Events & Announcements

Anatomy and Cell Biology Research Seminars Spring/Summer 2020

Feb 6th, 2020: Ross Hall 602 - (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr. Lisa Lee, Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Title: "TBA"
Host: Dr. Nicole DeVaul

Feb 27th, 2020: Ross Hall 402 - (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr. Shawn Je, Programme in Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders, Duke-NUS Medical School, Title: "Synapse, Circuits, and Brain Disorders”
Host: Dr. Sally A. Moody

Apr 2nd, 2020: Ross Hall 602 - (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr. Nicole Ward, Professor, Department of Nutrition, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Title: TBA
Host: Dr. Tatiana Efimova

Apr 10th, 2020: School of Media & Public Affairs Building, Room 310 - (4pm - 5pm) –
Dr. Clare V.H. Baker, Physiology, Development & Neuroscience (PDN) Cambridge
Title: TBA
Host: Dr. Sally A. Moody





September 7, 2020 - Congratulationd to Dr. Kurt Johnson manuscript titled ""Analytic comparison of talc in commercially available baby powder and in pelvic tissues resected from ovarian carcinoma patients"  in Gynecologic Oncology.

August 19, 2020 - Congratulations to Dr. Tatina Efimova's manuscript titled "p38δ genetic ablation protects female mice from anthracycline cardiotoxicity," has been accepted for publication in AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology as a Research Article.

August 19, 2020 - Congratulations to Dr. Ahdeah Pajoohesh-Ganji's manuscript titled "Developmental ablation of mature oligodendrocytes exacerbates adult CNS demyelination" was published this month in Brain, Behavior, & Immunity-Health.

July 29, 2020 - Congratulations to Dr. Mary Ann Stepp for publishing these papers.

Tadvalkar G, Pal-Ghosh S, Pajoohesh-Ganji A, Stepp MA. 2020. The impact of euthanasia and enucleation on mouse corneal epithelial axon density and nerve terminal morphology. Submitted to:  Ocular Surface, in press.

Pal-Ghosh S, Tadvalkar G, Karpinski BA, Stepp MA.  2020. Diurnal control of sensory axon growth and shedding in the mouse cornea. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, in press.

Stepp MA, Pal-Ghosh S, Tadvalkar G, De Paiva C.  2020. Parity attenuates intraepithelial corneal sensory nerve loss in female mice. International Journal of Molecular Science. 21(5172):1-16.

Research paper published in collaboration with the Menko lab at Thomas Jefferson during pandemic:
DeDreu J, Bowen CJ, Logan CM, Pal-Ghosh S, Parlanti P, Stepp MA, Menko AS. 2020.  An immune response to the avascular lens following wounding of the cornea involves ciliary zonule fibrils. May 25. FASEB J.

Stepp Lab review or commentary papers published during the pandemic:
Stepp MA, Pal-Ghosh S, Downie LE, Zhang AC, Chinnery HR, Machet J, Di Girolamo N. 2020. Corneal Epithelial "Neuromas": A Case of Mistaken Identity?  July  Cornea.39:930-934.

McKay TB, Schlötzer-Schrehardt U, Pal-Ghosh S, Stepp MA.  2020. Integrin: Basement membrane adhesion by corneal epithelial and endothelial cells.  Experimental Eye Research,  e pub available July, 23.

July 9,2020 - Congratulations to Dr. Anne Chiaramello for being appointed to Deputy Chief Editor for Metabolic Brain Diseases.

June 23, 2020 - Congratulations to Dr. Anne Chiaramello and Dr. Martine Uittenbogaard for their review article -
"Maternally inherited mitochondrial respiratory disorders: from pathogenic principles to therapeutic implications" -being accepted for publication in Molecular Genetics and Metabolism.

May 22, 2020 - Dr. Anne Chiaramello's manuscript has been accepted for publication in Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports. The title of the study is: "Molecular genetic and mitochondrial metabolic analyses confirm the suspected mitochondrial etiology in a pediatric patient with an atypical form of alternating hemiplegia of childhood" by Andrea Gropman, Martine Uittenbogaard, Christine A Brantner, Yue Wang, Lee-Jun Wong, and Anne Chiaramello.



Accomplishments and Recognition to our undergradute, graduate and medical students

Sarah Ahsan, undergraduate in Moody lab: GWU Undergraduate Research Award
Julie Ah, Ph.D. student in Miller lab: NIH F31 individual fellowship from NINDS
Aparna Baxi, Ph.D. student in Moody lab: NIH F31 individual fellowship from NIDCD
Benjamin McSweeney, medical student in Shibata lab: Gill fellowship
Ryan Mortmon, GWU medical student with Virtual Reality/Anatomy project (Drs. Brown, DeVaul, DeVeau, Spencer, Taylor): Health Services Scholarship
Julie Thomasian, medical student in Stepp lab: Gill fellowship
Chapman Wei, Dermatology fellow in Efimova lab: LaRoche-Possay Foundation grant
Julie Weiner, GWU medical student in Efimova lab: Health Services Scholarship

Accomplishments and recognition to our Undergraduates, Graduates and Medical Student


Apr 21, 2020: Congradtulations to Dr. Kristen Brown for being awarded the Mortan A. Bender teaching award.

Apr 16, 2020: Congratulations to Dr. Anne Chiaramello for being appointed to the Reviewer Board of Antioxidants.

Apr 3, 2020: Congratulations to Chapman Wei,who receive a grant from The 2020 La Foundation La Roche-Posay to work on his research project at Dr. Tatiana Efimova’s laboratory, “Targeting p38 Isoforms in Human Cutaneous Metastatic Melanoma Invasion”.

Mar 13th, 2020: Congradulations to Dr. Inhee Chung for receiving a three year grant award from the National Science Foundation entitled: "Integrated optical imaging and machine-learning platforms for mapping 3D topology of nanoscale cellular structures"

Mar 4th, 2020: Congradulations to Dr. Anne Chiaramello for being selected to give a talk on the mitochondrial neurodevelopmental disease MELAS at the international annual meeting sponsored by the American Academy of Neurology on April 30, 2020 in Toronto.

Mar 4th, 2020: Congratulations to Dr. Kirsten Brown for being selected as the recipient of the 2020 Morton A. Bender Teaching Award. The Bender Teaching Award was established to recognize undergraduate, graduate and professional teaching at GW. It is endowed by Morton Bender and the George Washington University,

As the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs noted in his letter:
"Excellence in teaching is the cornerstone of every successful academic program. The university is proud to honor your work in the classroom. The award is well and truly deserved."

Mar 4th, 2020: Congratulations to the following faculty who will be representing the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology at this April's upcoming annual meeting for the American Association of Anatomists.

Kirsten Brown
Service: Nominating Committee and Educational Affairs Committee
  • How do medical students utilize Instagram to facilitate their anatomy learning during the preclinical years? (presenter)
  • Medical Faculty’s Perception of the Use of Altmetrics (presenter)
  • Analysis of the efficacy of various types of preparatory work for the gross anatomy laboratory
  • Evaluating the Use of 3D Printed Models in Graduate and Undergraduate Human Neuroanatomy Courses    

Kathryn DeVeau

Poster:  Evaluating the Use of 3D Printed Models in Graduate and Undergraduate Human Neuroanatomy Courses (presenter)   
Nicole DeVaul
Poster:  Analysis of the efficacy of various types of preparatory work for the gross anatomy laboratory (presenter)
Symposium Chair: Histology: What is it Good For?
Kurt Johnson
Poster: Analytical Comparison of talc in commercially available baby powder and in pelvic tissues resected from ovarian carcinoma patients
Marc Spencer
Service: Ambassador Committee
  • New Late Jurassic Dinosaur (Ornithischia) from China Sheds Light on the Early Evolution of the Ornithopod Skeleton (presenter)
  • Evaluating the Use of 3D Printed Models in Graduate and Undergraduate Human Neuroanatomy Courses  
Victor Taylor
Service: Committee for Early Career Anatomists

Mar 2nd, 2020: Congratulations to Dr. Anne Chiaramello for having her Minisymposium proposal titled "Mitochondrial neurodegenerative diseases: from pathogenic to therapeutic opportunities" accepted by the Society for Neuroscience as part of their 2020 international meeting.

Feb 24th, 2020: Congratulations to Dr.Tatiana Efimova who will co-chair a session "Epidermal Structure and Function" at the upcoming Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) annual meeting in May 2020. She also was selected by the SID Board of Directors to serve on their Diversity & Inclusion Committee. 

Nov 7th, 2019: Congratulations to Dr. Anne Chiaramello for being appointed to the Editorial Board of Metabolic Brain Disease.

Oct 7th, 2019: The inaugural Frank Slaby PA Award was given on October 7, 2019 at the Physician Assistant Week Reception and Awards Ceremony. Dr. Slaby was an outstanding educator for over 40 years at GWU School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences. He taught thousands of students including Physician Assistants. In honor of Dr. Slaby, this award was given to Maddie Schenk, a Gross Anatomy PA Student, who was nominated by her peers for being supportive and arranging anatomy review sessions. Ms. Schenk also encouraged her peers during Gross Anatomy Laboratory and performed in the top of her Anatomy class.

Oct 4 th, 2019: Congratulations to Dr. Anne Chiaramello for being awarded a grant from the Department of Defense titled "Exploring a novel therapeutic strategy to induce metabolic reprogramming for mitochondrial diseases". This  grant proposal focuses on the intractable rare mitochondrial disease, Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy associated with Multiple Sclerosis-like illness (LHON-MS). Current pharmacological approaches to curtail ATP deficit are ineffective and fail to abate mitochondrial pathology. The Chiaramello lab designed a novel two-pronged pharmacological approach to rescue the mitochondrial phenotype via concomitant epigenomic and metabolic reprogramming and generated a comprehensive biobank of patient-derived dermal fibroblasts.

August 20th, 2019: Congratulations to Dr. Kenna Peusner for recognition of her publication in JARO describing her "New Model for Congenital Vestibular Disorders".
Please see the news release on the ARO website:

August 1st, 2019: Dr. Anne Chiaramello and Dr. Martine Uittenbogaard received the notice of Issuance from the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office for their patent titled “Treatment for Mitochondrial Diseases”. Their invention was made with Government funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The embodiments of their invention relate to methods of treating patients affected with an inherited mitochondrial disease and methods of screening compounds that restore cellular mitochondrial activities. Currently, these mitochondrial diseases with an early childhood onset remain intractable. Thus, patients are treated with limited palliative options that fail to halt the fatal progression of these mitochondrial diseases, resulting in significant disability, poor prognosis and premature death. The Chiaramello laboratory aims at fully understanding the pathogenetic mechanisms of inherited mitochondrial diseases and at developing novel therapeutic avenues.

June 6th, 2019: Congratulations to Kirsten Brown and her colleagues for having one of the Top 20 Downloaded articles from Clinical Anatomy!
Wilson AB, Miller CH, Klein BA, Taylor MA, Goodwin M, Boyle EK, Brown K, Hoppe C, Lazarus M. (2018). A meta‐analysis of anatomy laboratory pedagogies Clin Anat. 31(1):122-133. doi: 10.1002/ca.22934. 

May 15, 2019: Dr. Marc Spencer & Dr. Cathy Forster were awarded a grant for  "Ornithischian Dinosaur Phylogeny and the Base of Ornithopoda."
The funded project will form the core of a larger collaborative study analyzing the systematics, evolution, functional morphology, and biogeographic history of an enigmatic group of herbivorous dinosaurs called ornithopods.

April 13, 2019: GW SMHS hosted Day in the Life of a Medical Student. Kerrie Lashley and junior gross anatomy faculty put together a program, along with a video, for the parents for our medical students.

GW Institute for Neuroscience 2019 Neuroscience Symposium – Wednesday April 24th, 2019
Marvin Center Grand Ballroom
800 21st St, NW, Washington DC contact:

Paper published:

Mary Ann Stepp, along with collaborators A. Sue Menko and Janice Walker from Thomas Jefferson University, recently published a paper in Anatomical Records titledFibrosis: Shared Lessons From the Lens and Cornea”.  The manuscript is open access and is available free on line now.  It highlights the importance of using multiple tissues and model organisms to better understand how fibrosis occurs and to allow us to develop new treatments to encourage regenerative repair and minimize fibrosis. 


Invited Presentations: Dr. Mary Ann Stepp

"Molecular basis for Mitomycin C enhanced corneal sensory nerve repair after debridement wounding"  UT Southwestern, Department of Ophthalmology, Dallas, TX January 24, 2019.

“The corneal epithelium and sensory nerve fiber maintenance: the cable business expands into new territory”, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL  February 8, 2019.

Congratulations to Dr. Tatiana Efimova and her team for their recent publication,  Cell Type-Specific p38δ Targeting Reveals a Context-, Stage-, and Sex-Dependent Regulation of Skin Carcinogenesis  in the International Journal of Molecular Science. as part of the Special Issue on "Molecular Aspects of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma"

Mar 22, 2019: Apprecation for Faculty - Golden Apple Awards given to Dr. Kristen Brown & Dr. Kathryn DeVeau.

Feb 25, 2019: Congratulation to our Anatomy MedEd teams for being the recipients of three of the SMHS Education Research Grants


The Impact of Case-based, Interactive, Self-study, Computer-assisted Instructional (CAI) Learning Module on the Ability of Medical Students to Apply Principles of Pathology and Pathophysiology to Clinical Liver Disease. Principal Investigator: Patricia Latham, MD, EdD, Departments of Pathology and of Medicine. Research Team: Tracy Blanchard, MEd and Rosalyn Jurus, MD, PhD.

                           Using Three Dimensional Printed Models in Embryology Education. Principal Investigator: Victor Taylor II, PhD, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Research Team: Janine Ziermann, PhD and Rosalyn Jurjus, MD, PhD.

                           Virtual Reality to Enhance Gross Anatomy Education in Graduate and Medical Student Programs. Principal Investigator: Jonathan Sherman, MD, FAANS, FACS, Department of Neurosurgery. Research Team: Kirsten Brown, PhD,                              MA; Marc Spencer, PhD; Katie DeVeau, PhD; Nicole DeVaul, PhD; Victor Taylor II, PhD; Keith Mortman, MD, FACS, FCCP; Anthony Caputy, MD, FAANS, FACS, and Aalap Herur-Raman.

Feb 19,2019:  Congratulations to Dr. Marc Spencer who was a poster judge at the recent AAAS annual meeting: 

Feb 12, 2019Congratulations to Drs. Nicole DeVaul, Marc Spencer, and Victor Taylor! All three were accepted into the 2019-2020 Master Teacher and Leadership Development program.

Feb 12,2019: Congratulations to Dr. Anne Chiaramello on the acceptance of her paper, The importance of the nuclear background on the phenotypic signature of the MELAS m.1630 A>G variant. in Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports.


Dr. Alex Tzatsos will be honored with the Elaine H. Snyder Cancer Researcher Award - Dec 10, 2018 at 4pm - Ross Hall 227

Anatomy and Cell Biology Research Seminars Spring/Summer 2019

Feburary 14: Ross Hall 737 - (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr. Douglas J. DeSimone, Professor and Chair of the  Department of Biology, University of Virgina, Title: "The Role of the Mechanical Environment in Sculpting Embryonic Tissues."
Host: Dr. Mary Ann Stepp

March 14: Ross Hall 602 - (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr. Seth Blair, Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison Title: “Patterning, polarity and growth in the Drosophila wing.”
Host: Dr. Xiaoyan Zheng

April 4: Ross Hall 737 - (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr.Sally Moody, Professor and Chair of the Anatomy and Cell Biology Deptmartment of George Washington University

April 11: Ross Hall 737 - (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr. Susan Pierce, Head of the Laboratory of Immunogenetics, NIAID, NIH Title: “Intrinsic properties of human germinal center B cells set antigen-affinity thresholds.”
Host: Dr. Inhee Chung

April 18: SEH Basement - (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr. Richard Eckert, Associate Director UMD Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Department of Biochemisty and Molecular Biology, Title: "Cancer Stem Cell Survival Factors as Therapy Targets."
Host: Dr. Tatiana Efimova

May 9: Ross Hall Room 737 - (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr. Xiaozhong Wang, Northwestern University, Department of Molecular Biosciences, Evanston, IL, Title: "Gene regulation by destruction and reconstruction of mRNA."
Host: Dr. Sally Moody

May 16: Ross Hall Room 737- (11am - 12:30pm) - Dr. Andres Tavares, George Washington University, Washington, DC. Pre-Grant Submission Title: “Identification of SIX1-related genes as potential candidates for craniofacial birth defects.”

July 19: Ross Hall Room 602 - (11am -12:30pm) - Dr. Inhee Chung, George Washington University, Washington, DC. Pre-Grant Submission Title: TBA

July 25: Ross Hall Room 602- (11am -12:30pm) - Dr. Tatiana Efimova, (11am -12:30pm) - George Washington University, Washington, DC. Pre-Grant Submission Title:“Targeting stress-activated signaling pathways to harness anti-tumor immune response.”

Aug 15: Ross Hall Room - TBA - (11am -12:30pm) - Dr. Adheah Pajoohesh-Ganji, George Washington University, Washington, DC. Pre-Grant Submission Title: TBA

Aug 29: Ross Hall Room - TBA - (11am -12:30pm) - Dr. Kurt Johnson, George Washington University, Washington, DC. Pre-Grant Submission Title: Microscopic analysis of talc particles in commercial baby powder and in ovarian carcinoma patients.”         

Education Seminar Series Fall 2018

September 24: Ross Hall CFE Conference Room - Victor Taylor Ph.D: Using 3D Printed Model in Embryology Education 

Anatomy and Cell Biology Research Seminars Fall 2018

September 13: Ross Hall Room 402 - (11am -12:30pm) - Sally A. Moody Ph.D:Wanderings through biodiversity, retinoic acid signaling and developmental genetics - lessons on   international collaborations.

October 11: Ross Hall Room 737 - (10:30am -11:45am) - Robert Miller Ph.D: Mechanisms of myelin breakdown in CNS demyelinating diseases

October 31: Ross Hall Room 601 - (11am - 12:30pm) - Sabyasachi Sen Ph.D: Stem Cells in Diabetes: is it working ?

Novermber 8: Ross Hall Room 643 - (11am -12:30pm) - Robert Hawley Ph.D: Discovery of a Novel Small Molecule Inhibitor of the PAX3-FOXO1 Oncogenic Driver in Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma

December 13: Ross Hall Room 737- (11am - 12:30pm) - Anne Chiaramello Ph. D: Mitochondrial Diseases: a Box Full of Surprises



Dec 17, 2018: Congratulations to Dr. Tatiana Efimova for being selected for funding through the CTSI-CN sponsored voucher program.

Nov 30, 2018: Congratulations to Dr. Kenna Peusner for the publication of her paper, A new model for congenital vestibular disorders in the Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology

Oct 25, 2018: Congratulations to Dr. Alex Tzatsos for being awarded a grant from theHirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer.

Aug 28, 2019: Congratulations to Dr. Inhee Chung for being awarded a GW Cancer Center Pilot Cancer Grant.

Jun 28, 2018: Congratulations to Dr. Rosalyn Jurjus for being appointed Faculty Development Associate for EducaitonResearch in the Center for Faculty Excellence.






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