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Kari A. Mergenhagen
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
Infectious Disease
James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Anthrax Attack!: A Case on Bioterrorism

This case study presents a fictitious bio-terrorist plan to release anthrax in the United States. Students are assigned character roles and, through research, role-playing, and teamwork, develop a plan to minimize or avert the attack. The case is appropriate for courses designed for health professionals, general biology courses, and social science courses.

Between the Living and the Dead 

As Jen pores over her introductory biology textbook, she falls asleep and enters a nightmarish world in which bacteria and viruses dwarf human beings. This engagingly written case explores the differences between viruses and bacteria while teaching about the basic components and “life” cycle of a T-even bacteriophage. The case includes a follow-up assignment in which students explore the risks and potential benefits of using bacteriophage to control bacterial disease. The case is appropriate for general biology and microbiology college courses as well as AP biology high school classes.

Eyes Without a Face: Stem Cell Research and Corneal Implants

Although blind since childhood as the result of an accident, Lucy has never given up hope that one day she might see again. So, when her ophthalmologist tells her about a study being conducted at the University Medical Center that might help her regain some sight, Lucy is eager to sign on. This case explores the use of adult stem cells and amniotic membranes to restore vision after traditional transplants have failed. It would be appropriate for students of biology, physiology, and health-related fields.

The Case of the Crying Baby: Surgical vs. Medical Management

The parents of a six-week-old baby girl know there is something seriously wrong with their child, but it takes a number of frustrating visits to the pediatrician before they finally get a correct diagnosis. Once they do, the parents must decide whether they want to seek a surgical solution or rely on a course of medical treatment for their daughter. Best suited for classes in pharmacology, nursing, or medicine, this case could also be used in a basic biology or anatomy course.