Inspiring Scientific Curiosity & Discovery brings anatomy research from the journal pages to an interactive webinar format, where attendees can learn more about what's behind the research. This webinar series was created by Developmental Dynamics, and collaborated on with The Anatomical Record and Anatomical Sciences Education. Get into the science and get inspired!

Upcoming Webinars

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 12:00-1:00pm EST

Let's Talk About Public Display

Speakers: Drs. Claire Smith, Michael Koenig, and Laura Arnold

The team from Brighton and Sussex Medical School -authors of “My Dead Body”: Development, Production, and Reception of a Documentary that Publicly Displays the Dissection of a Human Donor explore and invite discussion as to why they undertook the creation of a documentary that was the first to show dissection of a human donor, what they have learnt and ask how the sector could move forward with public engagement.


On-Demand Webinars

Inspiring Scientific Curiosity and Discovery 

The Dawn of an Era: Comparative and Functional Anatomy of Triassic Tetrapods

Speakers: Leonardo Kerber: Centro de Apoio à Pesquisa Paleontológica da Quarta Colônia, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (CAPPA/UFSM)
Felipe Pinheiro: Laboratório de Paleobiologia, Universidade Federal do Pampa
Flávio Pretto: Centro de Apoio à Pesquisa Paleontólogica da Quarta Colônia, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (CAPPA/UFSM)

April 10, 2024

The Triassic period stands as a crucial moment for understanding tetrapod evolution, marking the emergence and early diversification of numerous lineages that persist in today's ecosystems. Birds, crocodiles, testudines, lizards, and mammals can all trace their origins to the Triassic, which is distinguished by several adaptive radiation events that fostered unparalleled diversity in body plans and lifestyles. In a novel Special Issue of The Anatomical Record, we assembled a diverse array of new contributions focused on Triassic tetrapods globally, encouraging collaboration among researchers across generations, pooling their efforts to comprehend this pivotal moment in tetrapod evolutionary history. Collectively, this presentation offers an extensive exploration of Triassic tetrapods from anatomical, ecological, and evolutionary perspectives, unveiling fresh insights into this intriguing moment in vertebrate evolutionary history.

IFAA Recommendations for the Ethical Use of Anatomical Images

Speaker: Dr. Jon Cornwall, Education Advisor & Senior Lecturer, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

March 6, 2024

 Have you ever wondered what sort of anatomical image goes ‘too far’, or if guidance exists to help you decide about whether the images you want to create are ‘OK’, or not? In this webinar Dr. Jon Cornwall discusses the origins, purpose, and reasoning behind the recently published International Federation of Association of Anatomists recommendations for anatomical images.

A Quest to Understand Skull Development

Speakers: Drs. Joan Richtsmeier, Susan Motch Perrine, and Kazuhiko Kawasaki, Pennsylvania State University

February 7, 2024

The skull houses and protects the brain and is evolutionarily and developmentally comprised of the endoskeleton that develops initially as cartilage and the exoskeleton that grows as dermal bone. Dr. Joan Richtsmeier, Dr. Susan Motch Perrine, and Dr. Kazuhiko Kawasaki use quantitative morphology and molecular and cell biology to study the relationship between ontogenetic mechanisms and phylogenetic change in craniofacial development, evolution, and disease. Their current focus on early development of cranial cartilage and bone and how FGF signaling can impact that relationship, reveals key mechanisms of typical development and of pathogenesis in craniofacial syndromes like Crouzon and Apert.

Uncovering the mechanisms of bat diversification through integrative morphology research 

Speaker: Dr. Sharlene Santana
December 6, 2023

Dr. Sharlene Santana is a Professor in the Department of Biology at University of Washington and the Curator of Mammals at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Her lab’s work is largely focused on bats, as they are one of the most ecologically and morphologically diverse lineages of mammals and thus offer a natural experiment to investigate patterns and mechanisms of diversification.

In this talk, Dr. Santana will present two major areas of research her lab is exploring to uncover the patterns and underlying mechanisms of bat morphological diversity: (1) the evolution of bat flight, and (2) the evolution of cranial morphology in relation to echolocation modalities and diet. She will present case studies under these themes, which have helped elucidate how the modification of intrinsic mechanisms and functional adaptation have together shaped the diversification of bats.

Considering the "Human Element" when Teaching the Anatomical Sciences 

Speakers: Associate Professor Krista Rompolski, Moravian University & Professor Michael Hortsch, University of Michigan
November 1, 2023

The teaching of the biomedical sciences usually focuses on the transfer of content and the development of skills. However, this process involves humans on both sides- the teacher and the learner. Since the introduction of e-learning technologies and novel instructional approaches, this “human factor” has further been reduced and is often ignored in debates about educational strategies.
In this webinar, the presenters will discuss this central aspect of the learning process, both for traditional forms of teaching and novel approaches such as the flipped classroom. Is a blended approach best? What human factors influence teaching and learning at our best? Advice for deciding how to change existing teaching approaches will be offered.

The Quest for Neuronal Identity: A Journey Unveiled 

Speaker: Dr. Paolo Forni, University at Albany, State University of New York 
October 18, 2023

The nose constantly senses the environment, and specialized olfactory and chemosensory systems have evolved allowing different species to decipher their specific living environments. The olfactory sensory epithelia enables organisms to detect molecules in their environment and transmits signals to the brain, but how does it recognize such a wide spectrum of stimuli? The answer lies in neuronal composition and molecular diversity.

Dr. Forni seeks to discover the mechanisms that drive the establishment and maintenance of neuronal identity during the formation and regeneration of olfactory epithelia and to understand the pathogenesis of human pathologies.

Grasping at primate touch: Integrating genetics, anatomy, histology, and ecology

Speaker: Dr. Carrie Veilleux, Midwestern University
September 13, 2023

Dr. Carrie Veilleux is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy, Midwestern University, in Glendale, Arizona. She is a molecular and sensory ecologist, primatologist, and anatomist. Her lab uses a combination of molecular genomic, behavioral ecology, psychophysics, and anatomical methods to investigate interspecific and intraspecific variation in mammal sensory systems, with a particular focus on primates. The origin and evolution of primates is associated with shifts in two sensory modalities: vision and manual touch. Manual touch, especially precision touch (the ability to detect object shape, texture, vibration, movement), plays a key role in all aspects of primate daily life. This presentation will cover Dr. Veilleux’s recent research on the relationships between genetic, histological, morphometric, and behavioral metrics of precision touch. 

Altmetrics: Potential and Pitfalls for Anatomists

Speakers: Drs. Kirsten Brown and Jessica Byram
June 7, 2023

Join Drs. Jessica Byram and Kirsten Brown as they share the results of their recent collaboration examining the role of altmetrics, or alternative metrics, in academia. They will provide an introduction to altmetrics, which are a relatively new way to track engagement and activity related to scholarly works. Altmetrics will be compared to traditional metrics while discussing the strengths and limitations of both sources of research influence and impact. While much of the research in altmetrics focuses on evaluating the relationship between research outputs and academic impact, the value and use of altmetrics remain nebulous and inconsistent. This webinar will discuss how journal publishers may be one potential source of this confusion through inconsistencies in definitions and sources for computing altmetrics values. The webinar will conclude with recommendations for how faculty as potential end-users of altmetrics. By the end of this webinar, participants will have an understanding of what altmetrics are, how they differ from traditional metrics, and how they can be used by faculty as end-users to promote scholarly works. 

Collective Cell Migration: Patterning the Face and Peripheral Nervous System with Unique Roles in Cancer Invasion

Speaker: Dr. Paul Kulesa
May 3, 2023

Dr. Paul Kulesa seeks to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern cell migration during development and in cancer. The migratory and other behavioral properties of neural crest cells and their similarity to cancer cells, demonstrates how developmental programs are co-opted or hijacked during tumor formation and cancer metastasis. This is particularly true for neural crest cell derived cancers such as neuroblastoma and melanoma. The Kulesa lab combines computational modeling, imaging, and experimental biology to better understand how neural crest cells move from one place to another in the embryo, with the long-term goal of deciphering the mechanistic origins and pathogenesis of birth defects and neural crest derived cancers.

From Anatomy to Immunity in the Gastrointestinal System

Speaker: Dr. Alfredo B. Menendez
April 12, 2023

Dr. Alfredo B. Menendez is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Dr. Menendez recently served as the Guest Editor of an upcoming Special Issue in The Anatomical Record on the gastrointestinal (GI) system. His lab researches gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary immunology, microbiology, and endocrinology. Specifically, Dr. Menendez studies the molecular mechanisms of gut-liver communication in the homeostasis and immunity of the enterohepatic system, with an emphasis on the role of commensal and pathogenic bacteria in these fundamental processes. This presentation will cover both the exciting state of the field in GI research and Dr. Menendez’s own recent studies.

The changing perspectives of ethics in the anatomical sciences: Public dissection and other contemporary challenges

Speaker: Emeritus Professor Beverley Kramer
March 1, 2023

Professor Kramer discusses the controversial topic of public dissection and its impact on the ethics of body donation programs. Drawing on recent events and international ethical frameworks, she will argue that public dissection violates the principles of consent and compromises community trust in these programs. This thought-provoking lecture examines the implications of ethical breaches such as this and other contemporary challenges and propose potential solutions for upholding the dignity of body donors and advancing the field of anatomy.

Unravelling the molecular and cell biology of limb and spinal cord regeneration and the evolution of regeneration

Speaker: Dr. Elly Tanaka
February 1, 2023

Dr. Elly Tanaka seeks to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying salamander limb and spinal cord regeneration as a model for how successful regeneration occurs in vertebrates. In addition to being exceptional models for studying regeneration, salamanders are also historically important models for understanding developmental processes. Salamanders therefore act as a starting point to rigorously investigate how mammals such as mice have lost regeneration capabilities during evolution, and they provide a springboard to design novel strategies for regenerating or replacing mammalian tissues. With these goals in mind the Tanaka laboratory has engineered three-dimensional spinal cord tissue and retinal pigment epithelia from embryonic stem cells.

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases: From neuropathology to connectomic 

Speaker: Dr. Alino Martínez-Marcos
December 1, 2022

 Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are the two most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases. The etiology of both diseases are quite different, but both are proteinopathies. The staging of both proteinopathies could be explained based on the prion-like hypothesis. In this talk, Dr. Martínez-Marcos will try to explain how neuropathological stating could be explained based on prion-like hypothesis and connectomics. Classic neuroanatomy will be faced to new -omic approaches.

How Head Structures Diversify: Investigating Skull and Brain Evolution Using High-Density Shape Analysis 

Speaker: Dr. Akinobu “Aki” Watanabe, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
November 8, 2022

The talk features his research on the evolution of distinct cranial architectures in squamate reptiles, origins of highly encephalized brains in birds, and a potential new model system for how unique head structures evolve. 

Making and Breaking CNS Barriers: Meninges Arachnoid Barrier in Development and Disease

Speaker: Dr. Julie Siegenthaler, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Anshutz Medical Campus
October 6, 2022

The Siegenthaler laboratory studies the interplay between the central nervous system (CNS) and its vital support structures, the meninges and the brain vasculature. The meninges surround the brain and spinal cord providing a protective covering. However, the meninges are also an important source of developmental cues that regulate neuronal migration, cell positioning and neurogenesis. CNS disease and injury are frequently accompanied by breakdown of the meninges and vascular instability, and recently the Siegenthaler laboratory generated a single cell transcriptome atlas of the embryonic mouse meninges. This together with ongoing work has opened the door to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying vascular and meningeal barrier instability in disease, specifically ischemic stroke, viral encephalitis and bacterial meningitis. 

The Age of Crocodilians and Their Kin: Anatomy, Physiology, and Evolution

Speakers: Drs. Casey Holliday and Emma Schachner
September 8, 2022

Casey Holliday is an Associate Professor in Integrative Anatomy in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Emma R. Schachner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Drs. Holliday and Schachner are co-Guest Editors of an upcoming volume of The Anatomical Record on crocodyliform evolution, functional morphology, and paleobiology. The presentation will focus on recent advances in the biology and paleontology of this fascinating lineage of vertebrates. The presenters will discuss how researchers bring crocodylians and their extinct ancestors to life using a variety of approaches including fieldwork, imaging, 3D modeling, developmental biology, physiological monitoring, dissection, and a host of other comparative methods.

Shape Evolution during ecological transitions in Turtles

Speaker: Dr. Serjoscha Evers, SNSF Ambizione Fellow at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland
May 5, 2022

In this talk, Serjoscha will present aspects from his work on flipper evolution, the ecomorphology of the labyrinth organ, and cranial shape changes associated with diet.

Vagus, The "Wanderer" - Everywhere? A brief overview on established and unlikely targets

Speaker: Dr. Winfried Neuhuber, Professor, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Germany
March 3, 2022

Winfried Neuhuber is FAU Senior Professor of Anatomy in the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen Nürnberg (Germany). His research focus is on the functional anatomy of the autonomic nervous system, in particular innervation of the gastrointestinal tract using neuronal tract tracing and immunohistochemistry. In this talk, he will present some examples of organs which are targeted by both efferent and afferent vagal neurons. In contrast, he will discuss older and more recent claims of vagal innervation which most likely resulted from tracing artifacts or other misconceptions.

Growth Factor Signaling Pathway Regulation of Skeletal Growth and Adult Bone Homeostasis

Speaker: David Ornitz, MD, Ph.D., Alumni Endowed Professor Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis 
February 3, 2022

David Ornitz is an Alumni Endowed Professor in the Department of Developmental Biology at Washington University School of Medicine. His research uses molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to study mesodermal and epithelial patterning, organogenesis, tissue homeostasis, and response to injury. 

The Ornitz lab has a particular interest in the function of Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) signaling pathways in endochondral bone development, postnatal bone growth, and bone homeostasis. In this talk he will explore the role of an FGF receptor (FGFR) signaling center that is located in a unique perichondrial cell population that functions to regulate the activity of the adjacent growth plate. 

He will then discuss studies that explore a novel role for FGFR signaling in the maintenance of osteocyte viability and skeletal homeostasis in adult mice.

How to Build a Dog

Speaker: Elaine A. Ostrander, Ph.D., National Human Genome Research Institute
September 23, 2021

The Ostrander laboratory is interested in understanding the genomic factors which control the enormous amount of morphologic, disease susceptibility and behavioral variation observed in canines across the world. She has studied canine evolution, genome structure and breed formation, producing a clear understanding of how most individual breeds developed. Her most recent focus has been on morphology and evolution, as she seeks to understands the genetic underpinning of morphologic variation of canids, past and present, throughout the world.

Cardiovascular Development and Predisposition to Adult Heart Disease

Speaker: H. Joe Yost, Ph.D., University of Utah
August 31, 2021

The Yost laboratory seeks to understand the gene regulatory networks and developmental mechanisms that define the identity and position of cells in vertebrate embryos and to utilize this knowledge for the advancement of human medicine. This requires integration of model organism genetics with the discovery of novel disease-causing mutations in human genomes, and the Yost laboratory is recognized as a leader in understanding vertebrate left-right development and its contributions to complex congenital heart defects, which affect approximately thirty-five thousand births per year in the US.

RNA regulation in pancreatic islet development and function

Speaker: Dr. Lori Sussel, University of Colorado
May 27, 2021

The pancreas is a flat elongated pear shaped organ positioned behind the stomach. It is part of the digestive system and endocrine system of vertebrates. The pancreas synthesizes pancreatic juices, which contain enzymes that aid in digestion, and it produces several hormones, including insulin which regulates blood sugar levels. But what controls pancreas development and function? To date, only a handful of regulatory have been thoroughly characterized and many of the molecular pathways that specify islet cell differentiation and function are poorly understood.

Discovering How Muscle Develops, Regenerates, and Evolves

Speaker: Gabrielle Kardon, Ph.D., University of Utah
March 25, 2021

How does muscle develop, regenerate, maintain, age, and evolve? These are the questions that drive our research. We focus on muscle stem cells because they are the source of all muscle. We focus on the muscle connective tissue because it provides the niche for muscle stem cells and is critical for muscle form and function. We study how interactions between muscle stem cells and the connective tissue orchestrate development of limb muscles and the diaphragm, regulate muscle regeneration and aging, are the source of birth defects and fibrosis, and shape evolution of the musculoskeletal system. 

The Difficulty in Reconciling Dogma with Data

Speaker: Ralph Marcucio, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
February 25, 2021

Sometimes the data that are generated by experiments are very far from what is anticipated. As part of a translational project using cartilage to heal large bone defects, we discovered that chondrocytes transform into osteoblasts. This outcome contradicts more than 100 years of dogma that apoptosis is the terminal fate of chondrocytes, and has led to a discovery of new mechanisms of bone regeneration.