Through a comprehensive course of study in Gross Anatomy, Histology, and Neuroscience, the Department of Anatomy provides instruction in the morphology of the human body. The study of anatomy is particularly germane to osteopathic medicine because the relationship between structure and function is a fundamental tenet of the osteopathic philosophy. Direct observation of human structure is the essence of the anatomy courses. In Gross Anatomy, all students participate in the dissection of the cadaver under the guidance of the anatomy faculty. Dissection is supplemented by the study of anatomical models, osteologic specimens, diagnostic images, and transverse sections. In Histology, students apply the principles presented in lecture to the microscopic identification of normal human cells and tissues, while the Neuroscience course uses case studies to apply and reinforce basic concepts.
The Department offers several elective courses, including Advanced Gross Dissection and Research. The Research elective gives students the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects with the Anatomy faculty. Areas of faculty research interest include: the evolution, development, and comparative functional morphology of human and non-human primate crania and limbs; paleoanthropology and biomechanics; neuronal injury mechanisms during stroke or seizures; plasticity of the peripheral nervous system during development and adulthood; neuroplasticity and recovery of function following ischemic stroke; and the inflammatory response and how it is affected by alcohol.