About the Department of Integrative Anatomical Sciences

About Integrative Anatomical Sciences

Our faculty investigates a broad range of research questions, from the flight mechanics of pterosaurs to blood pressure regulation in the kidney. We also have a prominent role in basic science education for Year 1–2 medical students.

Our department pursues research in functional morphology and animal physiology. Functional morphology arises from the tradition of comparative vertebrate anatomy. Current research aims to understand how organisms move and emphasizes the study of bone structure, muscular activity and high-resolution kinematic analysis. We have established our department as a major center for research in studying the evolution of locomotion from dinosaurs to early hominids. Other departmental faculty pursue research on animal physiology, including studies of renal physiology, behavioral neuroendocrinology, corneal function and neural response to injury.

IAS continues to play a critical role in basic science medical teaching at the Keck School of Medicine. We are responsible for the core anatomical disciplines: gross anatomy, histology and neuroanatomy, and we participate in teaching pharmacology and physiology. Several IAS faculty have assumed teaching leadership roles as discipline coordinators and system chairs.

Our mission


To provide excellence in education and research in fundamental biological processes across a broad spectrum of structural scales to enhance our understanding of human health, behavior and origins.

Facts & figures

  • There are 14 primary and 12 secondary faculty members
  • The department represents broad interests in biomedical and paleontology research
  • Courses and training offered at the MS level
  • Department faculty direct and participate in preclinical courses for medical students that account for almost one third of didactic teaching during the first two years of medical school