Paulette Bernd, MD, PhD

Dr. Paulette Bernd joined Columbia’s Department of Pathology and Cell Biology as a Professor in 2008. Her prior appointment was at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, where she was a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Dr. Bernd earned a BA in Biology from Colgate University and a PhD in Anatomy from Columbia University under the guidance of Dr. Michael Gershon. She then did a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Lloyd Greene at New York University where she began studying the role of neurotrophins in development, a topic she investigated for over twenty years publishing more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and contributing chapters to 5 books.
Dr. Bernd’s challenge at Columbia was to re-create the Gross Anatomy Course to fit into the new, shorter, basic science curriculum. She compensated for the loss in time by having the students alternate dissection, thereby sharing in the work. Students who are not dissecting participate in small group clinical correlation sessions incorporating surface anatomy, radiology, cross sectional images, ultrasound, case-based learning etc. The revised course retains the clinical relevance of the former course but fits into the shorter time frame and stresses teamwork and active learning. In the past three years, Dr. Bernd wrote a custom-tailored dissection manual in collaboration with students. This iPad app includes succinct instructions, dissection tips, step-wise images of real dissections, a glossary and quizzes. This dissection manual was recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal.

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