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Learning Morphology, Virtually Naturally

This project will promote student success and transform lives by creating interdisciplinary and deeply engaging learning opportunities for students of the anatomical sciences, especially students who will train in medicine, nursing, physical therapy, dentistry, embryology, human gross anatomy, histology, veterinary anatomy, and functional morphology, but also art, architecture, and engineering. We propose to develop an integrated curriculum and software tools, in the Unity language, to project 3D anatomical data into an immersive environment, to be studied using augmented and/or virtual reality. We will empower students to comprehend the topography of the inner body as naturally as walking through a home. Tools will include the capacity to modify transfer functions, create regions of interest, make measurements, crop structures, record coordinates, overlay stacks of data, etc., as well as use a multiplayer capacity where teams are in the same virtual space interacting with the data, while talking with each other, regardless of where the members are physically located. For example, an instructor could be on campus while students could engage from anywhere in the world. Our software will handle any 3D data (ultrasound, SEM, optical tomography, CT, MRI). Thus, the project will build a foundation that will progress other U of U strategic goals, including increasing access to the U through online learning and expanding outreach and engagement.


College of Science
School of Biological Sciences
Project Owner

School of Dentistry
School of Dentistry

School of Medicine
Neurobiology & Anatomy

Project Info

Funded Project Amount

Virtual reality in medicine, augmented reality, student engagement, active learning, distance learning, health sciences education, anatomical sciences, functional morphology

Project Status
Funded 2020
Last Updated: 1/23/20