Erin R. Leslie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Downers Grove, IL

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Associate Professor

Downers Grove, IL

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
College of Graduate Studies - IL


Dental Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Physician Assistant Studies

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Northwestern University | 0 | Ph.D.
University of Illinois | 0 | B.S.

Courses Taught

ANATD 1551 CCOM Human Gross Anatomy & Embryology I (Course Director)

ANATD 1552 CCOM Human Gross Anatomy & Embryology II (Course Director)

ANATD 0500/1500 PA/PT Human Gross Anatomy & Embryology

ANATD 1504 CCO Gross Anatomy

IBSSD CDMI Neural and Musculoskeletal Systems



I'm interested in understanding mammlian craniofacial and skull development and describing morphological variation. I use traditional and 3D geometric morphometric techniques to quantify and analyze shape. My research currently falls into three primary areas.

Area 1: My lab is part of a translational research collaboration with Dr. Bryan Bjork's lab studying craniofacial development in several mutant mouse models (cleft secondary palate-1, little chin). These mouse models mimic several human developmental anomalies, including Pierre-Robin Syndrome, cleft palate, and hydrocephalus. My lab is specifically involved in quantifying morphological differences among the various strains, sexes, and age categories from volume-rendered microCT images and clean skulls. We are also interested in documenting the associations between the development of the brain and overlying cranial vault at the microscopic level using histological preparations.

Area 2: My lab conducts cadaver-based studies of human morphological variation in all areas of the body. Most recently, Dr. Sandra Inouye and I collaborated with two CCOM students to analyze morhpological variation in lateral anatomy anatomy. Our goal was to describe associations between tendon and muscle belly length in order to benefit orthopedic surgical techniques. 

Area 3: My lab studies primate skull evolution with the goal of identifying key morphological features at nodes of the hominoid phylogeny and developing evolutionary scenarios.



Elibiary M, Moskal R, Jones J, Bjork BC, Leslie ER. 2021. Newborn Facial Bone Development in Two Prdm16 Mutant Mouse Model. J Dent Res ( Abstract.

Leslie ER, Moskal R, Jones J, Bjork BC. 2020. Comparison and Analysis of Degree of Newborn Neurocranial Bone Development in Two Prdm16 Mutant Mouse Models. FASEB J Supplement, Vol. 34, no. 1.

Coleman L, Hoover E, Inouye S, Leslie ER. 2019. Assessment of anatomical variation in fibularis brevis and fibularis longus muscle fiber and tendon morphology as a risk factor for ankle instability and injury. FASEB J Supplement 767.30, Vol. 33, no. 1. Abstract.

Strassman A, Schnutgen F, Dai Q, Jones JC, Gomez AC, Pitstick L, Holton NE, Moskal R, Leslie ER, vonMelchner H, Beier DR, Bjork BC. 2017. Generation of a multipurpose Prdm16 allele by targeted trapping. Dis. Models Mech 10: 909-922.

Bennett H, Moskal R, Holloway J, Jones J, Holton NE, Leslie ER, Bjork BC. 2017. Analysis of craniofacial variation in cleft secondary palate-1 heterozygous and homozygous newborn mice. FASEB J Supplement 743.4, Vol. 31, no. 1. Abstract.

Holloway J, Moskal R, Bennett H, Jones J, Holton NE, Leslie ER, Bjork BC. 2017. Analysis of craniofacial variation in cleft secondary palate-1 heterozygous mice. J Dent Res 96A:0273 ( Abstract.

Leslie ER, Shea BT. 2016. Gibbons to Gorillas: Allometric Issues in Hominoid Cranial Evolution. In: Reichard UH, Hirai H, Barelli C, editors. The Evolution of Gibbons and Siamang: Molecular Phylogeny, Morphology, and Cognition of Asia’s Small Apes. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Leslie ER. 2010. A comparative analysis of internal cranial anatomy in the Hylobatidae. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 143: 250-265.


American Association for Anatomy


2016  Young Faculty Travel Award, American Association of Anatomists Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.