David Dufeau, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Anatomy


D Dufeau HeadshotDavid L. Dufeau, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of anatomy at the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Dufeau has been actively teaching anatomy for the last eight years with prior appointments at the University Of Missouri School Of Medicine and the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Dufeau received a B.S. in Geological Sciences with a minor in Zoology and an M.S. in Vertebrate Paleontology from the University of Texas at Austin, and earned his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from Ohio University. His research focuses on the evolution of cranial pneumaticity and the influence of these air-filled sinuses on neurosensory functions such as hearing. Dr. Dufeau is particularly interested in animals with highly developed cranial pneumaticity such as crocodilians, dinosaurs, and birds. His research has taken him to diverse locales such as the swamps of Louisiana and the great natural history museum collections of Europe and South America. He also employs cutting-edge 3D visualization techniques to bring the functional anatomy of living and fossil animals ‘back to life’.

Dr. Dufeau enjoys cycling, drawing, and playing his guitars and ukuleles.

Clinical/Research Interests

I wear many hats. Professionally I am an assistant professor of anatomy, an evolutionary biologist, and a vertebrate paleontologist. These roles are not too divergent from my personal interests—I am a technology enthusiast, avid naturalist, and a hobby musician.

Predictably these worlds intersect as I employ cutting-edge technologies to visualize and rediscover anatomical features of extinct animals and use this new insight to make inferences into how well these animals could hear (functional anatomy), and how their hearing sensitivity would influence behaviors such as hunting and communicating. I am also keen to leverage the techniques I use in my research activities for the training of medical students.

My team, the 3D-Visualization Laboratory, part of the Anatomy Research Group, uses 3D scanning, computer reconstruction, and 3D printing technologies to help medical students interpret, spatially visualize, and better understand anatomical structures and pathologies from planar diagnostic imagery such as X-Ray CT Scans, Magnetic Resonance Images, and PET scans. Using the technology available in my research lab, my medical students develop 3D animations, interactive 3D pdf’s, and 3D illustrations for a wide range of anatomical features and pathologies. Once developed, these tools are used in classroom lectures, laboratory exercises, and research presentations.

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