Nancy Minugh-Purvis, Ph.D., serves as director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Master of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, and the Master of Forensic Science Programs at Drexel University College of Medicine. She is involved with curriculum development and teaches and advises students working to advance their careers in medicine and other healthcare professions through programs in the Office of Professional Studies in the Health Sciences. She teaches gross anatomy, human osteology and other graduate courses in the anatomical sciences as well as Healthcare in Spanish, designed to build professional level reading and comprehension skills for tapping into the Spanish language biomedical literature; hone conversational Spanish; and provide cultural competencies to facilitate communication between healthcare providers and U.S. Spanish-speaking patients. She also teaches graduate career counseling in the health sciences seminars.
Minugh-Purvis earned her B.A. (anthropology and Latin American studies) at the University of New Mexico and her Ph.D. (anthropology) at the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy in 1991 as an assistant professor at what was then the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She later served as director of gross anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and director of advanced gross anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine prior to returning to Drexel University College of Medicine in 2006.
Minugh-Purvis specializes in skeletal morphogenesis, particularly as it applies to human craniofacial growth and development. Her research examines craniofacial biology from three perspectives: evolution of the modern human skull; molecular biology of connective tissues participating in craniofacial morphogenesis; and growth patterns characterizing the cephalofacial complex in pediatric patients with oro-facial clefts and craniofacial syndromes.
Koyama E, Yasuda T, Minugh-Purvis N, Yallowitz A, Wellik D, and Pacifici M (2010) Hox11 genes establish synovial joint organization and phylogenetic characteristics in developing mouse zeugopod skeletal elements. Development, 137:3795-800.
Yasuda T, Mundy C, Kinumatsu T, Shibukawa Y, Shibutani T, Grobe K, Minugh-Purvis N, Pacifici M, Koyama E (2010) Sulfotransferase Ndst1 is needed for mandible and TMJ development. J. Dental Research, 89(10):1111-1116.
Chen EH, Reid RR, Chike-Obi C, Minugh-Purvis N, Whitaker LA, Puchala J, Bartlett SP (2009) Tongue dysmorphology in craniofacial microsomia. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 124:583-589.
Minugh-Purvis N, Viola B, Teschler-Nicloa M (2009) I The Mladec 3 infant. IN: Teschler-Nicola, M (ed.), Early Modern Humans at the Moravian Gate. Vienna: Museum of Natural History.
Young BB, Minugh-Purvis N, Shimo T, St.-Jacques B, Iwamoto M, Enomoto-Iwamoto M, Koyama E, Pacifici M (2006) Hedgehog proteins regulate cranial base and synchondrosis growth plate development and function. Developmental Biology, 299(1):272-282.
Stedman HH, Kozyak BW, Nelson A, Thesier DM, Su LT, Low DW, Bridges CR, Shrager JB, Minugh-Purvis N, and Mitchell MA (2004) Myosin gene mutation correlates with anatomical changes in the human lineage. Nature, 428:415-418.
Minugh-Purvis N, and McNamara K (eds) (2002) Human Evolution through Developmental Change. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Minugh-Purvis N, Radovcic J, Smith FH (2000) Krapina 1: A juvenile Neandertal from the early Late Pleistocene of Croatia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 111:393-424.