In the last several years, the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science has experienced and continues to undergo renewal and transformation, much like a metamorphosis. Traditional anatomy teaching and research still has its rightful place as Anatomy is a central foundation of all health-related disciplines. The Anatomy faculty members are cognisant of the important fact that teaching and research create a well balanced identity for Anatomy. The recruitment of four new Anatomy faculty members in the last 4 years has brought new expertise and novel ideas. I am proud to chair this department of dedicated faculty, highly talented students including postdocs and staff members who make this place a vibrant experience.
Research is an essential element in the department’s activities and we have seen major successes over the past years. Currently, we have Anatomy members receiving funding from all major national funding agencies and sit on CIHR grant committees. Anatomy is an integral part of all major research activities at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and researchers at Anatomy lead productive translational research initiatives. Most importantly, Anatomy faculty think “Science” and are engaged in research activities, whether in the:
• regenerative medicine,
• neurobiology or
• clinical anatomy field.
Renovations and new imaging equipments have created an ideal environment for research at the department and cutting edge nano-imaging technology will allow us to do what Anatomists have been trained to do best: understand and dissect structure-function relationships. We can now introduce intricate dynamic structural relationships at the molecular level. My idea is that of a seamless imaging platform that incorporates highly sophisticated:
• electron microscopy
• fluorescent nano-imaging microscopy
• multicolor 3-dimensional imaging of biological structures
With the expertise and foundation already in place, I am optimistic that we will succeed by adding new and cutting edge laser scanning and electron microscopy equipment unique to Manitoba, which will transform this endeavor.
Our commitment to excellence in teaching includes a synergy between traditional and modern approaches. These include:
• clinical and sectional anatomy
• self-directed learning tools
• tailored anatomy modules for specific interest groups
I am proud that we have clinical colleagues who participate in anatomy teaching and provide an essential role in portraying anatomy as essential knowledge base in clinical practise. I thrive to integrate the anatomy in clinical case based simulation and skills labs to bridge the gap between Anatomy as a basic science discipline and the clinical application of this essential knowledge. Existing top notch simulation and skills labs at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences provide the basis and potential for an enigmatic synergy.
My vision is that of an Anatomy learning experience integrated at all levels in the curriculum, providing students with continued and incremental knowledge support and a gratifying experience. Educating medical health professionals in an integrative learning environment will morph to further improve how we teach Anatomy.