About The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology is committed to participate actively in Rush University's and Rush Medical College's educational, research and service endeavors. Departmental faculty are expected to provide high-quality education and training of health care and academic professionals and to conduct basic biomedical research.
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology faculty research emphasizes musculoskeletal tissue injury, repair and regeneration. Interdisciplinary research is the norm as evidenced by close ties between faculty members and the departments of Biochemistry and Orthopedic Surgery and the Section of Rheumatology (Department of Internal Medicine).
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology faculty are responsible for more than 40 percent of the first-year instruction in Rush Medical College. Faculty members are also actively involved in teaching in the Graduate College, the College of Nursing and the College of Health Sciences. A recent development has been the use of computer-assisted instruction in gross anatomy (as a study tool) and in neurobiology (as an integral part of workshop activities).
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology faculty are active in numerous Medical Center standing committees and ad hoc task forces. The department is a key organizer of the annual University Research Week, a showcase for research throughout the Rush System for Health. In addition, departmental faculty volunteer time to local schools for promotion of science education.
Above right: Compare bottom image to top to see increased formation of mineralized bone surrounding an implant impregnated with TGF-Beta (Sumner et. al). Experimental models are being utilized to study the effects of growth factors on repair of fractures and on stabilization of prosthetic devices used in joint replacement.
The Graduate Program in Anatomy and Cell Biology supports study at the master's and doctoral levels, featuring research and training in structural biology. Advanced coursework for both programs is available in anatomy, histology, neurobiology, cytology and cell biology, embryology and developmental biology, along with special topics related to a student's research focus. The primary objectives of both programs are to foster students' conceptual growth in defining problems and research questions and to design experimental approaches to answer these questions in ways that advance knowledge about biological mechanisms and disease. Proposal development, writing and presentation skills are stressed. Teaching assistantships are intended to help students become confident contributors in instructional settings.
Investigative work ranges from biomechanical projects to studies at cell and molecular levels (see departmental research). The departmental research focus is on skeletal biology especially as related to destructive joint disease and to the role of growth factors on bone growth, remodeling and effectiveness of implant materials. The department sustains close relationships with the departments of biochemistry and orthopedics that creates a rich research environment for this theme. Other areas of work include nerve regeneration and neural mechanisms of incontinence, development and pathobiology of the ocular lens, and aspects of neuroprotection and microvascular remodeling in retinal ischemia.
For information on the application process and requirements, please click here.
As a small department, the graduate division places a premium on close relationships between students and their faculty mentors for guidance in development of new projects. The department normally hosts postdoctoral MD or PhD investigators who are committed to related lines of investigation and who are valuable resources for students.
Biomedical projects within the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, closely allied to problems encountered in the clinical setting, are enriched by collaborative work with the departments of Orthopedic Surgery, Biochemistry and Ophthalmology, and with the Section of Rheumatology. Students are encouraged to perform research in crossdisciplinary areas to take advantage of opportunities in the medical environment at Rush University Medical Center to develop basic research problems with a disease orientation.
Faculty laboratories support a variety of projects ranging in scope from cell and tissue culture work using molecular probes and biochemical methods to experimental surgery and studies on biomechanics and gait. Most faculty members collaborate not only with other researchers at Rush University, but also with investigators elsewhere in the United States and abroad.
"I am a new postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Rick Sumner’s lab. I am just starting with two research projects; one project on bone phenotyping and a second project on bone formation specifically associated with orthopedic implants. In the Sumner lab I am able to expand my research techniques, including hard tissue histology and microCT scanning analysis, as well as my bone research knowledge. In addition to my research responsibilities I will teach, alongside other Anatomy faculty members, in the gross anatomy lab. I am excited to be a part of Rush and able to work with supportive colleagues in a great environment."
– Meghan Moran, PhD.
"My name is Ryan Ross and I work in Dr. Sumner’s lab. My research is focused on the development and characterization of animal models of implant loosening, as well as, the use of anabolic agents to promote bone growth and improve bone-implant contact. It is our goal to improve the lifespan of orthopedic implants, thereby preventing revision surgeries and improving quality-of-life. I am honored to have the opportunity to work in the state-of-the-art facilities and with the many well-respected researchers that Rush has to offer."
"I am pursuing post-doctoral research in Dr. Jitesh Pratap's laboratory. My research is focused on determining the regulatory functions of Runx2 in cancer progression and formation of a malignant phenotype.The Runx2 protein is critical for embryonic bone development, remodeling and homeostasis; however its deregulated activity is associated with carcinogenesis and development of osteolytic disease in cancers. The collaborative research environment with a variety of state-of-the-art core facilities to pursue advances in basic and translational cancer research coupled with the diverse research interests and expertise of the faculty makes Rush University Medical Center a promising choice for post doctoral professional development."
-Manish Tandon, PhD
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About Our Students
"I am currently working under Dr. Markus Wimmer on a project that combines both principles from tribology and from biology. Within my project, we are refining a cartilage testing model that better simulates in vivo joint motion. I am utilizing principles of engineering, applying them to a cartilage system, and then measuring the outputs with biological methods. I found it to be such a unique project because of the interplay between the two areas that I transferred from being a MS student to a PhD student. In addition to this, Rush has been such a great place that I interrupted my medical school training to complete this PhD."
-Robert Trevino, PhD Candidate
"As a former clinician working in the lab with Dr. Virdi, an experienced researcher, makes me think about the wide possibilities we have as research helps us to further advance the care of patients. Rush University is a pretty nice place to incorporate the two aspects of our patients' well being."
-David F. Gomez-Gil, DDS, MS, PhD candidate
"I work in the Rush Motion Analysis Laboratory under Dr. Laura Thorp in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, along with Dr. Markus Wimmer in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Dr. Najia Shakoor in the Section of Rheumatology. My training is a great example of the interdepartmental collaborations that occur here at Rush University. The focus of my research is on the kinematic changes of the foot and ankle that contribute to reductions of biomechanical loads at the knee joint. My aims are to develop an appropriate method for measuring foot and ankle kinematics in the Rush gait laboratory, to investigate interventions at the foot that can reduce loads at the knee, and to investigate a biofeedback device that can reduce the progression of knee osteoarthritis.”
-Chris Ferrigno, MPT, Pre-Doctoral Candidate
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Faculty and Student Awards
The Anthony Schmidt Award
This award is given by the faculty of the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology to a student at the end of his or her third year of medical school. The winning student must be nominated by an anatomy faculty member and is chosen based on demonstrated interest and excellence in the anatomical sciences. The award is named after the founding chair of the department, Anthony J. Schmidt, PhD. Schmidt had a keen interest in the education of medical students, and the faculty decided to recognize his commitment to Rush Medical College and its students by naming the department's award in his honor. Schmidt Award winners are listed below:
- Laurel A. Hardesty (class of 1999): For outstanding performance in the alternative curriculum
- Aaron Bransky (class of 2000): For outstanding academic performance and peer instruction
- Ari Ciment (class of 2001): For outstanding academic performance and peer instruction
- Phil Losavio (class of 2002): For outstanding research and peer instruction
- Shane Nho (class of 2003): For outstanding research and strong performance in anatomy
- Derek Kane (class of 2004): For outstanding research and strong performance in anatomy
- Stephanie Wong (class of 2005): For outstanding academic performance and peer instruction
- Carrie Thompson (class of 2006): For outstanding academic performance
- Samer Al-Khudari (class of 2007): For outstanding research and strong performance in anatomy
- David Hulata (class of 2008): For outstanding work in the field of anatomical sciences
- Matthew Currie (class of 2009): For outstanding work in the field of anatomical sciences
- Nicole Friel (class of 2010): For outstanding research and strong performance in anatomy
- Laura Bertrand (class of 2011): For outstanding research and strong performance in anatomy
- Ankush Bhatia, Julia Daher and Vasili Karas (class of 2012): For outstanding research and strong performance in anatomy
Graduate Student Award Winners
- Siddhesh Angle -
2010 First Place UIC Student Research Forum (Graduate College Division)
- Anita Joy -
2008 First Place Rush Research Forum Sigma Xi Student Poster Contest (Graduate College Division)
2010 First Place Rush Research Forum Sigma Xi Student Poster Contest (Graduate College Division)
- Richard Kang -
2006 Second Place, Rush Research Forum Sigma Xi Student Poster Contest (Graduate College Division)
- Mohammad (Sam) Abbassi Khah -
2010 Third Place Rush Research Forum Sigma Xi Student Poster Contest (Graduate College Division)
- Shuo Liu -
2010 Alice L. Jee Memorial Young Investigator Award
- Kirsten Moisio -
2001 Promotion of Doctoral Studies Scholarship (Foundation for Physical Therapy)
- Laura Thorp -
2004 Promotion of Doctoral Studies Scholarship (Foundation for Physical Therapy)
2006 First Place Rush Research Forum Sigma Xi Student Poster Contest (Graduate College Division)
Teaching Awards Received by Anatomy & Cell Biology Faculty
- Chuck Dinsmore -
1991 Nathan Smith Davis Award (Rush Medical College)
- W. Frank Hughes -
1998 Nathan Smith Davis Award (Rush Medical College)
2002 Brainard Award (Rush Medical College)
- Susan Jacob -
1983, 1989, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2003 Brainard Award (Rush Medical College)
- James Kerns -
2001 Annual Didactic Instructor of the Year Award (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists)
- Carol Muehleman -
1990 Basic Science Teaching Award (Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine)
1992 Basic Science Teaching Award (Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine)
- Rick Sumner -
2002 Outstanding Mentor (Graduate College)
2008 Exceptional Mentor Award (Graduate College)
2010 Excellence in Teaching Award (Graduate College)
- Laura Thorp -
2011 Brainard Award (Rush Medical College)
- James Williams -
2000 Nathan Smith Davis Award (Rush Medical College)
2006 Exceptional Mentor Award (Graduate College)
Research Awards Received by Anatomy & Cell Biology Faculty
- Carol Muehleman -
1997 Stickel Gold Award for Research in Podiatric Medicine
2000 Stickel Gold Award for Research in Podiatric Medicine
- Kotaro Sena -
2006 Alice L. Jee Memorial Young Investigator Award
2007 Sigma Xi Award
2007 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Young Investigator Award
- Rick Sumner -
1992 Research Award (European Society of Biomechanics)
1993 Kappa Delta Young Investigator Award (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
1994 Otto Aufranc Award (Hip Society)
2001 RIB Award (International Sun Valley Hard Tissue Workshop)
Research Awards Received by Postdoctoral Fellow
- 2012 American Association of Anatomist Platform Award Presentation
- 2010 First Place Rush Research Forum Sigma Xi Student Poster Contest
- 2011 Second Place Rush Research Forum Sigma Xi Student Poster Contest
- 2011 First Place Rush Research Forum Sigma Xi Student Poster Contest
Memebers of the Mark Lepper, MD Society of Teachers
- Chuck Dinsmore, PhD
- W. Frank Hughes, PhD
- Susan Jacob, PhD
- James Kerns, PhD
- Robert Leven, PhD
- Carol Muehleman, PhD
- Rick Sumner, PhD
- Laura Thorp, MPT, PhD
- James Williams, PhD
Mondays 3:00-4:00 pm
Auditorium 160 Cohn Building
||Nancy Zeleznik-Le,PhD (Loyola University)
||Corey Neu,PhD(Purdue University)
||Christian Stehlik, PhD(Northwestern University)
||Christopher Engeland, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
||James LaBelle, PhD (University of Chicago)
||Xiulong Xu, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Carl Maki, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Mondays 3:00-4:00 pm
Auditorium 160 Cohn Building
||Joan O’Keefe PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Siyuan Zhang, PhD(Notre Dame)
||Qiping Zheng, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Xiulong Xu, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Jim Cheverud, PhD (Loyola University)
||Rick Sumner, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Joan O’Keefe, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Jitesh Pratap, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Dan Nicholson, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||David Kovar, PhD (University of Chicago)
||Tolou Shokuhfar, PhD (Michigan Technological University)
||Joan O’Keefe PT, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Andrei Gartel, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
||Jonathan Almer, PhD (Argonne National Lab)
||Craig Della Valle, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Dustin Wakeman, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Lindsey Mayo, PhD (University of Indiana)
||Jianjun Chen, PhD (University of Chicago)
||Edward Barker, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
||Adam Wilson, PhD (University of Indiana)
If you would like to be added to our seminar series email list please call Rita Eaddy at (312) 942-8589 or e-mail email@example.com
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Gross Lab and Workshops
The Human Anatomy Laboratory at the Rush University Medical Center
(James M. Williams, PhD, Director, Laura E. Thorp, MPT, PhD, Associate Director)
First among our missions is the education of students in the anatomical sciences, specifically gross human anatomy.
We offer the following to our medical students:
First-year medical students:
The Fall of 2010 saw the end of the traditional gross anatomy course as we began an integrated curriculum. This curriculum offers instruction to our first-year medical students in the form of blocks of instruction. For example, the cardiovascular respiratory block involves instruction from biochemists, physiologists, histologists and anatomists with learning exercises built into the form of case presentations, team-based learning exercises, workshops, lectures and laboratory dissections. We have not reduced the amount of anatomy, but reorganized it into a integrated context of learning for the students. We employ an alternating dissection schedule where half the students at a table dissect and teach to the other half for the next session. Studies of our alternating dissection approach have been presented at national meetings and published.
Second-year medical students:
A Clinical Skills workshop has been developed in collaboration with Dr. Chris Ross (Emergency Medicine Stroger Hospital) and Drs. Laura Thorp and James M. Williams.This program was funded initially from a Rush Stroger grant and was reviewed, analyzed and the results published. It involves having small groups of second-year medical students coming into the lab and being taught invasive techniques such as chest tube placement, arthrocentesis, central line placement, etc. by attending emergency medicine doctors. Studies of our clinical skills workshops have been presented at national meetings and published.
Fourth-year medical students.
The Surgical Anatomy Elective continues to be ranked in the top three of all electives taken by our medical students. On average 46 of 120 graduating students are enrolled each year. The focus of the course has been to require the students to complete a PowerPoint presentation of clinical scenarios using patient clinical information combined with an illustration of the relevant clinical anatomy. Many of these presentations can be used in presenting clinical cases and relevant anatomy in the first-year medical anatomy course. Some students have opted to produce prosections and participate as upper-class teaching assistants.
Programs in the College of Health Sciences.
Speech and Language Pathology.
Dr. Laura Thorp has developed and taught a course for Speech Language Pathology students with a focus on head and neck anatomy.
Audiology Doctoral Students.
Dr. James M. Williams currently instructs a brief six-week session with audiology doctoral students focusing entirely on the anatomy of the auditory apparatus with hands-on dissection.
Physicians Assistants Students.
Drs. Thorp and Williams have begun a new course of anatomy instruction for the newly developed physicians assistants program.This two-quarter course covers all of human anatomy and involves a lab-centered approach similar to the one developed for the medical school curriculum.
Rush Clinical Department Activities.
The human anatomy laboratory hosts activities for several clinical departments in the medical center for resident education.This includes the Departments of Anesthesiology, Family Medicine, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Vascular Surgery and the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stroger Hospital. Through collaboration with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery we have completed a two cadaver studies of hips with Dr. Shane Nho which has been presented at national meetings and is now in publication as a manuscript
The laboratory continues to function as a central facility for the receipt and use of fresh human materials for research uses in orthopedics.
Department of Defense Program in Advanced Trauma Training of Medics.
An exciting new program from the Rush Department of Emergency Medicine involves the anatomy laboratory for the Rush University Medical Center Advance Trauma Training Program. Rush now serves as the host site for military medical personnel in training for in-the-field activities using fresh cadavers. This program under the leadership of Dr. Dino Rumoro, chair of Emergency Medicine is in its 3rd year.
On an annual basis the human anatomy laboratory hosts 20-25 clinically-oriented workshops where Rush physicians studied or were trained in new advances in surgical approaches or cutting edge technologies. These workshops involve demonstrations by device companies where cutting edge technology and techniques are presented. Companies interested in using the human anatomy laboratory at Rush should contact Dr. James M. Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org (312) 942-3598) for information on availability and costs associated with hosting such an event. These small workshops typically involve company representatives and doctors coming to our facility to provide instruction to attending physicians, fellows and residents in the use of a new device or technique. We provide the facility, basic dissection instruments and a laboratory assistant. Cadaveric specimens and rentals of extra equipment (e.g. c-arms, towers, etc) are available by local or national vendors. A member of the anatomy lab staff is on site for the duration of these workshops. As a corporation we require that all such activities be presented at a high level consistent with the standards considered for continuing medical education activities. Continuing medical education credit for any of these workshops has not been sought or awarded, however, all such activities are presented at a level required for awarding of such credit.
Collaborations with Other Institutions and Community Outreach.
Robert Morris University.
Currently faculty from the nursing and surgical technology programs at the Robert Morris University conduct cadaver based classes in the human anatomy laboratory at Rush.
Malcolm X College.
Plans are near completion to provide limited off-site cadaver instruction to students enrolled at Malcolm X College in Chicago.
C.H.A.T. Dr. Williams received an outreach from the American Association of Anatomist entitled Development of Effective Teaching Strategies for Anatomy at the High-School Level.Under the auspices of the American Association of Anatomists Outreach Grant Program and the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Rush University Medical Center a group of high school science teachers and anatomists joined up to form a group known as C.H.A.T. (Chicagoland High-school Anatomy Teachers.) This program has been designed to assist in meeting goals of the Chicago Public School system such as: building instructional capacity, high quality teaching and leadership, learning communities and professional development, support for student development, post secondary training and education, strengthening existing high school programs and accountability to support improvement in all schools. The program started in 2005 as local area high schools brought students to Rush who were involved in advanced biology programs. As more students and teachers visited and conversations progressed teachers expressed an interest in hands-on refresher work in anatomy. These workshops involve high-school teachers visiting the laboratory for hands-on dissection of a human cadaver, introduction to anatomical terminology with a focus on the structure and function of the topics areas in their classrooms. Thus, teachers have been able to focus on an area of the body, compare normal to abnormal, work with imaging, study clinical scenarios, share best practices and discuss additional strategies for the development of effective teaching strategies for anatomy at the high-school level.
North Lawndale Minimedical School.
An interesting spin off of this program is the planning of the North Lawndale Minimedical School project.This program is the brainchild of Carol Giles, a participant at one of our workshops and teacher at a local area high-school. This outreach program to the children in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago involves pro bono work bringing in doctors, lawyers, nurses, and other professionals to speak to junior high students who gather each Saturday morning. Rush has been invited to participate by providing the facility where students can come in and have a chance to dissect nonhuman animals in the laboratory and hear about all the opportunities in science from professionals and hear experiences from our students.
Other community outreach programs.
The gross anatomy laboratory continues to be a resource for the community.We average nearly 800 high school students per year visiting the laboratory with advanced biology classes.Through the Volunteers Office and the office of Sharon Gates, numerous tours of students visiting the medical center have been conducted.Through this we have supervised several college age volunteers wishing to have a hands-on experience in the laboratory. Further, we have been approach by programs from a number of area institutions to use our facility for instruction of students in health professional programs where anatomy instruction is desired.
Dr. Williams extends lab to high school students
Faculty laboratories in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology are located in the Armour Academic Center and in the Cohn Building, a new research building on campus. These laboratories support a variety of projects ranging in scope from cell and tissue culture work using molecular probes and biochemical methods to experimental surgery and studies on biomechanics and gait. Most faculty members collaborate not only with other researchers at Rush University, but also with investigators elsewhere in the United States and abroad. For links to individual profiles, see the Faculty/Staff Profiles section of the site.
Faculty with Primary Appointments in Anatomy and Cell Biology
D.R. Sumner, PhD, Professor and Chair
K. J. Al-Ghoul, PhD, Associate Professor
Lei Duan, PhD, Instructor
R.M. Leven, PhD, Associate Professor
C. Maki, PhD, Associate Professor
M. Moran, PhD, Instructor
J. O'Keefe, PhD, Assistant Professor
J. Pratap, PhD, Assistant Professor
R. Ross, PhD, Instructor
M. Tandon, PhD, Instructor
L. Thorp, MPT, PhD, Assistant Professor
A S. Virdi, PhD, Associate Professor
J.M. Williams, PhD,Professor
X. Xu, Associate Professor
Q. Zheng, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor
F.W. Hughes, PhD, Associate Professor Emeritus
J.M. Kerns, PhD, Professor Emeritus
J.K. Khodadad, PhD, Professor Emeritus
R.U. Seale, PhD, Professor Emeritus
Faculty with Conjoint Appointments in Anatomy and Cell Biology
B. Cole, MD, MBA (Orthopedic Surgery)
Carlo Franco, PhD (Anesthesiology)
Nadim Hallab, PhD (Orthopedic Surgery)
C. Muehleman, PhD (Biochemistry)
Jeffrey Nelson, MD (Internal Medicine)
K. Sena,PhD, Assistant Professor
Vincent Wang, PhD (Orthopedic)
M. Wimmer, PhD (Orthopedic Surgery)
Faculty with Visiting Appointments in Anatomy and Cell Biology
J. Oldershaw, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
J. Mao, DDS, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Rita Eaddy, Department Adminstrator
Anthony Serici, Diener
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Interested individuals should follow these steps to leave a legacy:
1. Either download the AGA Donation Form or contact the AGA for a copy of the form.
a. Complete the form
b. Have two non-family member witnesses sign the form or have it notarized
c. Make a copy for your records
d. Mail the original to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois (AGA) at the address on the form.
2. Review the educational materials.
3. Share the decision to donate with family, loved ones, next of kin and/or estate executor.
4. Carry the donor card.
Given the need for the body to be attained by the AGA as soon as possible, a funeral service in which the body is present is not possible. Upon death, the next of kin or the estate executor should notify the AGA and make arrangements to deliver the unembalmed remains of the deceased to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois, 1540 S. Ashland Ave., Suite 104, Chicago, Ill., 60608.
Transportation of the donor's remains to the AGA is the responsibility of the donor's family or executor. In addition to the body, the AGA requires a completed and signed death certificate, cremation authorization and disposition of remains form.
The AGA recommends that a donor make transportation arrangements in advance with a funeral home. Funeral Director charges can vary greatly depending on location of remains, distance, etc. We recommend that you contact several Funeral homes for pricing information. For price comparisons, we can suggest that you contact:
Heartland Memorial Center: (708) 444-2266
Rago Brothers Funeral Service: (773) 276-7800
Veterans Burial & Cremation Service: (800) 844-0203
The above are very familiar with our procedures and offer a professional and sensitive service at reasonable pricing.
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Anatomy & Cell Biology
600 S. Paulina Suite #507 AcFac
Chicago, Il 60612
Phone (312) 942- 5501
Fax (312) 942-5744
Request more information