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VR Imaging Expands Pathology Lab Possibilities
Tue, 2012-04-10 13:51 — gforger
For the first time in the Spring 2012 semester, Virtual Reality (VR) imaging is being used to illustrate the effects of diseases on organs in the class Pathology 515 with Dr. Mark Nelson and Dr. Margaret Briehl.
Pathology 515 is a four unit, graduate-level course providing students with the necessary foundation to incorporate investigative pathology into research programs relevant to human disease. The objective of this course is to provide graduate-level instruction in Pathobiology: the study of biochemical, structural and functional changes in cells, tissues and organs, which cause or are caused by diseases.
Gary Mackender of the OIA, VR Annex has worked with Dr. Nelson and Dr. Briehl to 3D-image a group of organs that can be used to educate students on a variety of disease processes.
Students meet once a week in a computer lab located in the Health Sciences Center at the UA and conduct discussion on the diseases. The VR images, along with slides that illustrate the organs at the cellular level, allow students to manipulate the organs onscreen and point out various aspects of diseases and their effects on organs.
Dr. Nelson and Path 515 Students
Healthy specimens can be compared to diseased organs, the VR images can be manipulated and students can zoom in and out on specimens to illustrate points of comparison.
The benefit of using the imaging to illustrate the processes? “Ten years ago this kind of lab would have used actual specimens and slides with microscopes to conduct this kind of lab. That is very expensive and limits student’s time to examine specimens,” according to Dr. Nelson.
Another benefit of the three dimensional imaging of pathologic specimens is that it will allow us to expand our teaching capabilities to a broad audience (i.e. from high school to post-graduate education students).
You can access a set of the VR images from the pathology collection at http://vr.arizona.edu/vrs/pathology.html
For more information on Pathology 515 you can contact Dr. Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the VR Annex of the OIA contact Gary Mackender at email@example.com