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IU School of Medicine – Northwest announces 2011 International Human Cadaver Prosection Program participants

More than 50 participants from around the world to gather at med school for a three-day, hands-on anatomy workshop

A team of prosectors during the 2010 International Human Cadaver Prosection Program prepare an anatomical donor.

IU Northwest File Photo
A team of prosectors during the 2010 International Human Cadaver Prosection Program prepare an anatomical donor.

The International Human Cadaver Prosection Program (IHCPP), a unique medical program held at the Indiana University School of Medicine – Northwest (IUSM-NW) located on the Indiana University Northwest campus in Gary, Ind., will take place August 2 - 4.

This hands-on and innovative medical program allows non-physician and non-medical student participants the opportunity to become active volunteers in the IUSM-NW’s gross anatomy lab.

Fifty-five individuals have been selected to participate in the 2011 summer prosection program. They will gain detailed knowledge of human anatomy, medical imaging, and wound suturing, as well as a greater understanding of the prosthetics, orthotics, and orthopedics medical specialties.

The participants will ready the body donors for the fall 2011 gross anatomy classes by removing the donors’ skin and body fat to expose organs, muscles and other anatomical structures.

Northwest Indiana participants in the 2011 IHCPP include:

  • Miracle C. Anokwute, IU Northwest junior biology student, of Merrillville
  • Aaron M. Ciesielski, Purdue North Central  junior pre-physical therapy student, of Portage
  • Jeremiah J. Cox, MS-I, IU School of Medicine-Northwest, of Portage
  • Kaleigh M. Fetcko,  IU Northwest junior psychology/pre-med student, of Crown Point
  • Cynthia Galvan, M.D., Emergency Medicine, Methodist Hospitals, of Gary
  • Chelsea M. Gustafson, Purdue University – West Lafayette senior pharmacy student, of Valparaiso
  • Jacob Henning, M.D., Resident – Emergency Medicine, Methodist Hospitals, of Gary
  • Theodore M. Hiemstra, Purdue University Calumet sophomore fitness/biology student, of  St. John
  • Jacquelin S. James, EMT-B PROMPT Ambulance/IU Northwest graduate pre-med student, of Lowell
  • Nicholas Johnson, M.D., Associate Director of Emergency Medicine, Methodist Hospitals Northlake, of Gary
  • Stephen M. Koveck,  IU Northwest junior chemistry/pre-med student, of  Valparaiso
  • Michael C. Leland, M.D., Lake Shore Bone & Joint Institute, of Chesterton
  • Anthony C. Levenda, M.D., Lake Shore Bone & Joint Institute, of Chesterton
  • Jennifer L. Lockhart, RTCT, St. Anthony Medical Center/IU Northwest, of Crown Point
  • Ruby Long, M.D., Emergency Medicine, Methodist Hospitals, of Gary
  • Jose L. Mas, D.V.M., Professor of Anatomy &  Physiology at Ivy Tech Community College, of Valparaiso
  • Michael McGee, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Emergency Medical Services, Methodist Hospitals, of Gary
  • Zachary M. Messina, IU Northwest junior biology pre-med student, of Portage
  • Dalibor Plecas,  IU Northwest senior BS psychology/pre-dental student, of Highland
  • Mary E. Purcell, IU Northwest senior pre-dental student, of Hobart
  • Claudine Ruzga, PA, Emergency Medicine, Methodist Hospitals, of Gary
  • Neal Shah, IU Northwest senior chemistry/pre-med student, of Munster
  • Christopher Sheid, Director, IU Northwest Marketing & Communications, of Hobart
  • Bruce J. Thoma, M.D., Lake Shore Bone & Joint Institute, of Chesterton
  • Asad J.Torabi, IU Northwest graduate psychology student, of Valparaiso
  • Emily A. Watson, IU Northwest junior spanish and  pre-med student, of Schererville
  • Renita White, P.A., Emergency Medicine, Methodist Hospitals, of Gary
  • Pete A. Zack, EMT-P PROMPT Ambulance/IU Northwest senior biology/pre-med student, of Hammond

Chicagoland-area participants include:

  • Dina Bair, Health/Medical Reporter WGN-TV, of Chicago
  • Erin M. Brown, McHenry County College junior biology student, of Woodstock, Ill.
  • Douglas E. Conroy, D.P.T., Conroy Sports & Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center, of Flossmoor, Ill.
  • Douglas G. Conroy, Purdue University senior pre-physical therapy student, of Geneva, Ill.
  • Shan S. Desai, Nova Southeastern University senior biology pre-med student, of Wheeling, Ill.
  • Noah J. Egler, Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center middle school student, of Bourbonnais, Ill.

Downstate Indiana participants include:

  • Javier E. Contreras,  HR Specialist, Defense Finance and Accounting Services, of Indianapolis
  • Jarod C. Markley, Staff Engineer, Performance Validation, of Plainfield, Ind.

Arkansas participant includes:

  • Rachel T. Aubert, University of Arkansas graduate biology/pre-med student, of Fayetteville, Ark.

Connecticut participant includes:

  • Kay King, D.C., Goodwin College, East Hartford, of Hamden, Conn.

Florida participants include:

  • Catalina Breton, Nova Southeastern University junior biology & neuroscience student, of Weston, Fla.
  • Catalina Rodriguez, Nova Southeastern University senior biology/pre-med student, of Jupiter, Fla.
  • George V. Schedrin, Nova Southeastern University sophomore biology/pre-med student, of, North Miami Beach, Fla.
  • Emily Schmitt, Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University, of Sunrise, Fla.
  • Yaneve Shemesh, Nova Southeastern University graduate biology student, of Surfside, Fla.

Iowa participant includes:

  • Bryan J. Butel, Luther College sophomore biology/pre-med student, of West Des Moines, Iowa

Maryland participant includes:

  • Melvin A. Dupree, M.Div., Staff Chaplain, University of Maryland Medical Center, of Baltimore, Md.

Ohio participants include:

  • Navroop K. Badyal, MS-II, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, of Kent, Ohio
  • Walter Lee, MS-II, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, of Solon, Ohio
  • Rick Rocco, Jr., C.P.O., L.P.O., Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center, of Cincinnati

Texas participant includes:

  • Alexandra Gol-Chambers, Elon University sophomore biology/pre-med student, of Houston

Canada participants include:

  • Kristin M. DeGirolamo, MS-III, University of British Columbia CDN, of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Egypt participants include:

  • Ali Hassan Hamed, M.B.B.CH., M.SC. IUSM and Assiut University, of Assiut, Egypt

Spain participants include:

  • Juan D. Ly Liu, MS-IV, Universidad Autonoma De Madrid, of Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Spain
  • Gonzalo Nozaleda Pastor, MS-III, Universidad Autonoma De Madrid, of of Madrid, Spain
  • Nicolas Maria Gonzalez Senac, MS-III, Universidad Autonoma De Madrid, of Madrid, Spain
  • Guillermo Hernanz Vega, MS-IV, Universidad Autonoma De Madrid, of Madrid, Spain

Sixty percent of this year’s participants are students from various educational levels and fields of study. Noah J. Egler, 13, a middle school student at Upper Grade Center in Bourbonnais, Ill., will find himself working alongside students twice his age, and with professionals who are, in some cases, decades older than he is.

Egler’s medicine and science fascination stems from his interest in electronics and specifically in electronic prosthetic design. He will join the 2011 IHCPP participants for one day to attend the prosthetics and orthotic limb workshop, presented by Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center of Cincinnati and sponsored in part by the American Association of Anatomists.

The student participants will work under close direction and guidance with IUSM-NW faculty and medical students, as well as with 22 professional participants.

“This year’s professional participants bring substantial medical knowledge and expertise to the table, which will create an enriching learning experience for all, and will ultimately benefit all gross anatomy students,” said program director Ernest Talarico, Jr., Ph.D., who is the associate director of medical education and course director of human gross anatomy and embryology at IUSM-NW.

Untraditional Participants

While the majority of participants work in the medical field, a select number of professionals bring with them only a sense of intrigue and curiosity about medicine and human anatomy. Javier Contreras’s day-to-day role as a human resources specialist does not provide him access to the medical sciences, yet he is still greatly interested in contributing to the medical field.

“It is quite exciting to have the opportunity to contribute to a profession that has a remarkable impact on the health and well-being of people, communities, and our society in general,” Contreras said. “Having the opportunity to contribute to the enhancement of medical research and education will be a defining experience in my life.”

Talarico takes an innovative and refreshing approach to gross anatomy education by emphasizing the dignity and humanity of the body donors. These are the people who essentially become the prosectors’ and fall medical students’ first patients.

As part of the “Talarico Protocol for Human Gross Anatomy,” fall semester medical students are given the opportunity to correspond with, and sometimes even meet the families of the donors with whom they work during their first-year anatomy class. It’s an experience, Talarico said, that can have a fundamental impact on their future interaction with patients.     

“The relationship and bond that is developed between the medical students and the donors’ families is unique,” Talarico said. “To the best of my knowledge, this approach to medical education is not practiced at any other school in the nation.”

Talarico’s insistence of bringing humanity into the gross anatomy lab has been noted by medical schools around the world, including IUSM, Nova Southeastern University, Universidad Autonoma De Madrid, and the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Chaplain Melvin A. Dupree, of the University of Maryland Medical Center, was so intrigued by Talarico’s approach that his participation in the program will be focused on learning more about Talarico’s model to help establish a similar protocol on his campus.

“There is a need for the cadaver to be viewed as a person who had a life involving family and friends, a job or a career and life interests and vocations, as opposed to a lifeless laboratory specimen to be invasively examined and dissected,” Dupree said.

New additions to 2011 Program

Just as the medical field continually evolves, so does the IHCPP, which is now in its 12th year. Talarico has made some substantial program additions over the years that have allowed participants and also gross anatomy students a greater opportunity to research and learn from their cadaver donors. The 2011 prosection program will include two new workshops focused on prosthetics and orthotics, and orthopedics.

The prosthetics and orthotic limb workshop, presented by Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center and sponsored in part by the American Association of Anatomists, will review a case study analysis of real orthotic and prosthetic patients. Participants will gain a hands-on understanding of the anatomical evaluation and casting process.

The orthopedic workshop presented by Zimmer, Inc. will allow participants to perform a total knee replacement using the same surgical instruments and techniques used in the modern orthopedic operative theater. Participants will gain hands-on experience and work with surgical skills trainers during this exercise.

A suturing workshop will also take place during the summer prosection program, providing participants the chance to learn about the different types of wound closures, and identify several types and sizes of suturing material. Under the supervision of workshop instructor Michael McGee, M.D., M.P.H., and his colleagues from Methodist Hospitals, participants will close superficial wounds on pig skin. Once perfected, wound closing techniques will be applied to anatomical donor skin tissues in the gross anatomy laboratory.

Medical imaging, by way of x-rays, ultrasounds, and high-resolution CT and MRI scans, has proven to be a valuable and necessary tool in the prosection, dissection and research of anatomical donors at IUSM-NW. Select 2011 IHCPP participants will assist with the medical imaging of donors prior to the August program. The imaging will take place July 15 at IU Northwest, in collaboration with the College of Health and Human Services, and July 16 at Methodist Hospitals in Merrillville.

This additional research, which Talarico introduced to the program several years ago, yields a wealth of information by showing prosectors and gross anatomy students the location of tumors, orthopedic implants and other important structures within the donors’ anatomy.

“MRI and CT images of donors have proven to be an essential element to the prosection program,” Talarico said. “What was previously an undocumented procedure on anatomical donors is now charted territory. We are ever grateful for the continued support Methodist Hospitals has shown us, and I believe future collaboration between the university and the hospital will result in even greater medical knowledge.”

The IHCPP is a community effort, with nearly 20 sponsors from Northwest Indiana alone. Without the generous support of this year’s sponsors, the 2011 prosection program would not be a success:

  • Rocco Prosthetics & Orthotic Center (Rick Rocco, Jr., Cincinnati)
  • MRI & CT Scanner Time, Cadaver Radiology Session II (courtesy of Luis O. Marquez and Methodist Hospitals, Southlake Campus, Merrillville, Ind.)
  • Zimmer, Inc. (Warsaw, Ind.)
  • MORTECH Manufacturing (Gino Joseph, Azusa, CA)
  • Special Award Items (courtesy of Ronald S. Wade, Director of the Maryland State Anatomical Board, Baltimore)
  • Clinical Rotations (courtesy of Vijay Dave, M.D., Cardiologist and Director of Medical Education, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Hobart, Ind.)
  • Reaching Out – Workshop (sponsored in part by the American Association of Anatomists, Bethesda, Md.)
  • DYNA-HEX 4 Surgical Scrub & Antiseptic Solution (courtesy of Peter Creevy, Xttrium Laboratories, Mount Prospect, Ill.)
  • Suturing Workshop (courtesy of Michael McGee, M.D., Director Emergency Medical Services, Methodist Hospitals, Northlake Campus, Gary, Ind.)
  • Suture & Suture Kits (courtesy of Munster Community Hospital/Community Healthcare System, Munster, Ind.)
  • DVD Anatomy Atlas Sets (courtesy of Anthony C. Levenda, M.D., LakeShore Bone & Joint Institute, Chesterton, Ind.)
  • Prosection Tote Bags (courtesy of Amy Han, Ph.D. – IUSM-NW and Dennis Han, M.D., CarePointe Ear, Noise & Throat, Merrillville, Ind.)
  • Knot Tying Boards & Kits (courtesy of ETHICON Products)
  • DVD Anatomy Atlas Set (courtesy of Douglas Conroy, D.P.T., Conroy Orthopedics & Sports Rehabilitation Center, Flossmoor, Ind.)
  • Battlefield Surgery Books and Human Embryology Text (courtesy of Brian Spatola, National Museum of Human Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C.)
  • Radiology/Anatomy Atlas (courtesy of Joel Vilenski, Ph.D., IUSM-Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, Ind.)
  • Advanced Medical Imaging Text & Atlas (courtesy of Robin Jones, Radiologic Sciences, IU Northwest, Gary, Ind.)
  • “Wilderness Medicine” by William W. Forgey M.D. (Merrillville, Ind.)
  • PROMPT Ambulance Service (courtesy of Peter Zack, EMT-P and Gary Miller, Highland, Ind.)
  • Rohen and Grant’s Anatomy Atlases (courtesy of Ernest Talarico, Jr., Ph.D., IUSM-NW, Gary, Ind.)
  • Dr. Winner Robotic Arm Electronic Kit (courtesy of Edmund Scientific, Tonawanda, NY)
  • Shrouds provided by Lynn Olszewski, Director, Northwest Indiana Area Health & Education Center (AHEC), and Marlene Cohen, Marlene’s Alterations (Homewood, Ill.)
  • Textbooks (courtesy of Mark A. Jaffe, D.P.M., NOVA Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla.)
  • Fisher Scientific T-Shirts (courtesy of Lazette Saunders, Fisher Scientific, Hanover Park, Ill.)
  • Luggage Tags (courtesy of the American Association of Anatomists, Bethesda, MD)
  • Give-a-way Items (courtesy of LakeShore Bone & Joint Institute, Chesterton, Ind.)
  • Spine Models and Give-a-way items (courtesy of Michael & Mary Purcell, Munster, Ind.)
  • Laboratory Coats (courtesy of Nick Porter, Porter's Apparels, Hammond, Ind.)
  • Floral Arrangements (Sue Richwalski, Schererville Florist, Schererville, Ind.)
  • IU Coffee Cups & Pens (courtesy of the IU Northwest Bookstore, Gary, Ind.)
  • Anatomy and Radiology Books (courtesy of Thieme Medical Publishers, New York, NY)
  • IUSM T-shirts (courtesy of IU School of Medicine, Indianapolis)
  • Safety Seminar (courtesy of Kathryn Manteuffel, Manager of Environmental Health & Safety, IU Northwest, Gary, Ind.)
  • Breakfast, Lunch and BBQ Service (Darlene Adams and Comfort’s Catering, St. John, Ind.)
  • Dinner Service/Training Session (Strack and Van Til, Inc., Highland, Ind.)
  • Give-a-ways (courtesy of Dave Anderson, pharmacy manager, Walgreens, Crown Point, Ind.)

For more information, visit the Web at


Media Contact

Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing and Communications

Related Links

IU School of Medicine - Northwest

College of Health and Human Services

International Human Cadaver Prosection Program

Additional Article Photos

IU Northwest File Photo
A prosector during the 2010 International Human Cadaver Prosection Program works alongside Dr. Talarico while imaging a donor.

IU Northwest File Photo
A prosector during the International Human Cadaver Prosection Program works alongside Dr. Talarico while preparing a donor.