“StudentBody:” MRI-Augmented Anatomical Learning

Amanda Pennings, Eric Snively, Ryan Emmert, Lauren Hartsell, Tyler McKenzie, Kelcey Nees, Kaylin Ray, F. LeFleur, W. Kyle Simmons

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Introduction/Objectives: Active hands-on learning leads to superior acquisition and retention of complex information. We developed the “StudentBody” program at the OSU College Of Osteopathic Medicine (OSU COM) with the objective of facilitating active learning via student-initiated research experiences involving medical imaging (such as MRI, 3D digital reconstruction, and 3D printing) to develop tools for the broader education of their peers, future colleagues, and patients.

Methods: Curiosity-driven, self-motivated exploration for students can bridge basic sciences and clinical learning with projects that they devise and create for the classroom and themselves. In two sessions per year, health professions students scan themselves at the OSU Biomedical Imaging Center using state-of-the-art MRI resources. Subjects and partnering students complete each project at the OSU COM CT Imaging Lab. Students develop their own research projects to investigate aspects of anatomy they are passionate about, while supported by a doctoral student in Anatomy.

Results: Through these activities, students scan their own body for the education of the entire student body. With student consent, the scans and derived products are then securely stored and indexed for future research and educational explorations. Ongoing projects include:

- Student Drs. Lauren Hartsel, Tyler Mckenzie, and Kelcey Nees developed their own project entitled “3D carpal joint spacing from MRI in subjects with and without Childhood Onset Autoimmune Disorder.” Further control and affected students are joining this project to increase the study size and carry the project long past its origin.

- Student Dr. Ryan Emmert’s results from “Subject-produced model of the visual system from MRI head + neck scan” are undergoing 3D-printing for use as an educational enhancement for the Nervous System course in 2024.

- Student Dr. Kaylin Ray fulfilled her research rotation with “Musculoskeletal model of a subject’s lower limb derived from MRI.” This project inspired new method development to reconstruct muscles using standard MRI without contrast. The method has catalyzed further research into dynamics and bone response in female athletes, and equine limb stress during extreme exercise.

Conclusions: Involved student doctors are exposed to the process of research, particularly in medical imaging. This immersion will augment their critical evaluations of essential new research in their fields. As this project grows, we will quantify the relative retention of anatomical knowledge between students involved in “StudentBody” and a control group of nonparticipating students with similar initial scores from their first-year gross anatomy and neuroanatomy courses. Furthermore, we will evaluate the level of value these scans and derived 3D models add as educational aids for future classes of health professions students.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 16 Feb 2024
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2024
- Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 13 Feb 202417 Feb 2024


Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Week 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • medical imaging
  • anatomical learning
  • 3D models


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