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Students discussing medical research Dr. Scneck teaching gross anatomy Students working in cell culture hood

department of Anatomy and cell biology

Professional Programs


The Department is responsible for teaching eight professional level courses in three different colleges, the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Podiatric Medicine.  The Department also provides the histology, embryology and neuroanatomy content for the integrated portions of the first year curriculum in the School of Medicine, including Block 2 (Elements of Bioscience), Block 3 (Body Systems 1), Block 4 (Body Systems 2) and Block 5 (Neuroscience). These courses and blocks are all required components (mandated by the accreditation bodies and curriculum committees of the respective schools) for all matriculated first-year students. These required courses are listed in the table, below.


Required courses taught in the three professional schools are:


School of Medicine Course Director

Block 1 Body Basics:  Structure

Drs. Schneck and Oxberry

Block 2 Elements of Bioscience

Drs. Burke and Collins (Biochemistry)

Block 3 Body Systems 1

Dr. Heckman (Physiology)
Block 4 Body Systems 2 Dr. Litvin
Block 5 Neuroscience Dr. Black
School of Dentistry Course Director

D101 Histology

Dr. Litvin

D202 Gross Anatomy

Dr. Oxberry

D203 Neuroanatomy

Dr. Marino
School of Podiatric Medicine Course Director

P100 Histology

Dr. Litvin

P102 General Anatomy

Dr. Washburn

P103 Lower Extremity Anatomy

Dr. Washburn

P104 Neuroscience

Dr. Pearson



In addition to the required courses, the Department of Anatomy offers two elective courses to students in the School of Medicine. These elective courses provide more detailed information in specialized areas:


  • First and second year elective, “The Sectional Anatomic Basis of Computed Tomography, Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Modalities”
  • Fourth year elective, “The Anatomic Basis of the Clinical Specialties”

All courses reflect current knowledge in the field. To monitor advances in the field, faculty consult newly published texts and journal-articles, consult with colleagues;, both clinical and basic science, and attend a variety of professional association meetings. Course directors utilize published national objectives; where available, as well as national board exam content outlines and subject exam item analysis, to ensure that the material covered in the courses is appropriate for students.


Different courses utilize different teaching methodologies, as relevant for the subject matter and as appropriate for the group of students to whom the material is directed. The average class size is 220 for the School of Medicine, 125 for the School of Dentistry and 90 for the School of Podiatric Medicine. All courses, except Medical Gross Anatomy, use a combination of lectures, workshops and laboratories for delivering information to the class. The gross anatomy courses use extensive cadaver dissection by the students as the method for reinforcing three-dimensional aspects and individual variation. There is considerable use of computer-based images in most of the courses, including diagnostic images, and digitized images of histological and neuroanatomical sections have replaced the use of microscopes and slide sets. Medical Gross Anatomy and Medical Neuroanatomy and Body Systems II use interactive small group presentations for discussion of relevant clinical cases. Medical Neuroanatomy and Podiatry Neuroscience both include a “wet” lab for examination of human brain material. All courses emphasize the clinical relevance of the material presented.  To promote critical thinking and establish generations of life-long learners, both socratic and team-based learning stragegies are used in the many courses taught by faculty in this department.


Each course requires students to purchase a specific textbook or atlas. Handout notes, case studies and dissection guides generated or assembled by the Department of Anatomy faculty are provided to the students at the beginning of the course, along with the course syllabus and schedule. Software utillzing digitized images and developed by faculty within the department are provided to students on Blackboard.


Several faculty members in the Department of Anatomy have been the recipients of teaching awards. These include the highly competitive Lindback Award, given annually to one distinguished educator from each of the schools within the University, the Golden Apple Award from the American Medical Student Association, and yearbook dedications made annually by the graduating class of the medical school. These awards are in recognition of faculty dedication to the students and their excellence in education.