Welcome to The Medical Anatomy Center at COMP-Northwest!


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Portrait of Dr. Brion BenningerBrion Benninger, MD, MSc
Professor of Medical Innovation, Technology and Research
Professor of Clinical Anatomy

Portrait of Paula M. Crone, DOPaula M. Crone, DO
Vice President, Oregon Campus Operations
Dean, COMP and COMP-Northwest

The Medical Anatomy Center is an important organization that will advance the teaching and learning of Anatomy across both medical education and clinical practice. Brion Benninger, MD, MSc is the founding Executive Director of the Medical Anatomy Center. Dr. Benninger is a recognized scholar, having co-edited the leading texts in Medical Anatomy and published hundreds of manuscripts that advance the science and education of Anatomy.
Paula M. Crone, DO
Vice President, Oregon Campus Operations
Dean, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

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The vision is to advance the teaching and learning of medical anatomy

  • At all Levels of Education
  • Across all Healthcare Professions


  • Demonstrate excellence in teaching and learning medical anatomy through best practices
  • Integrate medical anatomy as a basis for clinical diagnosis
  • Teach medical students the biomedical research process
  • Lead the medical profession in advancing the relevance of anatomy in education and clinical practice


Student Research Program

  • Integrating innovation and technology, developing student research projects which teach the research process leading to oral/poster presentation skills for National/International conferences and publications.
  • Research areas include: medical education, reverse translational research, clinical science, emerging technologies, disruptive innovation, ultrasound education including anatomy, invasive procedures, maintenance of chronic injuries and physical examination, imaging and stereostructural anatomy, military medicine, concussion/sports medicine, hyperbaric medicine, surgical radiological and anatomical terminology and history of medicine.

Continuing Medical Education Program

-Conduct CME courses related to radiology, invasive procedures and clinical anatomy

Clinical Integration Program

-Teach the utility of anatomical knowledge as a platform for diagnosis at all levels of medical experience.

Visiting Professor Program

-Collaborate with world expert transitional researchers, physicians and educators.


Student Research Outcomes from 2012 to date:

  • Total conferences presented with peer-reviewed abstracts: 31
  • National/International Conferences: 27
  • Regional or State Conferences: 4
  • Specific Osteopathic conferences: 5
  • Students that have conducted research: 256
  • Student First Authors that presented at conferences: 146
  • Research Awards: 19

MAC Student Research detail

News Ian Blandford demonstrating new medical computer applications in his tablet

WesternU COMP-Northwest students tackling numerous research projects

Although WesternU COMP-Northwest is only 4 years old and will graduate its first class of 100 osteopathic physicians Friday, already some two dozen students in Dr. Brion Benninger’s laboratory already are knee-deep in research projects that could have big ramifications for health care. Benninger, who has had a distinguished career on two continents in the field of health care and anatomical sciences and is executive director of the medical school’s anatomy center, is proud of the research projects his students are tackling. Students are working on everything from developing a computer program that can be used to teach students and others how to use ultrasound equipment to other projects that use high-tech tools help train medical students and give practicing physicians insights into patients. They are linked with private companies and other universities, such as the Johns Hopkins University and Vail-Summit Orthopedics medical office in Vail, Colorado, where broken bones due to skiing accidents are commonplace. Although neither COMP-Northwest nor the students are rolling in royalty income, they are reaping the benefits of working with state-of-the-art equipment and technology that other first- and second-year medical students rarely see, let alone get their hands on. “Most of our research projects are pilot studies, beta testing if you will,” Benninger said. “Most of our research is very edgy. Often, when we go to conferences and our students present research, it is extremely fresh and new to all those attending.”Read More

x-ray image of a brain