and the difficulty of obtaining cadavers for anatomical study for medical students.

January 24, 2013
Speaker: Wendy Turner, PhD
Professor of History
Topic: Medieval Mental Health Questions: Are They Different from Current Mental Health Questions?

Dr. Turner emphasized the similarities and the differences of how mental health is viewed upon and treated today and during the medieval period.

October 25, 2012
Speaker: Robert Nesbit, MD
Clinical Professor, Surgery, Medical College of Georgia
Topic: The God Committee: The Beginnings of Chronic Hemodialysis

Dr. Nesbit told the little-known story of the “God Committee” which was composed of non-medical citizens appointed by the King County Medical Society in 1961. The job of the committee was to choose which kidney patients would receive hemodialysis.

Civil War Medicine Symposium – June 6, 2012
Speaker: Alfred Jay Bollet, MD
Former Chair of the MCG Department of Medicine and author of the book, Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs
Speaker: Shauna Devine, PhD
Topic: Producing Knowledge: Civil War Bodies and the Development of the Medical Sciences in 19th Century America
Speaker: Dillon J. Carroll
Topic: The Living Soul’s, the Bodies’ Tragedies: A Comparative Analysis of Amputation and PTSD in the Civil War