Dr. Joseph W. Bastion
Mr. Chris Gates

Dr. Joseph W. Bastien

Joseph W. Bastien is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Dr. Joseph BastienTexas at Arlington. Dr. Bastien received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1973. He has done research in Latin America since 1963. His major publications are Mountain of the Condor: Metaphor and Ritual in an Andean Ayllu, Health in the Andes, co-edited with John Donahue, Healers of the Andes: Kallawaya Herbalists and Their Medicinal Plants, Drum and Stethoscope: Integrating Ethnomedicine and Biomedicine in Bolivia, La Montana del Condor, and The Kiss of Death: Chagas' Disease in the Americas. He is actively involved in the use of Bolivian medicinal plants for curing AIDS, and together with scientists has discovered an effective treatment for this disease that would lessen by a third the dosage presently required.

The Kiss of Death: Chagas' Disease in the Americas is a result of eight years of research, beginning in 1991 when Dr. Bastien was invited to be an advisor on social and cultural factors for the National Conference on Chagas' Disease in La Paz, Bolivia. Dr. Bastien subsequently received a Fullbright-Hayes research fellowship to do fieldwork in Bolivia concerning Chagas' disease. He returned to Bolivia annually to study social and cultural aspects of this disease and to evaluate Chagas' disease throughout Central on South America.

Dr. Bastien with Bolivian kidsDr. Bastiens's love for Andean culture began in 1963, when he began work in La Paz and the Altiplano as a Maryknoll priest. At various times during his six years as a priest, he directed a youth center in a poor neighborhood of La Paz, led a training school for Aymaras in Penas of the Bolivian Altiplano. Dr. Bastien speaks Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua. In 1969, he left the priesthood and married Judy Wagner. Together they returned to Bolivia to do anthropological research among the world-famous Kallawaya herbalists. Bastien has written many articles and books about their ethnomedicine, especially herbal and ritual curing. It is Bastien's experience that Andeans have an ancient medical system that has allowed them to adapt to mountainous regions with success. Their use of rituals and herbals can be effectively used for dealing with Chagas' disease. Kiss of Death is a testimony to this.

Kiss of Death and Drum and Stethoscope can be ordered from:
The University of Utah Press
Salt Lake City UT 84112
Telephone 801.581.6771, Fax 801.581.3365

Dr. Bastien can be reached:
Telephone 817.272.3780
The University of Texas at Arlington
Box 19599
Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Arlington TX 76019


Mr. Chris Gates

Chris W. Gates is a medical illustrator who graduated from the Chris Gates (here's looking at you) University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in Biomedical Communications. Mr. Gates has enjoyed freelancing since 1991 and is published in Mosby-YearBook, Lea and Febiger, and J.B. Lippencott, as well as in numerous medical journals. The nature of his work has evolved to become primarily Web-based. Trained in traditional illustration skills of the profession, Mr. Gates has adopted the use of 3D illustrations and animation to communicate scientific information and concepts.

Mr. Gates is pursuing the development of interactive 3D virtual worlds that are used on the Internet. The sheer volume of data that modern scientific research generates has necessitated innovative approaches with which to communicate this emerging information. One example of this is a Virtual Worm, at kingcaesar.caesar.org/~gates1/virtualWorm. This interface uses VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) and HTML to provide scientists an enhanced method of visualizing and interacting with complex genetic data.

The Kiss of Death: Chagas' Disease in the Americas provides Mr. Gates with the opportunity to work with anthropologist Dr. Joseph Bastien. Working with an interdisciplinary approach, The Kiss of Death attempts to cut across cultural boundaries to provide people from Western and Andean societies a better understanding of the nature of T. cruzi's effect on humans. The causes and prevention of chagas are at least as relevant as the biological aspects of the disease. Mr. Gates hopes that this website contributes to our understanding of how to safely coexist with T. cruzi.

Mr. Gates can be reached:
Telephone 817.275.1462, fax 817.261.7151


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