Ten years after its founding, the cadaver lab at Missouri Southern State University has grown far beyond its original design, becoming a unique and vital resource for students planning to enter the medical field.

Dr. Alla Barry, associate professor of biology and director of the lab, discussed the lab’s anniversary during today’s Board of Governors meeting.

Located in Ummel Technology Building, the initial lab featured an observation gallery, where students could watch as faculty members taught and utilized one of two cadavers. The creation of an advanced dissection course created a more immersive experience for students, while an expansion in 2018 doubled the amount of available space.

Today, the lab houses eight cadavers – with dedicated spaces for students to work on dissection and study prosected bodies. Barry said it’s rare for a school Missouri Southern’s size to house such a resource.

But the lab is more than just a means for undergraduate students to learn about anatomy, she said.

“It’s about the ability to see things, analyze findings and put them together to create a diagnosis,” Barry said. “It’s like a detective examining footprints to find the guy who did it. Students like this approach because it makes them think, not just memorize.”