Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences


Rachel Menegaz, PhD, Graduate Advisor

Research and Education Building 232C | Phone: 817-735-0126 | E-mail:

2020-21 Student Handbook for Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences

2019-20 Student Handbook for Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences

2018-19 Student Handbook for Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences

students in lab scrubs posing for a group photo

The Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences (SARS) discipline offers both MS and PhD degrees combining research, coursework, and teaching experiences. The program also supports DO/PhD and DPT/PhD dual-degree students. These degrees are designed to develop and train students to serve as faculty members and independent researchers in academic departments at universities, health science centers, and community colleges. The program also provides students the opportunity to obtain skills valuable for employment in industry (e.g., prosthetic engineering, athletic shoe design), the public sector (e.g., Department of Justice, Department of Defense) and healthcare (physical therapy, medicine) .

The SARS discipline boasts an exceptional track record of placing graduates directly into tenure-track faculty positions, government research positions, competitive residency programs, and professional healthcare employment.

Current SARS graduate students and recent alumni

Center for Anatomical Sciences

Department of Physical Therapy


Research Strengths

The discipline focuses on structural anatomy, biomechanics, movement science, and evolutionary morphology using advanced experimental, computational, and clinical tools. Major research emphases within the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Neuroscience: Studies investigating the production, learning, and control of movement.
  • Biomechanics & Clinical Anatomy:  Studies investigating the anatomy and mechanical behavior of musculoskeletal tissues from biomedical perspectives.
  • Evolutionary Anatomy & Functional Morphology: Studies investigating the structure and function of human and animal anatomy from evolutionary and/or anthropological perspectives.
  • Rehabilitation Science: Studies investigating the analysis, design, and development of orthopedic and rehabilitation protocols, techniques, tools, and assistive devices.
  • Education & Pedagogy: Studies investigating the teaching and learning of anatomy/movement science through the development of novel educational tools, techniques, and assessment strategies.


SARS Faculty

Cara Fisher, PhD. Assistant Professor, Center for Anatomical Sciences – Musculoskeletal biomechanics, human anatomical variation, clinical anatomy.
Gonzales  Lauren Gonzales, PhD. Assistant Professor, Center for Anatomical Sciences – Biological anthropology, primate evolution, brain and sensory anatomy, field paleontology.
Howe Liu Professor Physical Therapy Hao Liu, MPT, MD, PhD. Professor, Dept. of Physical Therapy – Neuroscience, anatomy, balance improvement, geriatric research, bioengineering of assistive ambulatory devices (AADs).
Rehana Lovely Rehana Lovely, PhD. Assistant Professor, Center for Anatomical Sciences – Human anatomical variation, anatomy education and community outreach research.
Scott Maddux Scott Maddux, PhD. Assistant Professor, Center for Anatomical Sciences – Biological anthropology, human evolution and variation, respiratory biomechanics, climatic adaptation and thermoregulation.
Rachel Menegaz Rachel Menegaz, PhD. Assistant Professor, Center for Anatomical Sciences – Evolutionary biology, craniofacial biomechanics and feeding, developmental plasticity, osteogenesis imperfecta.
Meyer Kimberly Meyer, MPAS, PhD.  Director, Center for Innovative Learning & Associate Professor, Physician Assistant Studies – Health sciences education, curriculum design, educational technology.
Haylie Miller Haylie Miller, PhD.  Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physical Therapy – Visuomotor integration, Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental cognitive neuroscience
Moudy Sarah Moudy, PhD. Instructor, Dept. of Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine – Sports biomechanics,  neuromuscular function, gait asymmetry.
Rita Patterson 2 Rita Patterson, PhD.  Professor, Associate Dean for Research, Dept. of Manipulative Medicine – Biomedical engineering, hand and wrist biomechanics, kinematics, motion capture.
Rusty Reeves (2019) Rustin Reeves, PhD. Professor & Director, Center for Anatomical Sciences – Musculoskeletal biomechanics, anatomy education and outreach research.
Armando Rosales, PhD. Associate Professor, Center for Anatomical Sciences – Human anatomical variation, clinical/surgical anatomy.
Emma Wood, PhD. Assistant Professor, Center for Anatomical Sciences – Biological anthropology, dental anatomy, evolutionary endocrinology.

Research Facilities

Human Movement Performance Laboratory: The 2,300 square foot HMP laboratory is equipped with a motion analysis system for kinematic testing of normal and pathological motion, force plates for measurement of center of pressure, and computational facilities for creating patient-specific models and simulations.

Bioskills Laboratory: The Bioskills Lab supports a wide spectrum of cadaver-based research including investigations of human variation, biomechanics, neuroscience, applied anatomy (development of clinical protocols and devices), and anatomy-focused educational pedagogy.

Bone and Joint Research Laboratory: The Bone and Joint Research Laboratory supports investigations of hard and soft tissue biomechanics. The lab is well-equipped with cutting-edge technologies, including instruments for assessing biomechanical material properties (MTS 858 mini Bionix II) and motion tracking (Polhemus LIBERTY 6D).

Comparative Anatomy and Morphometrics Laboratory:  The CAM Lab supports investigations of anatomy in both humans and non-human species. The lab facilitates gross dissection, histological analyses, and 3D quantitative analyses of anatomy using modalities such as 3D laser scanning, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The lab is also equipped with advanced 3D printing technologies for educational, outreach, and research purposes.

Discovery Centers: A part of the UNTHSC “Open Innovation Initiative”, the two Discovery Centers on campus provide shared laboratory space for students and faculty to access state-of-the-art equipment not available in most research labs.



This page was last modified on September 1, 2020