It takes a measure of courage to venture down a path so few have tread before. But for J.E. “Betsy” Tuttle-Newhall, MD, forging a career as a female surgeon has been about following her own professional passions — while also pioneering new paths for those that would follow her.
Read more about Dr. Tuttle-Newhall in the St. Louis Medical News
Specialized Research Facilities
Theodore S. Cooper Surgical Research Institute
The Theodore S. Cooper Surgical Research Institute (SRI) is an approximate 12,000 square foot facility dedicated to teaching and providing an environment to facilitate basic science research in surgery. Rather than assigned laboratory space, the SRI is comprised of numerous "core" facilities that foster collaboration and maximize cooperation amongst faculty, staff, surgical residents, as well as medical and graduate students. Collaborations exist between the SRI and several of the basic science departments.
Small Animal Operating Room
The SRI provides a small animal operating room which is capable of providing support for up to three surgical cases at a time. Additional equipment, such as blood gas and electrolyte analyzers, respirators, and pressure monitors, facilitate these surgical studies.
Large Animal Operating Room
The SRI contains a large animal operating room which allows for the simultaneous coordination of up to four large animal surgical cases at a time. The SRI works in close cooperation with the Department of Comparative Medicine to provide anesthesia, technical support, and postoperative monitoring of all cases. Currently, this facility is used extensively to provide Advanced Trauma and Life Support (ATLS) training. Additionally, all general surgery housestaff have the opportunity to use this facility while participating in advanced laparoscopic surgical training sessions which are held up to four times a year. Second-year medical students also use this facility for "hands-on" training in various laboratory procedures while taking Physiology.
Microsurgical Operating Room
The SRI has a microsurgery operating room containing two Zeiss operating microscopes and supporting equipment. A wide variety of microsurgical instruments and expertise are available to provide additional training to interested individuals.
Numerous Biochemical and Molecular Biology Laboratories are available for the measurement of a myriad of parameters which reflect the various interests of SRI investigators. A wide range of eicosanoids (prostaglandins and leukotrienes), high-energy phosphates, second messenger signalling pathways, calcium homeostasis, and immune function studies, as well as Western and Northern blotting, are just a few samples of what biochemical support the SRI can provide.
Electrophysiological studies can easily be accomplished through two different techniques. Unicellular electrophysiological studies can be accomplished by "patch clamping." Electrophysiological studies on confluent cell monolayers can be addressed by utilizing "Ussing Chamber" technology. This later technique may be further modified to accommodate for transepithelial permeability studies.
The SRI has a fully-equipped radiation laboratory. The facility is licensed for the use of all radionucleotides and has the necessary equipment (e.g., beta, gamma, and liquid scintillation counters) needed to successfully carry out these experiments.
Cell Culture Facility
Many of the present investigators rely heavily on cell culture technology and the SRI has a state-of-the-art facility to accommodate such studies. A number of laminar flow hoods and cell culture incubators provide a nonstop array of primary and immortalized cell cultures. Human surface mucous cells, rat small intestinal, rat hippocampal neurons, rat intestinally-derived smooth muscle cells, human colonocytes, and human scar-derived fibroblasts are just small samples of the variety of cells which are supplied to investigators on a per need basis. At the present time this facility is maintaining 25 different cell lines.
Since many of the cell culture studies require advanced microscopic imaging techniques, rich collaborations have yielded the use of both standard transmission (TEM) and scanning (SEM) electron microscopes. Confocal laser imaging microscopy (Confocal) is also readily available for investigators studies which require three-dimensional reconstructions or "real-time" calcium imaging or subcellular calcium localization.
Scientists and Fields of Interest