Science on Screen: See "Steel Magnolias" followed by Q&A with Dr. Eva Feldman at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater

Twenty-five years after “Steel Magnolias”: Dr. Eva Feldman shares the latest in treatment of diabetes complications at the Michigan Theater’s April 16 session of Science on Screen

Twenty-five years ago, when millions of movie-goers laughed and then cried over the saga of M’Lynn,   her diabetic daughter Shelby and their eccentric friends and relatives in “Steel Magnolias,” about 6.3 million Americans were living with diabetes.

Today, nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes -- and if unchecked, the rising incidence of the disease will affect one in every three Americans by 2050, according to the American Diabetes Association. The cost of diabetes is estimated at more than $250 billion a year in the United States alone and the non-monetary cost to quality of life for patients and their families is immeasurable.

Diabetes has adverse effects on the entire body, from heart to kidneys to eyes. And the neurological complications of diabetes can be particularly debilitating. As many as 70 percent of diabetics suffer some form of nervous system damage, leading to pain, loss of sensation and loss of mobility. Currently, no effective treatment exists for this nerve damage.

But there is hope.

Dr. Eva Feldman, the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School and the director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, is a practicing neurologist whose research laboratory seeks new discoveries about the cause and treatment of diabetic neuropathy and other complications.

Her laboratory, the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery, is attacking this huge health problem in many ways. PNR&D scientists are discovering how high blood sugar injures nerves, why this causes pain, and how over time diabetes destroys the nerves. By simulating the insults that nerve cells undergo with diabetes in cultured cells, and studying neuronal changes in patients with diabetic neuropathy, Dr. Feldman and her staff has discovered some of the key mechanistic pathways involved in neuronal injury during diabetes. These pathways have become the subjects for development of new, groundbreaking therapies.

Join Dr. Feldman for the April 16 installment of Science on Screen, the innovative series at Ann Arbor's historic Michigan Theater that pairs films with expert guest speakers for the perfect combination of entertainment and enlightenment. Following the 7 p.m. showing of “Steel Magnolias,” Dr. Feldman will share the latest developments in treatment and take questions from audience members.

The Michigan Theater offers group discount of $7.25 per ticket (regular adult admission is $10, regular student admission is $8) to parties of 10 or more people, purchased in advance. Contact box office manager Natalie Hensel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 734-668-8397, extension 27.

The theater also offers free admission vouchers to science teachers and professors, which they can give to their students.  Instructors may contact Emily Mathews, marketing director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to order vouchers.  

Visit the Michigan Theater website for additional information. 


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