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Structural Anatomy

Rustin E. Reeves, PhD, Graduate Advisor
Research and Education Building 202
Phone: 817-735-2050
E-mail: Rustin.Reeves@unthsc.edu

Graduate Faculty:  Cammarata, Guttman, Kirchhoff, Lovely, ReevesWordinger, Rosales

Adjunct Graduate Faculty:  Ashenbrenner

The Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy has a primary mission to provide instruction in cell biology and the anatomical sciences; to develop and maintain research programs; and to participate in the service endeavors of the institution and profession. Structural Anatomy will focus on anatomy-based research projects using advanced experimental, computational, and clinical tools to study clinical structural anatomy, orthopedic biomechanics and surgery, tissue engineering, and/or educational components of anatomical studies. The major impetus of the research in the discipline will consist of but not be limited to: (1) the analysis, design, and/or development of orthopedic surgical techniques, instruments, and devices used in orthopedic surgery or practice, and (2) biomechanics, including the study of the structure, function, evolution/adaptive significance, and mechanical behavior of soft and hard tissues. Graduate students in the program can develop research projects in other areas, such as clinical anatomy, skeletal biology, and anatomy education tools and techniques. The human anatomy facility at UNT Health Science Center is a state-of-the-art facility that uses advanced educational techniques and computer technology to teach and train medical and graduate students in the anatomical sciences. In support of the various research programs, the department maintains a microscopy core facility for tissue culture and molecular biology. The department faculty and staff occupy over 8,000 square feet of research space. The department is home to the Biomedical Skills, Research and Educational Laboratory (BSREL) that involves faculty from various basic science disciplines, as well as professionals in industry and private clinical practice.

Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination within the Structural Anatomy discipline must be successfully completed prior to concluding 72 semester credit hours (SCH). The main goal of the examination is to ensure that each doctoral student has a broad knowledge base in biomedical sciences and has mastered the fundamental principles of anatomy and cell biology in order to be a successful doctoral candidate and an independent researcher. The qualifying examination consists of written and oral phases. The examination will be directed towards the didactic course work of the student, with an emphasis on the anatomical sciences and biomechanics. Basic knowledge and understanding of general research techniques in anatomy, cell biology, and molecular biology will be included. The initial phase of the qualifying examination consists of a set of written questions administered by a qualifying examination committee (QEC) composed of faculty members of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. Within four weeks of taking the written examination, the chair of the QEC will schedule the oral examination. The oral examination will consist of questions that further explore the student's answers in the written phase, as well as questions on additional topics in anatomy and cell biology as deemed appropriate by the QEC. The university member must be in attendance for the oral phase of the examination. The qualifying examination will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Successful completion of the qualifying examination must be accomplished before the student can register for Grant Writing (BMSC 6310). Two attempts to pass the qualifying examination will be allowed. Failure to pass the qualifying examination after 2 attempts will result in dismissal from the doctoral program. In this case, a student may be allowed to complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree.

Grant Writing (BMSC 6310)

After passing the qualifying examination, but prior to the completion of 84 SCH, the student must register for Grant Writing (BMSC 6310). This stage of the advancement to doctoral candidacy evaluates a student's aptitude for independent thought and scientific writing. The student is required to demonstrate competence in the area of research chosen for the dissertation or a related topic as evidenced by (a) writing an NIH R21 grant application, (b) presenting the grant proposal in a public seminar and (c) orally defending the grant proposal before his/her doctoral advisory committee. The proposal should be based on an original hypothesis and should describe specific experimental approaches to address the hypothesis. The graduate advisor will appoint a member of the student's advisory committee to coordinate the process. The student will meet with the advisory committee at least two times during the semester to review drafts of the proposal. The final written proposal must be typed in the appropriate format and presented to the advisory committee at least two weeks prior to the public seminar and oral defense. The grant proposal and the student's oral presentation and defense will be evaluated on the basis of originality and ability to synthesize and communicate the proposal content. The student's university member must be present for the public seminar and oral defense of the proposal. Upon successful completion of Grant Writing (BMSC 6310), the student is advanced to doctoral candidacy. Two attempts to successfully complete Grant Writing (BMSC 6310) will be allowed. Failure to pass Grant Writing (BMSC 6310) will result in dismissal from the doctoral program. In this case, a student may be allowed to complete the requirements for a traditional Master of Science degree within the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy.

This page last modified January 31, 2013

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