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Mark W. Braun, MD
Professor Emeritus of Medical Pathology, Medical Sciences Program
Dr. Mark Braun, a life-long Hoosier, received his undergraduate degree in biology from Purdue University in 1970 and MD from Indiana University Medical School in 1975. He completed a residency in pathology and is board certified in both anatomical and clinical pathology. He worked as a hospital pathologist for almost twenty years. Later in life, he returned to graduate school to get a master’s degree in anthropology. He’s been teaching in the Indiana University School of Medicine, Bloomington campus, for more years than he can remember. His research and teaching interests are varied and range from the study of infectious diseases introduced into Native American populations in the 16th century, to the application of computer assisted teaching in medical education. Dr. Braun’s hobbies include woodworking, woodcarving, reading, hiking and in general making a nuisance of himself to his wife of forty-eight years.
My research interests are varied and diverge from traditional medical lines. I am involved two quite different areas of study: the application of computer technology to medical education and the impact of epidemic infectious diseases introduced into Native American populations during the time European colonial expansion.
With respect to educational research, I am involved with a variety of studies looking at virtual microscopy, online delivery of case-based problems, and the group dynamic and educational outcome of group activities such as Team-Based learning. I have developed an electronic histopathology atlas, with virtual microscope links, using the medical student's pathology slide set. The virtual microscope technology allows the student to view the entire microscopic slide on a computer as if they were using a regular optical microscope. Additionally, I developed a number of interactive, case-based clinical exercises for our pathology course’s website. If you are interested, you can visit the site by clicking on the following address: http://medsci.indiana.edu/c602web/602/start.htm
My interests in paleopathology are somewhat varied. I am still tangentially involved with ancient DNA and osteological studies, but now my principal focus is the impact of infectious diseases introduced by Europeans and Africans into the New World during the time of European colonization. For this study, I use historical documents, as well as Native American art and shamanic objects, to look for references of specific diseases. I have two areas of focus; the late fifteenth century, with particular interest in Indian tribes of the Great Lakes Basin and St. Lawrence River Valley, and people of the Northwest Coast.
Although I am no longer involved in laboratory research, several years ago I had the opportunity to use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to diagnosis tuberculosis in the skeletal remains of two Native Americans of the pre European period. At that time I was able to isolate and sequence diagnostic DNA of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from bones recovered from an Oneota and an Iroquois burial.