The OrJames Lab's Special Events and Outreach Programs

Local School Districts -The OrJames Laboratory welcomes K-12 students from local school districts annually to demonstrate healthy ways of living while doing physical activities and working with animal dissections.

Fall 2017

COMPARATIVE HEALTHCARE IN GRAZ GENERAL INTEREST MEETING Austria and Beyond - September 6, 6:30pm    Come learn more about this popular exciting study abroad opportunity from me and students who have experienced it.

THE EFFECTS OF GLYCEROL ON ANTIFREEZE PROTEINS Open Lab Night - September 13, 6:30pm    Get caught up on the research going on in the OrJames lab. This presentation will highlight the steps that brought me to this point, current data and moving forward. Students interested in research opportunities are strongly encouraged to attend this talk.

Hispanic Heritage Month -The OrJames Laboratory honors Hispanic Heritage Month.

  Luis E. Miramontes - September 27, 6:30pm

   Born in Tepic, Mexico in 1925, Luis would go on to earn his first degree in chemical engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, before inventing the key ingredient that will forever alter the discourse of family planning and the role of science therein. Luis Miramontes, at the young age of 26 synthesized norethisterone, the chemical that allowed the first oral contraceptive, or "the pill" to do its job with great potency. Come learn more about this great individual and his works. Presentation by Orin James.

  Mario J. Molina - October 11, 6:30pm

   Mario José Molina-Pasquel Henríquez received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in detailing the threat to the Earth's ozone layer of chlorofluorocarbon gases. The strong present-day laws designed to protect the ozone layer attest to the importance of his work. Come learn more about this great individual and his works. Presentation by Orin James.

  A selection of Hispanic Poetry

   Here is a short selection of poems from the Hispanic Diaspora I put together. Authors include: Nicolás Guillén, Frederico García Lorca, and Pablo Neruda. Recordings were taken from vinyl, hence the scratchy background noise. Nonetheless it's worth the listen. Enjoy here


The following series of events are designed to demonstrate the often unnoticed intersection between the humanities and natural sciences. I will focus on ways in which science was used to explain and describe the emotion of love during Medieval Europe as found in literature and how this may have changed over time as science developed. For this, I turn to Italian writer, Dante Alighieri's transformational text "La Vita Nuova" (The New Life). In this piece, Dante uses both scientific and philosophical principles of optics and the soul known to him and others during his time to elucidate his strong affection towards Beatrice for an audience enthralled by the humanities, more specifically, by the idea of courtly love. I will explore this intersection over a three week period. References will also be made to Chrétien de Troyes' Cliges and Joseph Bedier's tale of Tristan and Iseult.


   This event will be a discussion of the book La Vita Nuova. We will discuss the various ways in which courtly love is depicted and possibly defined. We will also make note of the use of magic. A free copy of the text can be found online here. Attendees are also encouraged to read "Cliges" and "Tristan and Iseult". Presentation by Orin James.


   This event will serve as an introduction to a variety of scientific principals and philosophical schools of thought that developed as a result of intellectual exchange between Europe and the Islamic Empire. Emphasis will be placed on astronomy, alchemy, mathematics, and the development of optics (extramission theory). We will than make the connection between these developments and the depiction of love in La Vita Nuova. Presentation by Orin James.


   During this event we will discuss the behavior and properties of light as they occur in nature. We will than compare our understanding of optics today (intromission theory) to medieval Europe (extramission theory) and how our modern day understanding may alter our approach to describing and writing about emotions such as love within the realm of the humanities. Attendees will participate in an optical bench lab exercise that will demonstrate the formation of images using light, an object and various lenses. Presentation by Orin James.


Local School Districts -The OrJames Laboratory welcomes K-12 students from local school districts annually to demonstrate healthy ways of living while doing physical activities and working with animal dissections.

Black History Month -The OrJames Laboratory honors Black History Month.

  George Washington Carver - February 8, 6:30pm

   Born into slavery and orphaned as a child, George Washington Carver grew to become one of the nations leading agriculture scientists of his time. He is credited with providing the world with various uses of the peanut. These uses include dyes, and plastics among other things. Carver ultimately devoted his life to helping former slaves earn a high quality education. Come learn more about this individual and his experiments. Presentation by Orin James.

  Charles Drew - February 22, 7:00pm

   Born in Washington DC on June 3, 1904, Charles Drew was pioneer in medical research. His work led to the development of ways to safely process and store blood in blood banks. His wisdom and knowledge led him to direct blood plasma programs for the US and Great Britain during WWII. Come learn more about this great individual and his work. Presentation by Orin James.

Women's History Month -The OrJames Laboratory honors Women's History Month.

   Marie Curie - March 15, 6:30pm

   Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867, Marie Curie as a dedicated scientist, worked with the mineral pitchblende and discovered a new radioactive element, now named polonium, after her native country. In the same pitchblende, she found another radioactive material, now called radium. In 1903 Marie Curie made history, as she became the first women to win the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1911 Marie won her second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry. Come learn more about this great individual and her experiments. Presentation by Orin James

Florence Nightingale - March 22, 6:30pm

While grappling with the cholera outbreak during the Crimean War during the 1850's, Florence saw first hand the need to improve hygiene practices. This same war presented Nightingale with the horrific conditions of the British base hospital in Constantinople, which in turn inspired her revolutionary work to modify the hospital setting. Come learn more about this great individual and her work. Presentation by Orin James.

All Roads Lead to Austria -The OrJames Laboratory hosts a series of events annually leading up to The Comparative Healthcare in Graz summer program for students.

Galen and Vesalius - April 5, 2017 6:30pm

Galen's theories and approach to studying physiology strongly influenced Western medicine for over 1,000 years. His treatises, however, were based heavily on animal dissections. Because of this some of the ideas he applied to human physiology were erroneous. It wasn't until Vesalius we get human dissections and a better understanding of human physiology. Come learn more about how these two individuals carried out their studies and the impact of their work that still stands today.