Quiz 2 moved to Wednesday

I apologize for the late notice – but I have a conflict and I need to move tomorrow’s Quiz to Wednesday (same time: 9:05 – 9:55).

The quiz will still just cover the lectures on May 31 and June 2. Our Lectures page has been updated to reflect this change. Please let me know if you have any questions – and again, I apologize for the late switch in plans.

Excuse me, may I smell your MHCs?


Check out this interesting concept. You already know that the MHC I receptor is present on (pretty much) every cell in the body and presents antigen to cytotoxic T cells, and that the MHC II receptor is present only on specialized antigen-presenting cells and presents antigen to helper T cells. Right.

But did you know that these same receptors may be helping a woman decide on a mate? It seems that women prefer mates with MHCs very different from their own. That seems like a good idea – it helps provide diversity within the genome.

It would be hard to get a sample from every guy and bring it to the HLA-typing lab, but no need: the brain can detect MHC differences by smell (they’re associated with pheromones)! Weird. And cool.

Selena Gomez and others talk about lupus

Selena Gomez has been battling lupus for several years. She’s been open about her diagnosis (check out this ABC article in which Selena and other patients talk about what it is really like to have lupus).

Several years ago, she underwent a kidney transplant for complications related to her disease. Her disease course is more severe than it is for many patients with the disease; kidney transplants are typically used only after other, less dangerous treatments fail.

Quiz 1 time change! and other info

Next week we have our first quiz on Wednesday, May 26. It was scheduled to begin at 9:05, but it appears that your Perio exam that morning may last until 9:30 or so. So I’m changing our quiz start time to 10:10 to give you guys a little time to finish Perio, take a deep breath, get a coffee, scream, whatever.

You can see the new start time for the quiz on our Lectures page. Fortunately we had two lecture slots that day, which made it easy to swap them around. So now we’ll have optional office hours in the first slot (from 9:05 – 9:55), and we’ll have our quiz in the second slot (from 10:10 – 11:00).

The quizzes in this course will each be worth 15 points towards your total score. We’ll use Kahoot as our quiz platform, and we’ll do the quizzes live over Zoom. If you want more information about how grades are calculated, you can find that on our About page, which also has a link to our syllabus.

You can check out some practice Kahoots on our Kahoots page if you want to brush up on how Kahoot works. Also, these quizzes are open-book (so feel free to use your lecture notes/ppts during the quiz), and you can talk with each other about your thought process with each question, or about why you feel a particular answer is right/wrong. Normally, we’d be doing these in the classroom, and that works really well for discussing things with the people around you. Now we’re virtual – but you can still chat with each other even if you’re not in the same room!

Let me know if you have any other questions about Wednesday’s quiz. Or about anything else, for that matter.

Inflammation lecture summary

Inflammation is a really important topic for you to understand. You’ll be expected to recognize and understand the importance of inflammatory cells in oral pathology lesions. And you’ll also be causing some serious inflammation if you keep poking people with those long sharp silver things.

To help you as you’re studying, I put together a lecture summary that covers the most important points from the inflammation lecture. Our exam questions will come directly from this summary – so if you understand the concepts in the summary, you should do well on this part of the exam.

If you want a little more in-depth stuff to read, here are a couple posts from my Pathology Student website. Note: these posts are totally optional! They go into a little more detail than you’ll need to know for our exams – however, sometimes it’s helpful to have a different explanation of our content. So use them (or don’t) however you see fit.

  • Neutrophil vs. monocyte. Quick review of what each of these cells looks like and does.
  • How to differentiate acute from chronic inflammation in histologic sections. Hint: it has to do with “busy-ness” and Micky Mouse ears. This is something you’ll need to do in oral pathology – so might as well learn now!
  • Ode to the Granuloma. When my kids were little, whenever they’d hear “granuloma,” they’d bust out a version of “My Sharona,” substituting “gran-u-lo-ma” for “My Sharona.” It was both cute and a bit worrisome. They seem to have survived just fine, though. 

Cell Injury lecture summary


Studying cell injury can be a bear! You can easily go down rabbit holes and get lost in details.

To help you avoid wasting time as you study, I put together a lecture summary that covers the most important points from these two lectures. Our exam questions will come directly from this summary – so if you understand the concepts in the summary, you should do well on the exam.

If you want a little more in-depth stuff to read, here are a couple posts from my Pathology Student website: 

The picture above, by the way, shows dead heart tissue following a myocardial infarction (heart attack). In myocardial infarction, loss of blood flow to the heart results in a particular type of necrosis called coagulative necrosis, as Dr. Dolan mentioned in lecture. Here’s the same slide with labels:

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me! We can set up a Zoom meeting too, if that would be more convenient.

Welcome to General Pathology!

Hi everyone! I’m super excited to have another class with you! We start on Monday May 17, and I want to give you a little information about the course so you have some idea of what to expect.

Pathology is usually described as the study of disease, and that’s a good working definition. But actually, the word “pathology” is derived from the Greek pathos, which is variously translated as suffering, emotion, calamity, or just anything that arouses sorrow or pity. That’s pretty appropriate, since diseases tend to bring about suffering and sorrow. In our course, we’ll stick to the first definition, and keep our focus on diseases. And I’ll do my best to make sure that the course itself doesn’t cause you any suffering or sorrow!

General Pathology (DDS 6253) and Systemic Pathology (DDS 6254) are technically two separate courses – but they are really quite similar in their structure and format, so that’s why they both share this website. General Pathology covers basic, introductory pathology topics like inflammation, cell injury, and neoplasia. You need to know about these topics so that you can make sense out of Systemic Pathology, which covers diseases by organ system (everything but the oral cavity) and Oral Pathology (which is self-explanatory).

This website will feel familiar to you because it’s pretty similar to our General Histology and Oral Histology websites. It’s divided into General Pathology and Systemic Pathology (each course has its own dropdown menu above), and the page structure will look familiar:

  • Home: course updates and random interesting stuff I think you might like
  • Lectures: course schedule and lecture recordings
  • About: course info (grading etc.) and syllabus
  • Crosswords: I’ll add new ones as we go along
  • Kahoots: to help you study

Finally, just a few words on lecture format. When I read through your Oral Histology course evals, I got the sense that you’d prefer to have lectures in video format (rather than in narrated PowerPoint format), because that allows you to see the length of the entire presentation, and move around more easily. Plus, you can speed up videos!

So for the bulk of this course, lectures will be provided in video format. Most of the lectures are mine – and for these, I’ll create narrated, annotated videos. There are just two lectures given by outside people – and for the sake of efficiency, we’ll use Mediasite recordings for those.

We’ll use Zoom for our quizzes and exam review (meeting links are listed on the lectures page). I like to use Kahoot for quizzes and reviews, so I can see where you guys are with the material, and answer any questions about the material as we go along.

Okay – I think that about does it! Whew. If you have any questions, or just want to talk, please feel free to email me any time.