The department of Biological Structure is a modern anatomy department which studies structural organization ranging from molecules to the human body. The faculty's scholarly interests can be roughly divided into four groups: cell and developmental biology; neural circuits in retina and brain; three-dimensional structure of biologically-relevant molecules studied by X-ray crystallography; and computer graphics and informatics. The research activity in the department is funded by NIH and NSF grants, private foundation grants, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USDA and a contract from the National Library of Medicine. Most faculty members interact with other faculty, residents and students within Biological Structure as well as with groups in other departments throughout the University. This creates a stimulating atmosphere which encourages innovative anatomical research with basic and clinical implications.
Biological Structure teaches gross anatomy, histology and neuroanatomy to medical, dental, graduate, undergraduate and some health-care professional students. Many of the research groups are actively engaged in the development of computer-based learning programs and methods to further enhance and enlarge our teaching mission.