Lauren Butaric, Des Moines University Master of Science in Anatomy

Lauren Butaric, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Anatomy

Additional Roles
Associate Professor, Master of Science in Anatomy Program
Associate Professor, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Associate Professor, Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences Program

Areas of Expertise

Lauren Butaric joined DMU in 2014 from the University of Missouri, where she was a lecturer and lab instructor in anatomy. Dr. Butaric received her Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Texas A&M University (2013). At DMU, she teaches in the first-year Anatomy course for the DO/DPM/MSA cohorts and is course director for the Summer PA Clinically Oriented Anatomy course. She is also actively involved in teaching in the Master of Anatomy program, for both the teaching-track and thesis-track students.

Her primary research focuses on craniofacial variation in modern humans, specifically the internal structures of the face. Using computed tomography, she assesses the size and 3D shape of the internal nasal cavity and surrounding paranasal sinuses. By looking at globally distributed populations, Dr. Butaric analyzes which factors, such as diverse environmental pressures and/or overall skull shape, play a role in shaping these structures. Her ultimate goal is to better understand not only how, but why we vary as a species. More recently she has extended her research into assessing the medical-legal applications of that variation in upper respiratory structures. Specifically, she has been part of several studies looking at the potential relationships between maxillary sinus anatomy and sinusitis, and she is part of a large NIJ-grant-funded project developing empirically-based guidelines for using the frontal sinus in forensic identification.

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Ph.D., Anthropology, Texas A&M University
M.A., Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University
B.A., Anthropology, University of Central Florida

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