The Virtual Microscopy Database arose as the brainchild of a group of histology educators that are members of the American Association for Anatomy (AAA) and participate in the society’s Digital Histology Interest Group. Drs. Goldman, Hortsch, and Lee have used virtual microscopy in their courses for many years. Seeing this technology adopted at a growing number of educational and research institutions all over the world, they felt the need for a centralized database of virtual microscopy files that will enable colleagues without access to high quality histological glass slides or scanning and digitization equipment to adopt this didactic approach in their classrooms. Funding from an AAA Innovation Grant made the development of this platform for donating and exchanging digital microcopy files possible.

Read more about the project in our published paper here:


VMD Administrators

HAVIVA M. GOLDMAN, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. She is the course director for Medical Microanatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine, and also teaches extensively in Gross Anatomy. She has numerous teaching awards including a 2013 Basic Science Educator Award and a 2014 Lindback Award. She has developed numerous web-based microanatomy resources and in-class active learning exercises for students using virtual microscope images. She also maintains an active lab with a focus on bone biology, utilizing histological, imaging and mechanical methods to examine structure-function relationships in bone during growth and with aging.

MICHAEL HORTSCH, Ph.D., is professor in the Departments of Cell and Developmental Biology and of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since 1991 he has taught medical and dental histology at the University of Michigan and is currently component director of both dental and medical histology and the course director of an undergraduate/graduate histology course at the University of Michigan. He is a recipient of the 2012 Kaiser Permanente Award for Excellence in Pre-clinical Teaching from the University of Michigan Medical School and the 2013 University of Michigan Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize for his SecondLook™ series of mobile review applications. He is interested in the development of novel electronic teaching tools, like mobile learning apps, eBooks, and educational websites, and to research how these new resources impact students’ learning.

LISA M.J. LEE, Ph.D., PA(ASCP)CM, is an associate professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Colorado. Dr. Lee teaches histology, embryology and gross anatomy to medical and dental students and serves as the course director of both histology and embryology offered to graduate students in the Modern Human Anatomy Program. She is a recipient of the 2015 Chancellor’s Teaching Recognition Award from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Ohio State University School of Medicine. Dr. Lee’s overarching professional goals are to make anatomical sciences education impactful, accessible and long lasting. To that end, her research and scholarly endeavors are in human-computer interaction in digital learning environment, evidence-based digital resource development and training the next generation of anatomical scientists and educators.

VMD Sponsors

The American Association for Anatomy was founded by Joseph Leidy in Washington, D.C. in 1888 for the “advancement of anatomical science.” Today, via research, education, and professional development activities, AAA serves as the professional home for an international community of biomedical researchers and educators focusing on the structural foundation of health and disease.

Mission: Advancing anatomical science through research, education, and professional development.

Vision: Inspiring scientific curiosity and discovery.

AAA is a nonprofit scientific organization with tax-exempt status. AAA is an organizational  member of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) , a coalition of 31 independent societies that play an active role in advocating for the interests of biomedical and life scientists to Congress and other scientific bodies.

Founded as MicroBrightField, Inc. in 1988, we changed our name to MBF Bioscience in 2005, as part of our efforts to demonstrate that our product and service offerings have broadened. While we specialize in neuroscience research, our products are also used extensively in stem cell research, lung, kidney, reproductive, cardiac, and toxicology research.

MBF Bioscience has grown into a global business, with offices in North America, South America, Europe, Japan, and China, and a dealer network active on five continents. We are also active in Korea and India, as those countries expand their basic science and biomedical research activities.

Our commitment to innovative products and unrivaled customer support has gained high praise from distinguished scientists who use our products all over the world. Our flagship products Stereo Investigator and Neurolucida are the most widely-used analysis systems for stereology and neuron reconstruction.

Our software allows you to easily obtain accurate quantitative measurements from microscope images, whether from brightfield, fluorescent, spinning disk, or laser-scanning confocal microscopes, and we back up our products with a support team that is world-renowned for its dedication to keeping customers productive.

The Buonacorsi Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit LLC created to support projects in the arts, sciences and technology, which promise to provide long-lasting positive impact on the human condition (http://buonacorsi.org). The foundation was created by a group of descendants of the noble Buonacorsi di Pistoia family, originating from the Tuscany region of Italy. The name Buonacorsi derives from buona = good, and corso = course, path or stream.The family name can be traced back to Buonacorso Pitti di Semifonte, whose grandson, Buonacorso di Baronto, was one of the elders of Pistoia in 1377.