UW School of Dentistry

BSTR 541

Microscopic Anatomy

Olivia Bermingham-McDonogh

4 Credits / Quarter 1 (Autumn, First Year)

Course Description

Lecture and laboratory work in microscopic anatomy. Integrative introduction to the structure and function of cells, tissues, and organs of the body. Coursework focuses on the microscopic examination of these structures and their functions. Interconnections will be made throughout the course with physiological, biochemical, and gross anatomical data.

Educational Objectives

The student will gain knowledge in microscopic anatomy. The objectives are for the student to be able to (1) demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the definitions, description, and location of the structural components of cells, tissues, and organs of the body and, where possible, to relate these structures to function, (2) demonstrate an ability to recognize the general characteristics and specific features of cells, tissues, and organs as seen in the light microscope, (3) demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of construction used by cells, tissues, and organs, and (4) demonstrate an ability to interpret what is seen on microscope slides and to relate two-dimensional sections to the three-dimensional features of cells, tissues, and organs.

Course Outline

Lectures include: introduction, epithelium, muscle, extracellular matrix and connective tissue, cartilage, bone and bone development, nervous tissue, blood vessels, blood cells and bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, endocrine system, respiratory system, digestive tract, digestive glands, urinary system, and male and female reproductive systems. The required laboratory schedule corresponds with this lecture schedule.

Course Expectations

Midterm and final examinations which include questions about images of tissues as well as multiple choice questions. A grade of Pass requires 70% on the combined scores of these examinations.


  • Basic Histology, Junqueira and Carneiro, 11th ed, 2005.
  • Wheater’s Functional Histology, Young and Heath, 5th ed, 2006

Related Links

Course Website (includes syllabus, lecture slides, virtual microscope, and quiz bank)

*last updated: 11/7/2011