|UND goes all out to meet halfway for Anatomy Interchange|
The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ department of Anatomy and Cell Biology hosted the Twenty-fifth Annual Anatomy Interchange with the University of Manitoba’s department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science on Sept. 12. With the exception of 1997, faculty and students from both departments have met every year since 1984 on the Saturday after Labor Day. The location of the interchange alternates between the two campuses.
A scientific session and keynote address in the morning are followed by a poster session after lunch. The science and poster session attract 40 to 60 participants. Family members and friends are invited to the traditional evening barbecue at a professor’s home, where attendance grows between 70 to 80 people.
Tom Klonisch, department chair at the University of Manitoba, thought this year’s event would have to be canceled. Sixty percent of his department’s faculty and staff are non-Canadian citizens, and changes in U.S. immigration laws in 2008 have made it difficult or almost impossible for his faculty and staff to obtain visas to travel to the United States.
However, Edward C. Carlson, chair of the UND anatomy and cell biology department, would not let the long-standing international friendship wither. He contacted the staff at the International Peace Garden in Dunseith, N.D., to see if the visitor rules were less stringent there. The answer was that Carlson and his department could indeed host their Canadian counterparts without the strict visa requirements. Thus, the conference was saved by holding the interchange for the first time at the Peace Garden.
At the interchange, Klonisch presented Carlson with the interchange traveling trophy, which is on display in the department showcase on the first floor of the medical school. Carlson thought it was unfair that, after 25 years, only one school could display the trophy for a year at a time, so in a friendly breach of the rules, he presented Klonisch with a trophy to display simultaneously in Winnipeg.
The annual interchange spawns collaboration and cross-fertilization between the two departments, drawing on each other’s technical expertise to advance research.
Most importantly, “we get to know our international colleagues as people,” said Carlson.
-- Denis F. MacLeod, Communications Coordinator, Center for Rural Health, email@example.com, 777-3300