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Psychology of Face Transplants is Subject of New Book by Allegheny College Professor

MEADVILLE, Pa., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Carla Bluhm, a developmental psychologist and visiting assistant professor at Allegheny College, and Nathan Clendenin, Allegheny class of 2007, have recently completed a book on the psychology of face transplants.


"Someone Else's Face in the Mirror: Identity and the New Science of Face Transplants" begins with the story of Isabelle Dinoire, the recipient of the first face transplant, her surgery and her battles with tissue rejection. But the book's scope widens with a look at how surgical teams --- including three from the U.S. --- are in a global race to perform the first full face transplant. It also explores how medical history has led to this point, with prior successful transplants ranging from body parts as simple as corneas to those as neurologically complex as a heart, a hand or a penis.

"Although, potentially, a face transplant could negatively impact a person's sense of identity, most face transplant recipients are already in the midst of experiencing the psychological problems related to identity," said Bluhm. "Thus face transplants also hold remarkable promise for positively addressing psychological problems related to a person's sense of identity."

Prior to coming to Allegheny, Bluhm taught at Westminster College, University of Washington, Arizona State University, University of Rhode Island and Columbia University. Clendenin is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

To arrange an interview with Bluhm or Clendenin, please call Barb Steadman at the Allegheny College Office of Public Affairs at (814) 332-6755 or (814) 397-9959.

"Someone Else's Face in the Mirror: Identity and the New Science of Face Transplants" is available for pre-order at Praeger Publishers expects to publish the book in April 2009.

SOURCE Allegheny College Office of Public Affairs
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