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Cadaver prosection program gets underway with medical imaging activity July 13, 14

IU Northwest students and cadaver program participants to perform x-rays, ultrasounds on donors; Methodist Hospitals to provide MRI, CT imaging

IU Northwest file photo
Prosector program participants review x-rays from their ‘first’ patient, an anatomical donor at the IU School of Medicine – Northwest.

A full-scale medical imaging effort involving human anatomical donors will take place Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14 in preparation for the upcoming 2012 International Human Cadaver Prosection Program (IHCPP).

The IHCPP is a hands-on anatomy workshop in August located on the Indiana University Northwest campus at the Indiana University School of Medicine – Northwest (IUSM-NW) in Gary, Ind. The prosection program allows non-physician and non-medical student volunteers to become active participants in a medical lab by preparing the anatomical donors for the incoming gross anatomy class.

Day one of medical imaging (July 13), involving select IU Northwest and IUSM-NW faculty, students and prosection program participants, will include select x-ray and ultrasound images of six body donors and four fetuses at the IU Northwest radiological suite in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS).

On July 14, the donors and fetuses will be transported to the Methodist Hospitals Southlake campus via ambulances and crews from PROMPT Ambulance Service of Highland, Ind. Prosection participants will gain hands-on experience while working with the hospital’s technologists during high-resolution CT and MRI imaging of donors.

The benefit of the medical imaging exercise is threefold. First, the x-rays and other images will inform prosectors and incoming medical students about any implants or irregularities within the donors that might be problematic to the dissection process, as well as reveal pathological information that often leads to cadaver-based and patient-based medical research at the IUSM-NW.

Second, the radiology, ultrasonography and medical students will gain valuable experience in taking and interpreting the images. Finally, students from different medical disciplines will learn how to work together, collaborate, and respect each other’s roles in the interdisciplinary team-based, healthcare process.

Imaging Results

This is the fifth year that the IHCPP will incorporate medical imaging into the program, and the fourth year in which Methodist Hospitals will provide MRI and CT imaging. This practice continues to show beneficial information and results.

“Previous years’ medical imaging yielded a wealth of information about each donor by showing prosectors and gross anatomy students the location of tumors, orthopedic implants and other important structures within the donors’ anatomy,” said program director Ernest Talarico, Jr., Ph.D., who is the Associate Director of Medical Education, Associate Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology,  and course director of human gross anatomy and embryology at IUSM-NW. “As a result, nearly 25 independent and ongoing cadaver-based medical research studies are in process at IUSM-NW.”

Luis Marquez, Director of Imaging Services at Methodist Hospitals, also understands the true value of the high-resolution CT and MRI scans donated to the program by Methodist.

“Medical imaging is an instrumental teaching tool providing both prosection participants and first-year medical students the knowledge and insight to gather valuable information about diseases and the human anatomy,” he said.

Collaboration among peers

Selected from more than 200 applicants, the prosection participants, consisting both of students and professionals, represent a diversity of medical fields, with participants’ backgrounds ranging from pre-med and dentistry to nursing and psychology.

“All participants will gain by working closely with individuals from a mix of healthcare and medical backgrounds,” Talarico said. “This wide access to various medical fields and other disciplines truly represents one of the core themes of this program: interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration. This model facilitates learning by informing participants of what their key counterparts do and their important role in patient care.” 

IU Northwest Clinical Associate Professor of Radiography Robin Jones understands the direct and positive impact medical collaboration can have on patient care.

“Students in IU Northwest’s radiologic science program gain real-world, hands-on experience working with other healthcare professionals – many of which they will work alongside after graduating,” said Jones, who is also the clinical coordinator of radiography at IU Northwest.

“And, beyond that, the experience the students achieve by working with human cadavers is invaluable. Cadaver imaging is much more accurate than using a phantom (an artificial organ encased in hard plastic).”

While only select cadaver prosection volunteers will be involved in the medical imaging, all participants will attend the IHCPP sessions taking place July 31 – August 2 at the IUSM-NW.

Medical imaging participants include:

IHCPP prosectors:

  • Walid T. Abdalazia
  • Miracle C. Anokwute
  • Maraya M. Baumanis
  • Amber Bishop
  • Danielle A. Bly
  • Joseph R. Bobo
  • James I. Caudill
  • Aaron M. Ciesielski
  • Alicia M. Ciesielski
  • Joshua D. Downey
  • Mandy J. Fisher
  • Theodore M. Hiemstra
  • Coleman Ho
  • Jacquelin S. James
  • Jillian A. Joyce
  • Stephen M. Koveck
  • Jarod C. Markley
  • Jose L. Mas
  • Blake Platt
  • Fernando Garcia Prieto
  • Fatima Qaisrani
  • Roberto Sanchez Sanz
  • Christopher C. Sheid
  • Ryan Sullivan
  • Peter Zack
  • Feras Z. Ziadat

IU Northwest student radiographers: 

  • Jennifer Lockhart, RTCT, Franciscan St. Anthony Health/IU Northwest
  • Crystal Beasley
  • Stephanie Boling
  • Amy Bowers
  • Gina Chiabai
  • Kristin Dull
  • Katie Ghormely
  • Jennifer Johnson
  • Amanda Kalman
  • Jamie Krill
  • Sophia Miranda
  • Lance Robinson
  • Tayyabah Shaheen
  • Megan Stacy
  • Angela Wopinski

IU Northwest student ultrasonographers:

  • Tia Hawkins, part-time lecturer, IU Northwest Radiologic Sciences Ultrasound Program
  • Atumn Jessup
  • Nicole Kelley
  • Naum Lazoski
  • Melinda Misch

For more information, visit the Web at


Media Contact

Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications

Additional Article Photos

IU Northwest file photo
Prosector program participants transport an anatomical donor via ambulance to Methodist Hospitals for high-resolution MRI and CT imaging.