Pamela Nagami talks about deadly bumps, bites and stings

Infectious diseases specialist Pamela Nagami will deliver the Olin Fellows Lecture for the Assembly Series at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5th in Graham Chapel. The lecture, titled “Science Is Important, But It Isn’t Everythng,” is free and open to the public.

Pamela Nagami
Pamela Nagami

Nagami, a medical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, has devoted her career to researching the deadly wonders of the natural world. From mundane insect bites that evolve into “flesh-eating strep” to HIV infections, she describes the often frightening truth about even the most seemingly harmless bite or bump. Some of these stories are included in her most recent book, Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings.

Bitten is Nagami’s second book on the subject, preceded by Maneater: And Other True Stories of a Life in Infectious Dieases (released in paperback as The Woman with a Worm in her Head.) In both books, she chronicles bizarre and compelling case studies of bacterial and viral infections as well as the human dramas they inflict upon both the patients and the medical staff involved. Nagami acts as a medical detective, tracking a patient’s activities and surrounding environment years before hospitalization, gathering clues to uncover the source of the infection. Both books received critical acclaim for presenting medical knowledge in an easily accessible form.

Nagami received her doctorate from Yale University in 1976. She is currently a clinical associate professor of medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine and a staff physician in internal medicine and infectious diseases with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group.

Graham Chapel is located just north of Mallinckrodt Center (6445 Forsyth Blvd.) on the Washington University campus. All Assembly Series lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, check the Assembly Series Web site at or call 314-935-4620.