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Friday Research Seminar Series: Arrested Development – Understanding the Clinical Implications of Paranasal Sinus Variation

Friday, November 7 at 12:00 PM
Des Moines University, Lecture Hall 1, Des Moines, IA, 50312 Show Map

Friday Research Seminar Series


Join the Des Moines University research community for a series of presentations highlighting the research that is being done on campus and in the local area. This week’s Friday Research Seminar Series will be hosted by the Anatomy department.

All DMU faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.

Arrested Development: Understanding the Clinical Implications of Paranasal Sinus Variation


Since the start of her graduate student career, Dr. Butaric has been researching patterns of variation in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses among modern humans living in diverse climatic zones. The main purpose of this research is to determine which environmental pressures and/or craniofacial structures affect the size and shape of these internal cavities. After graduating, she has continued this research on the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, but switched gears to start looking at the developmental aspects that end up affecting the adult patterns of variation. Dr. Butaric has also begun research on the clinical applications related to sinus form and function, particularly those related to abnormal development.


  1. Distinguish how (and to a degree why) the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses vary among diverse human populations,
  2. Enable the audience to both identify (and avoid misdiagnosis of) a relatively common sinus pathology in CT/MRI scans, and
  3. Translate how sinus variation and development can relate to clinical conditions.


Butaric,-LaurenLauren Butaric, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Anatomy, Des Moines University


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

Lauren Butaric joined DMU 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; she also holds a master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. 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.

Research and Publications