Tufts University School of Medicine unveils new anatomy lab, kicks off 125th anniversary

Tufts University School of Medicine opens new gross anatomy lab, introducing a modern, enlarged space for students to learn essential anatomical training.

BOSTON (Dec. 18, 2017)—Last week, Tufts University School of Medicine cut the ribbon on its new gross anatomy lab, introducing a modern, enlarged space for students to learn essential anatomical training. The lab’s opening celebration was also the launch of the school’s 125th anniversary.

The Michael Jaharis Jr. Anatomy Laboratory is an entirely new facility with room for more than 200 students and faculty to work with high-resolution diagnostic imaging, computer screens at each of the 44 dissection tables, and additional classroom and work spaces to support active and group learning. Tufts medical, dental and physician assistant students all take gross anatomy classes in the lab.

“During the study of gross anatomy, medical students meet their first ‘patient,’” said Harris Berman, M.D., F.A.C.P., dean of Tufts University School of Medicine. “With this new laboratory, we will be able to integrate state-of-the-art technology and interactive learning with the classic anatomy dissection experience to better prepare our students to become great clinicians.”

The new lab was initiated by a $15 million gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation and is named for Jaharis family patriarch Michael Jaharis. Jaharis, who passed away in 2016, was the longstanding chairman of the School of Medicine’s Board of Advisors and a university trustee. The Jaharis family has been a deep-rooted supporter of education at Tufts, providing the foundational gift for the Jaharis Family Center for Biomedical and Nutrition Sciences and endowing the School of Medicine’s Jaharis Family Chair in Family Medicine. Two million of the family’s $15 million gift to the school goes toward assisting middle- to low-income fourth-year medical students who pursue careers in family medicine, typically among the lowest-paid specialties in medicine.

At the event, Berman presented members of the family with Dean’s Medals. This is the highest honor bestowed by the dean of a school at Tufts University and awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to a school and the greater community. 

The event also marked the start of the school’s year-long celebration for its 125th anniversary in 2018.

“The opening of a high-tech gross anatomy lab complements a celebration of 125 years of the school. Gross anatomy is a cornerstone of medical education, but we’re not studying it in 2017 the same way the Greeks were 2000 years ago. While honoring foundations and past accomplishments, we’re also looking toward the future at the School of Medicine and identifying how we can have an impact on the health of individuals and communities tomorrow,” said Berman.

Bold educational initiatives have been at the heart of the School of Medicine since its founding in April 1893. The first group of enrolled students was one-quarter women; in the late 1960s, faculty members Dr. Count Gibson and Dr. Jack Geiger founded the nation’s first community health centers; and in 2008, the school built on its more than 70-year relationship with Maine Medical Center to found the Maine Track MD Program to train students for primary care careers, particularly in rural and other underserved areas.

About Tufts University School of Medicine

Tufts University School of Medicine is an international leader in medical and population health education and advanced research. Tufts University School of Medicine emphasizes rigorous fundamentals in a dynamic learning environment to educate physicians, scientists, and public health professionals to become leaders in their fields. The School of Medicine is renowned for excellence in education in general medicine, the biomedical sciences, and public health, as well as for research at the cellular, molecular, and population health level. The School of Medicine is affiliated with six major teaching hospitals and more than 30 health care facilities. Tufts University School of Medicine undertakes research that is consistently rated among the highest in the nation for its effect on the advancement of medical and prevention science.

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