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, osteological 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, brain specimens and laboratory exercises to apply and reinforce basic concepts.
The Department offers several elective courses, including Teaching and Research Electives. The Teaching Elective gives students the opportunity to teach in the Gross Anatomy and Embryology course. 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; malocclusion, skull shape and genetics; Cretaceous geological changes and its influence on the evolution and distribution of faunas; neuronal injury mechanisms during stroke or seizures; plasticity of the peripheral nervous system during development and adulthood; inner ear development and regeneration, neuroplasticity and recovery of function following ischemic stroke; the inflammatory response and how it is affected by alcohol, and anatomical education.