Sean Moen

Sean Moen

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As director of the Neuroanatomy Laboratory, Moen spends most of his time working with Neuroanatomy Fellows, Residents, and medical students interested in getting more exposure to neuroanatomy. He is also responsible for designing and conducting advanced neuroanatomy courses for endovascular and neurosurgical device companies to improve their knowledge of neuroanatomy. “I learn something new about cranial anatomy every day,” he said. “The study of the vault is complex to say the least.”

One of the challenges Moen faces is to help reshape his students’ two-dimensional perceptions of angiograms, MRIs or CT scans and translate those perceptions to the three-dimensional anatomical structures they represent. “Medical imaging can be overwhelming when you are first introduced to it; it is difficult to really appreciate focally or geographically where structures observed in an MRI sit in the head,” he said. “My hope is that at the end of a course, our students are relatively comfortable with the primary anatomical structures, so when they encounter a significant structural abnormality in surgery there isn’t any question about what area the neurosurgeon is treating.”

The advantage that Moen believes the university’s Neuroanatomy Lab offers is that it’s aligned to clinically active neurosurgeons and neuro-radiologists. “I have three endovascular surgical neuro-radiologists, four fellows in that specialty, and fourteen neurosurgical residents I can tap for information,” he said. “That base of clinical support is really what makes this whole endeavor possible.”