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1980, B.A. University of Chicago
· Retinal development (1991-2000)
This work focused on two questions.
How do growing retinal axons navigate from the eye to the brain? These studies used the ocular retardation (orJ) mutant mouse as an animal model since optic nerves fail to develop and the brain of these animals is essentially naïve vis-à-vis the ingrowth of retinal axons. We took advantage of this and transplanted embryonic retina into the brain of a newborn orJ mutant mouse to study how growing retinal axons responded in vivo to different environments. We determined that cues used by retinal axons as they navigate through the brain come from at least two sources: one set of local cues presented along the substrate pathway, and another set of long range cues that appeared to emanate from their primary brainstem target.
How does the chx10 transcription factor affect retinal development? One important line of investigation in my lab that resulted from our work with the orJ mouse was to define the cellular phenotype of the mutant retina. In a detailed immunohistochemical study of the early developing orJ retina, my graduate student, Meiying Liang demonstrated both a profound defect in the ability of ganglion cell axons within the eye to find their way to the optic nerve, as well as dramatic effects on retinal progenitor proliferation and bipolar cell specification and/or differentiation. At the same time, we had noted that both the orJ gene locus and the chx10 transcription factor (expressed in early retinal development) mapped to a similar region of mouse chromosome 12. This led to a collaboration in 1994 with Drs. Margit Burmeister (The University of Michigan) and Rod McInnes (Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto). As a result, we determined that a null allele of the chx10 transcription factor gene was responsible for the ocular retardation mutation and led to an understanding that chx10 is an essential transcription factor for retinal development (Nature Genetics 12:376-384, 1996).
Further studies in my lab by another graduate student, Cynthia Bone-Larson, led to the
demonstration that the genetic background could significantly modify the chx10-null/orJ phenotype (J Neurobiol
42:232-247, 2000). It is well known that single-gene mutations must reside in a permissive genetic background for a
disease phenotype to manifest and the chx10 mutation presented a striking example of this in eye development.
Translational Work in Education: Classroom ® Product ® Classroom. In 1997, my colleagues – Drs. Dennis Morse and Bennett-Clarke (Department of Neurosciences) and Roy Schneider (Center for Creative Instruction) – and I developed an idea for new educational technology to help students learn human anatomy in the highly compressed, modern medical curriculum. Working with staff in the Center for Creative Instruction (CCI), we produced Anatomy Revealed. Anatomy Revealed uses a multidisciplinary approach in a multimedia, interactive environment to provide a virtual human anatomy dissection and correlates of its clinical relevance. This included radiological images and videos of real patients explaining important clinical conditions. Between 1999 and 2004, we produced four CD-ROMs that explored the anatomy of the head.
In 2003, McGraw-Hill Publishers approached us to develop an undergraduate version of Anatomy Revealed;
this became Anatomy and Physiology Revealed (APR) (http://www.mhhe.com/biosci2/anatomyrevealed/).
In 2006, we completed APR version 1.0 and version 2.0 was released in July 2007. APR presents an
interactive cadaver dissection experience using a novel layering technique that allows the student to “peel away”
layers of the human body to reveal structures beneath the surface. APR also offers animations, histologic and
radiologic imaging, audio pronunciations, and a comprehensive quizzing tool. It is currently available as a CD-ROM or
as an online resource. Version 3.0 is currently in production.
One important outcome of my work in educational technology has been the development of new studies to assess the effectiveness of new educational technology and teaching strategies, and how understanding these approaches can help shape new curricula. My ongoing educational research projects explore aspects of learning in the anatomical sciences. Recently, I have initiated a research to develop and assess a curriculum for health care professional students that will provide background and experience in basic teaching skills that can improve patient education.
In 2005, my colleagues and I received a grant from the National Science Foundation for an exploratory study to determine how to best use technology in anatomy and physiology (A&P). An important aspect of this work is that it established a collaboration between the University of Toledo (then the Medical College of Ohio) and three undergraduate institutions – Owens Community College, University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University (an historically black college/university).
In this study, we examined the effectiveness of short animations for learning in undergraduate A&P. We developed and evaluated a series of learning modules that covered the anatomy and function of the eye and were delivered in an online environment called Human Anatomy and Physiology Interactive Network, or HAPIN (figure at right).
Our pilot studies assessed the impact of HAPIN on student learning using pre- and post-tests and academic and demographic surveys as assessment tools. Three groups were involved:
Group 1 (no intervention): received traditional lectures and no access to HAPIN
Group 2: received traditional lectures but had access to HAPIN for self-study only
Group 3: received lectures that were augmented by HAPIN animations and had access to HAPIN for self-study.
Results of preliminary study: Whereas Groups 1 and 2 showed a modest improvement in post-test scores (9 and 17% improvement, respectively), Group 3 showed significantly greater improvement (36%) in post-test score (p=0.005). Our conclusion is that using short animations to augment lecture contributes to improved learning in undergraduate A&P.
These studies are significant in two ways. First, they provide a straightforward assessment of the effect of using technology in a lecture setting. To our knowledge, this is one of the few demonstrations of a clear, positive effect of educational technology on student learning. Second, this work provides data that will form the basis for a Phase II NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement grant that we are planning to submit January 10, 2008. A significant addition to the group of collaborators on this project is Dr. Rebecca Schneider (Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the University of Toledo College of Education). Dr. Schneider will provide greatly needed expertise in the field of education that will allow us to develop rigorous assessments of curriculum and teaching practice in anatomy and physiology
|Teaching Interest :|
I have been teaching in the anatomical sciences since 1983. I am currently involved in teaching human anatomy and embryology two major courses:
· Human Structure and Development (ANAT679) – College of Medicine
· Anatomy for Physician Assistants (ANAT500) – College of Health Science and Human Service (Course Director since 2006)
I also give lectures on the visual system in Pathophysiology I (BMSP 631) – Neurosciences and Neurological Disorders in the College of Graduate Studies.