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School of Medicine discoveries

March 5, 2013

Emeriti Professors Gerszten and Allison publish Atlas of Paleopathology

Enrique Gerszten, M.D., FCAP

Enrique Gerszten, M.D., FCAP

The newly published Atlas of Paleopathology: Autopsies in South American Mummies is a synthesis of more than 40 years of excavating and examining mummified remains. The work was initially launched by the National Geographic Society and later assumed by the Department of Pathology.

“One of the most significant findings in our work was that tuberculosis, long believed to have originated in Europe, was prevalent long before the arrival of the Spanish,” said Enrique Gerszten, M.D., FCAP, emeritus professor of pathology. “We were able to document the tubercle bacilli in both soft tissues and bones.”

Along with Dr. Gerszten, the atlas’ other authors include:

  • Marvin J. Allison, Ph.D., emeritus professor of pathology
  • Brianna E. Maguire, B.S., graduate student in biological anthropology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
  • Peter C. Gerszten, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, professor of, neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Marvin J. Allison, Ph.D.

Marvin J. Allison, Ph.D.

The Atlas was published by the College of American Pathologists, a medical society with more than 18,000 physician members who specialize in diagnosing disease. The CAP is the world’s largest organization composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists. Paleopathology combines knowledge from the fields of archeology, anthropology, and pathology, and the atlas’ numerous images represent those fields’ investigation of pre-Colombian civilizations from the regions that are today Peru and Chile. It covers topics including:

  • Mummies and artifacts
  • Diseases of the skeletal system
  • Diseases of soft tissues
  • Tumors
  • Intentional cranial deformation
  • Paleoneuropathology and trephination

For more information and to order a copy of the Atlas of Paleopathology, visit www.cap.org/cappress.