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Nancy Minugh-Purvis, PhD

Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Room 324
Phone: 575-674-2313
Department: Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology


Postdoctoral training, 2003-2005  Molecular Biology of Skeletal Tissues, Dr. Maurizio Pacifici, Dept. of
Orthopaedic Research, Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Ph.D.,   1988 Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Dissertation Title:  Patterns of Craniofacial Growth and Development in Upper Pleistocene Hominids.
Teaching concentrations:  human gross anatomy; human growth and development; calcified tissue biology.

B.A.,      1975 Anthropology, with Distinction, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Research Interests

  • Skeletal morphogenesis
  • Cephalofacial growth patterning in children with orofacial clefts and craniofacial syndromes
  • Medical education

Professional Accomplishments & Memberships

2019 Reassessing microtia in New Mexico. Co-PI: Kristopher Vaudrey, MA. BCOM Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship program.
2019 Enhancing palpatory skill development in entering osteopathic medical students. CoPIs: Kristopher Vaudrey, MA, Adrienne Kania, DO, LeAnn Jons-Cox, DO.
BCOM Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship program.
2011 Predictable Cephalofacial Growth Parameters in Apert’s Syndrome. Center for Human Appearance, Philadelphia, PA.
2007 Recipient, Professional Enrichment and Growth Grant for attending the 9th
Interim Conference on Plastination, Ann Arbor, MI, July 8-13, 2007. Drexel University College of Medicine.
2005 Mechanotransducer mediated growth plate performance. Human Growth
1988 Travel Grant, Harrison Fund, University Museum of the University of PA., awarded for fieldwork on Upper Pleistocene hominid craniofacial remains in SE Europe
1981 Research Grant, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Craniofacial growth and development in Upper Pleistocene hominids
1981 Research Grant, Sigma Xi, awarded for dissertation research
1981 Patterns of skull growth and development in Upper Pleistocene hominids, L.S.B.
Leakey Foundation.
1981 Foundation for Research into the Origins of Man.
1980 Research Grant, Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine, SEM techniques for analysis of subperiosteal bone remodeling.
1978 Research Travel Grant, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.

Honors and Awards
2015 Award for Excellence in Teaching, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies, College of Medicine, Drexel University
2010 President’s Award nominee. Drexel University.
1998 Golden Apple Award for teaching in the Anatomical Sciences, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, (Now Drexel University, College of Medicine) Program for Integrated Learning
1990 Class of 1994 Award for Outstanding Teaching in Anatomy, University of
Pennsylvania (now Perelman) School of Medicine
1975 Phi Kappa Phi
1969 National Honor Society

Previous Positions
2015-2016 Founding Chair, Dept. Anatomy and Cell Biology, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine.
2015-2018 Founding Assistant/Associate Dean for Graduate Education, Burrell College of Osteopathic
2014 – 2015 Director, Division of Pre-medical and Pre-health Programs, Graduate School of Biomedical
Sciences and Professional Studies, Drexel Univ. College of Medicine.
2009-2015 Treasurer, Humanity Gifts Registry of Pennsylvania (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
anatomical gift donation program).
2008-2014 Associate Dean, Office of Professional Studies in the Health Sciences, Drexel University
College of Medicine
2006 – 2015 Associate Professor, Dept. Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Drexel University College of
2005-2006 Director, Gross Anatomy Program, Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of
Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.
1998-2005 Director, Advanced Gross Anatomy, Dept. of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of
Pennsylvania (now Perelman) School of Medicine.
1991-2001 Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of
Medicine (formerly, MCP-Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences).
1987-2015 Growth Specialist, Facial Reconstruction Center, Division of Plastic Surgery,
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
1982-1990 Instructor, Dept. of Anatomy, Univ. of Pennsylvania (now Perelman) School of Medicine.
1982-1990 Instructor, Dept. of Anthropology (College of General Studies, The College, and Graduate
School of Arts and Sciences), University of Pennsylvania.

Symposia Organized
1999 Krapina Centennial. Zagreb, Croatia, August 1999. Member, Executive Committee.
1996 Minugh-Purvis, N. and M. L. McKinney, organizers. Heterochrony: Merging Evolutionary Perspectives in Paleoanthropology, Paleontology, and Biology. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Annual Meeting, Baltimore, February, 1996.
1995 Minugh-Purvis, N. and R.L. Tompkins, organizers. Ontogeny and the Emergence of Modern Humans, American Association of Physical Anthropologists Annual Meeting, Oakland, March-April, 1995.
1990 Minugh-Purvis, N. and M. Lampl, organizers. Ontogeny and Phylogeny: Methodologies and Perspectives on the Analysis of Growth and Development in the Paleoanthropological Record, American Association of Physical Anthropologists Annual Meeting, Miami, April, 1990

Professional Memberships and Current External Appointments:

Associate Graduate Faculty, College of Arts and Sciences, New Mexico State University
Consulting Scholar, University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Physical Anthropology
Section, University of Pennsylvania
Member, American Association of Anatomists
Member, American Association of Clinical Anatomists
Member, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association
Member, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Member, National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions
Member, National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners
Member, Peer Review Corps, Higher Learning Commission
Member, Las Cruces Cleft Palate Team
Member, Shiprock (NM) Cleft Palate Team

Selected Publications

In press *Jackson, O.A., A.E. Kaye, A. Lee, N. Minugh-Purvis, M.A. Cohen, C.B. Solot, D. MCDonald-McGinn, A.F. Jawad, E.H. Zackai, R.E. Kirschner. Orofacial manifestations of Stickler Syndrome: An analysis of speech outcome and facial growth after cleft palate repair. Annals of Plastic Surgery.

Yasuda, T., H.-D. Nah, K. Takashi, Y. Shibukawa, T. Shibutani, N. Minugh-Purvis, M. Pacifici, and E. Koyama. Muenke syndrome mutation, FgfR3P244R, causes TMJ defects in postnatal mice. J. Dental Res., 91(7): 683-9.

Turnquist, J.E., and Minugh-Purvis, N. Functional Morphology, IN: Nonhuman Primates in Biomedical Research, 2nd ed. Abee, C.R., Mansfield, K., Tardif, S.D., Morris, T., eds. Elsevier.

Sugito, H., Y. Shibukawa, T. Kinumatsu, T. Yasuda, M. Sagayama, S. Yamada, N. Minugh-Purvis, M. Pacifici, and E. Koyama Ihh signaling regulates mandibular symphysis development and growth. J. Dental Res., 90(5):625-31.

Koyama, E., T. Yasuda, N. Minugh-Purvis, A. Yallowitz, D. Wellik, and M. Pacifici. Hox11 genes establish synovial joint organization and phylogenetic characteristics in developing mouse zeugopod skeletal elements. Development, 137:3795-800.

Yasuda, T., C. Mundy, T. Kinumatsu, Y. Shibukawa, T. Shibutani, K. Grobe, N. Minugh-Purvis, M. Pacifici, and E. Koyama. Sulfotransferase Ndst1 is needed for mandible and TMJ development. J. Dental Research, 89(10):1111-1116.

Chen, E.H., R.R. Reid, C. Chike-Obi, N. Minugh-Purvis, L.A. Whitaker, J. Puchala, and S.P. Bartlett. Tongue dysmorphology in craniofacial microsomia. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 124:583-589.

Interviewed for and filmed in The Human Ape, National Geographic. Martin Gorst, Producer for Pioneer TV, London, UK. First Aired, March 17, 2008, National Geographic Television.

Young, B.B., N. Minugh-Purvis, T. Shimo, B. St.-Jacques, M. Iwamoto, M. Enomoto-Iwamoto, E. Koyama, and M. Pacifici Hedgehog proteins regulate cranial base and synchondrosis growth plate development and function. Developmental Biology, 299(1):272-282.

Minugh-Purvis, N., B. Viola, and M. Teschler-Nicloa I The Mladec 3 infant. IN:
Teschler-Nicola, M (ed.), Early Modern Humans at the Moravian Gate. Vienna: Museum of Natural History.

McDonald-McGinn, D.M., N. Minugh-Purvis, R.E. Kirschner, A. Jawad, M.K. Tonnesen, J.R. Catanzaro, E. Goldmuntz, D. Driscoll, D. LaRossa, B.S. Emanuel, and E.H. Zackai The 22q11.2 deletion in African-American patients: An underdiagnosed population? Amer. J. Med. Genet. A., 134A(3):242-246.

LaRossa, D, OH Jackson, RE Kirschner, DW Low, CB Solot, MA Cohen, R Mayro, P Wang, N Minugh-Purvis, and P Randall. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia modification of the Furlow double-opposing Z-palatoplasty: long-term speech and growth results. Clin. Plast Surg, 31:243-249.

Stedman, H.H., B.W. Kozyak, A. Nelson, D.M.Thesier,, L.T. Su, David Low, C.R. Bridges, J.B. Shrager., N. Minugh-Purvis, and M.A. Mitchell. Myosin gene mutation correlates with anatomical changes in the human lineage. Nature, 428:415-418.

Interviewed by and quoted in: Wilford, J.N., Less jaw, big brain: evolution milestone laid to gene flaw. The New York Times, March 25, 2004, pp. A1 and A20.

Coqueugniot, H., and N. Minugh-Purvis. Ontogenetic patterning and phylogenetic significance of mental foramen number and position in the evolution of Upper Pleistocene Homo sapiens. In: JL. Thompson, and G.E. Krovitz, and A.J. Nelson. (eds.) Patterns of Growth and Development in the Genus Homo. Cambridge: The University Press. Pp. 343-360.

Minugh-Purvis, N. and K. McNamara (eds.) Human Evolution through Developmental Change. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Minugh-Purvis, N., J. Radovcic, and F.H. Smith. Krapina 1: A juvenile Neandertal from the early Late Pleistocene of Croatia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 111:393-424.

Minugh-Purvis, N. Ontogeny and morphology of the child’s mandible from Sipka (Moravia), Czech Republic. Anthropologie (Brno), 38:71-82.