You! the Experience helps museum visitors peek into inner workings of the human body

News Archive March 20, 2011

You! the Experience helps museum visitors peek into inner workings of the human body

StritchÂ’s Department of Radiology selected images for the permanent exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry.
In a unique collaboration, Stritch’s Department of Radiology has lent more than 1,000 medical images to the Museum of Science and Industry for a 15,000-square-foot permanent exhibit that showcases the connection between mind, body and spirit.

Nearly 90 percent of the images used in the medical-imaging portion of the exhibit were from the Radiology Department of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. These include radiographs (X-rays), computed tomography (CTs), ultrasound images, mammograms, magnetic resonance (MRIs), nuclear medicine images and post-processed 3D data sets.

Touch screens in the medical-imaging area of “You! the Experience” allow guests to choose which of the various images they want to view. They can see the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy organ, see a fetus at different stages of development, observe complex body systems and gain an insider’s view of what happens when a bone breaks.

Instrumental in collecting the images were Dr. Terrence C. Demos, professor, Department of Radiology, and Dr. Arcot Chandrasekhar, professor, Department of Medicine.

“We do more than 280,000 imaging studies each year here at Loyola. The museum needed images that would be of benefit to the public to promote awareness about new medical-imaging technology and to help them learn more about the workings of their bodies. We perused images, choosing the ones we felt would be of greatest interest, understandable and most meaningful to people visiting the exhibit,” Demos said.

The promotion of education - especially medical education - is paramount to Loyola’s Jesuit heritage. This commitment is exemplified by the Loyola University Medical Education Network (LUMEN), where many of the exhibit’s images had been stored. Stritch physicians and faculty, including Drs. Chandrasekhar and Demos, have contributed to LUMEN, making it an extensive educational Web site that receives more than 190 million hits a year.

“We believe in educational philanthropy here at Loyola,” Chandrasekhar said. “It is wonderful that we can share these images that show different ways of looking at the body using a variety of technologies.”

“The museum is so grateful to the Stritch School of Medicine Department of Radiology for this generous donation of time and imagery,” said Dr. Patricia Ward, the museum’s director of science and technology. “These images are invaluable teaching tools for our guests, and allow them to understand the complexity of the human body, and the amazing power of medical technology, in an entirely new way.”

“The exhibit is called 'You,' and what images a person finds impacting or important will depend on who they are. The great thing about this exhibit is that it allows each individual to experience it in a different and unique way,” Chandrasekhar said.

“The idea is to stimulate museum guests to know more,” Demos said. “Our hope is that by looking at these images people will become engaged and get inspired to learn more about themselves and about medicine.”

The medical-imaging portion of You! the Experience is the newest educational partnership between Stritch and the Museum of Science and Industry, a relationship that dates back to the 1930s and the prenatal development exhibit, which has also been reinterpreted for the You! exhibit in an area called Your Beginning.

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