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New Exhibits

Then Now: 35 Years of HIV/AIDS
December 1 - 30, 2015

The International Museum of Surgical Science has assembled a large-scale timeline of HIV/AIDS that charts the intersections of medicine and the social from the first appearance of the disease in 1981 to the Present Day. The Museum opens this exhibit in observation of World AIDS Day / A Day With(out) Art [Tuesday, December 1, 2015] 

“Then and Now: 35 Years of HIV/AIDS ” will be open to the public throughout the month of December in observation of AIDS Awareness Month. The Museum is free on Tuesdays.

Learn more about special associated programs during December 2015.

4th Floor North

4th Floor North is a history lab. It exists as part of the International Museum of Surgical Science's mission to conduct innovative research on its own unique collection of surgical instruments and paraphernalia, art and artifacts and archival materials. 4th Floor North exhibits an ever-changing conversation between the Museum Curator, the Artists in Residence, who utilize the gallery for research and as studio space, and the Museum's permanent collection. The objects on display are changing constantly, and reflect the diversity of the collection and the researchers who work with it.

Diagnostic Detectives: Pathology in Modern Medical Practice

Pathology is the science of the causes and effects of disease in the body. This new exhibit at the IMSS looks at the process of laboratory diagnostics as detective work, and includes a rich display of historic microscopes and calculi. 

This exhibit is made possible by the generous support of:


Arno Roscher, MD


Sheryl P. Bury-Michals
S. Robert Freedman, MD

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Michael J. Misialek, MD

The Body Illustrated

The Museum's exhibit on the life and work of Andreas Vesalius uses the occasion of the medieval anatomist’s 500th birthday to celebrate the historic breadth of medical illustration, both in its didactic and discursive capacities. The exhibit uses Vesalius' six volume Magnum Opus “De humani corporis Fabrica” (or, “On the Fabric of The Human Body”), as a central tether for artifacts, illustrations, prints and manuscripts pulled from the IMSS permanent collection. Featuring 18th century surgeon's kits, human skulls and antique prints of the Fabrica itself, “The Body Illustrated” showcases anatomy and medical illustration as an exploration of the body's intricacy and a celebration of form.

This exhibit is partially sponsored by a CityArts Program 2 grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

The new Rx for Success health career center at the International Museum of Surgical Science is designed to enlighten students of all ages, health professionals, and members of the public about the rich variety of occupations currently available within the health sciences. Among the promising career possibilities highlighted are professions in health information management, medical laboratory science, biomedical engineering, radiology, and medical illustration.

Experience interactive multimedia exhibits, occupational profiles, and engaging comparative displays of historical artifacts and cutting-edge modern technology. Rx for Success features 3D-printed heart models developed from actual patient data by Materialise, a state-of-the-art urinalysis device by Siemens, a bioreactor tissue chamber for ligament and tendon growth by Instron, and an angiographic CT head phantom by Kyoto Kagaku. Find out what it means to be a health professional today—and what the future of healthcare may hold!

Health Information Management Career Map by the American Health Information Management Association



Career Paths in Biomedical Engineering Video by the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

Taiwan Room

Visit the new Taiwan Room at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago to celebrate Taiwan’s outstanding contributions to global health and medicine! Through interactive touch-screen kiosks, engaging videos, and displays of hand-crafted artwork, cultural artifacts, and antique medical tools, you can:

• Meet Taiwanese medical luminaries and discover their ground-breaking achievements in fields ranging from organ transplantation to emergency medicine;

• Learn about the accomplishments of the International College of Surgeons, Taiwan Section and other prestigious medical organizations and institutions in Taiwan;

• Get an update from Taiwan’s Department of Health on the country’s ongoing efforts to improve the health of its people, including the world-renowned National Health Insurance system;

• See how health statistics from Taiwan measure up to other countries, and track the nation’s initiatives to enhance health abroad by mapping its international medical collaborations;

• Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the island archipelago Portuguese sailors called Formosa, meaning “beautiful;” and

• Explore the unique combination of traditional herbal medicine, folk remedies, and Western medical technology that led to the advanced healthcare services available in Taiwan today.

Download exhibit information sheet
Read an interview with exhibit organizer Dr. Aij-Lie Kwan

On display through 2018, this exhibit is presented by the International College of Surgeons, Taiwan Section and made possible by the generous support of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).


On the cutting edge of medicine today is a field called surgicogenomics that is emerging from the intersection of genetics and stem cell research and surgical practice.

While the surgeons of history had to rely on their eyes alone, and those of the 20th century saw through the lens of medical imaging, surgeons in the present Genomic Era can look at their patients on the molecular level, examining the genes that provide a complete set of instructions for the creation and functioning of their bodies. Based on this information, surgeons can more accurately determine when and how to operate, avoid potential complications, and predict the outcome of treatment.

Moreover, today’s surgeon can draw from recent amazing successes in animal studies demonstrating the use of stem cells in therapeutic transplantation for the purpose of curing a wide range of especially difficult genetic diseases, including heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In particular, the use of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC), just discovered in 2007, will allow the surgeon to perform transplants without the threat of immune rejection.

The complete map of the human genome was finished in 2003 by a private enterprise headed by Craig Venter in collaboration with the federally and internationally funded Human Genome Project. The precise sequence of the 3.2 billion nucleotide base pairs that make up this human genetic blueprint now guide the hand of today’s surgeon and will point the way toward unknown territory—the New World of tomorrow’s regenerative and stem cell medicine.

THE CUTTING EDGE An Introduction to Surgicogenomics

GENES, MUTATIONS, & DISEASES The Basics: Chromosomes, DNA, Genes, & Proteins, How a Protein Is Made from a Gene, & How Mutations Cause Disease

GENOMIC TECHNOLOGY Its Revolutionary Role in Medicine, Florescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH), DNA Microarrays, Knockout Mice, Targeted Gene Inactivation, & Whole Genome Sequencing

GENETICS, GENOMICS, & SOCIETY Genetic Counseling, Societal Implications, & Other Important Uses for Genomic Technology

OVERVIEW Specific Genes & Corresponding Genetic Conditions of Bodily Systems & Organs

BRAIN & NERVOUS SYSTEM Meningioma & Astrocytoma, Parkinson’s Disease, & Huntington’s Disease

HEART Myocardial Infarction, Congenital Heart Disease, & Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome

VASCULATURE & LUNGS Marfan Syndrome, Behçet’s Disease, & Cystic Fibrosis

GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT Obesity, Lynch Syndrome, & Crohn’s Disease

MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, & Sex-Linked Inheritance

ENDOCRINE/REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2 & Breast Cancer

GENES, STEM CELLS, & REGENERATIVE MEDICINE Recombinant DNA Technology, Gene Therapy, & Embryonic, Adult, & Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

ABOUT THE ADVISORS Tobias D. Raabe, Ph.D. & Arno A. Roscher, M.D.

Scientific Advisors

Tobias D. Raabe, Ph. D. is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania and the Founding Technical Director of a university-wide Gene Targeting Core Laboratory. To learn more about Tobias D. Raabe, Ph. D. please click here




Arno A. Roscher, M.D. is a long-term, accomplished anatomical and clinical pathologist teaching at the University of Southern California, as well as a distinguished fellow of the International College of Surgeons.  To learn more about Dr. Arno A. Roscher please click here




View all current exhibits



1524 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610 USA
fax 312.642.9516


Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10 am to 4 pm
Wednesday: 10 am to 4 pm
Thursday: 10 am to 4 pm
Friday: 10 am to 4 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm

Last admission will be taken one hour before the closing time.

AHIMA EMB ASCP RSNA Instron Materialise Association of Medical Illustrators Kyoto Kagaku Omnimed Taipai Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago