By Jenny Gregory

CLEVELAND, Ga. – This fall, the Pilgram Marpeck School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at Truett McConnell University (TMU) will implement the institution’s first innovative imagining tool–Anatomage, an interactive virtual anatomy dissection table.

To date, the Anatomage Table is the most technologically advanced anatomy visualization system for anatomy education and has been featured in the TEDTalks Conference, PBS, Fuji TV, and numerous other journals for its state-of-the-art approach to anatomy presentation.

“So much of anatomy is based on experience, relationships, and repetitive inquiry,” said Dr. Robert S. Bowen, Dean of STEM and Associate Professor of Physiology.

“Like a real cadaver,” Bowen added, “the detail is a much finer resolution than what can be achieved with plastic models. The table also provides an interactive environment and a hands-on experience with both human and animal study.”

With a price tag of over $71,000, the new technology was fully funded with grant money from the Hearst Foundation, the Carolyn Ragan and King Charitable Foundation, and the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation, all of which aim to enhance and expand the training capabilities and learning experience for students at TMU.

Discovering new possibilities

The table, which depicts multi-layered scans of the male and female anatomy, allows the student to perform dissections on different parts of the body with the ability to re-do portions of the process orundo any errors made during that dissection process. “Fixing errors will allow our students to effectively learn from their failures and improve their understanding on human and animal anatomy,” said Bowen.

According to the Dean, the table will be used in many different classes to support the school’s biology and exercise science programs. “Both programs require extensive knowledge of anatomy and the table will be a nice addition to our instrumentation and training resources,” he said.

Recently, some of the senior biology students had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the many features the digital cadaver has to offer.

Elise Lombard, senior Biology major, stated, “Using the table provides you with a hands-on learning experience. You can only see and learn so much through a lecture. Being able to manipulate a [digital] cadaver allows a greater understanding of the anatomy and function of the human body.

“There are many different paths that a biology student can take,” Lombard said, “and this table allows you to customize and personalize your learning experience for your individual goal.

“Up until the addition of the table,” added Bowen, “anatomy education was a significant weakness for both the exercise science and biology programs.  The table has made strides to correct that deficiency, however, it is already apparent that the table is going to be in high demand and additional tables would serve our programs well, helping to create a competitive edge for science and health education at TMU.”

The new virtual addition synchronizes education with technology, providing a hands-on classroom experience for the student.

“As we look to the future,” says Bowen, “we believe that the Pilgram Marpeck School of STEM is a phenomenal place to be educated in biology, exercise science, and health.”

“The Anatomage Table is just another example of the technology that God is blessing TMU with and will coalesce well with the other equipment and resources that are available to train the next generation of scientists and practitioners.”


Jenny Gregory is the Digital Content Specialist for Truett McConnell University.

photo/Jenny Gregory

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