Pathology & Anatomy
The mission of the Department of Pathology and Anatomy is the advancement of knowledge of both normal and pathological structures and processes in human biology. Essential current information is taught to medical, physician assistant, and graduate students in courses on gross anatomy, histology, neuroscience, and pathology. Teaching methods include traditional didactic lectures and laboratories as well as increasing use of computer-based methods.
Our faculty, staff, and students also endeavor to uncover new knowledge through experimentation. Major areas of investigation in our department are aimed at understanding the structures and mechanisms that determine neurological function and response to injury. There are also investigations aimed at identification of new viruses and in understanding the mechanisms through which some viruses cause disease. Other investigations focus on developmental biology using lower species such as jellyfish to gain information about biological processes that are essential to the entire animal kingdom. Questions are also asked through experimentation about the basic mechanism cells use to control scar tissue formation in the kidney and the heart.
Finally, the department assists physicians to gain knowledge about their patients' health problems. There are two major diagnostic laboratories in the department. One uses the newest molecular methods to identify and/or quantify infectious agents and genetic diseases. The other laboratory uses light, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy to characterize diseases that cause loss of kidney function.