Arlen Severson

Emeritus Faculty
Biography

Research Summary

Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of myocardial infarction, strokes and gangrene. One of the dominant features of the atherosclerotic lesion is the presence of calcification. Previous studies have focused on the normal calcification processes involving skeletal tissue. Developments in calcification research have lead to the recognition of similarities between normal calcification of skeletal tissue and abnormal calcification in the vascular wall at atherosclerotic sites. The primary research objective has been to apply information and techniques used in studying normal calcifying tissues to the calcification process occurring in atheromatous lesions. This includes determining if osteogenic cell proteins are present in calcifying coronary arteries, what known bone growth factors may be present and responsible for coronary artery calcification, and messenger RNA levels of proteins relevant to the calcification process. These studies have wide-ranging implications for the prevention of coronary artery calcification because of the many new drugs and antibodies currently available (or in development) that alter the calcification process in bone. The finding of similar features between normal calcified tissue and calcified coronary arteries will guide future research and therapies that could prevent coronary artery disease. Facilitating the transformation of undergraduate medical education as medical education moves into the next decades is another endeavor being undertaken. One approach to education being pursued is Team-Based Learning (TBL). TBL assumes that learning goals for a subject be faculty-directed and used to guide individual and group learning activities. In TBL, students initially learn by receiving learning objectives and preparing before class by using the learning objectives. At the beginning of each class period, individual students take a readiness assessment quiz on the material studied. A similar quiz is then administered to designated groups of students (group quiz) in which the students discuss the possible answers and defend their reasoning. The group decides on the correct answer, and the group quiz is then discussed in the classroom. Discussion of clinical cases related to the subject follow. TBL emphasizes three keys to effective active learning: 1) individual and group accountability, 2) need and opportunity for group interaction; and 3) motivation to engage in give-and-take discussion. Documentation of the learning experience indicates positive enhancement of medical knowledge and clinical understanding. Emphasis on independent learning by developing computer-assisted learning tools for both radiographic anatomy and neuroanatomy has been a priority over several decades. Radiographic and Sectional Anatomy and NeuroTime serve as independent supplemental tools for the learning of structures and anatomical relationships. Another area of current educational activity is the development of self-assessment learning quizzes. These consist primarily of short clinical vignettes that focus on the current learning area for the student. These learning tools enable the student to investigate clinical problems with follow-up multiple choice questions related to the clinical condition.

Education

PhD, University of North Dakota
Major: Anatomy
MS, University of North Dakota
Major: Anatomy
BA, Concordia College
Major: Biology

Fellowships, Residencies, and Visiting Engagements

U.S. Public Health Service Special Fellowship, Fellowship
Mayo Medical Center, Mayo Foundation
U.S. Public Health Service Special Fellowship, Fellowship
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Public Health Service Postdoctoral Fellowship, Fellowship
Medical Research Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research Participation Fellowship, Fellowship
Department of Anatomy, University of North Dakota School of Medicine

Honors and Recognition

Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
2018
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2017
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2016
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2015
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2014
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
2013
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2013
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2012
Minnesota Medical Foundation Outstanding Medical School Teacher Award
2012
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
2011
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2011
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2010
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2009
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
2008
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2007
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
2006
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
2005
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
2003
University of Minnesota Medical School Academy of Medical Educators Award
2002
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
2002
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
1998
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
1995
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
1994
University of Minnesota Duluth Academy of Teaching Excellence Award
1991
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
1987
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
1984
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
1983
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
1978
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year: Honorable Mention
1977
Minnesota Medical Foundation Basic Science Teacher of the Year
1975
Teacher of the Year, University of Minnesota, Duluth School of Medicine
1974

Professional Memberships

American Association of Clinical Anatomy
Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Neurobiology Chairpersons (emeritus)
American Association of Anatomy
Selected Presentations

Selected Presentations

Severson, A. R. "Student use of gross anatomy laboratory checklists", American Association of Clinical Anatomist Meeting, Orlando, Florida, July 01, 2014.
Severson, A. R. "Neuroscience laboratory instruction using a computer-based neuroanatomical learning tool", American Association of Anatomist Meeting, San Diego, California, January 01, 2014.
Severson, A. R. "Neuroscience laboratory instruction using a computer-based neuroanatomical learning tool", Computers in Research and Teaching: Experimental Biology Meeting, San Diego, January 01, 2014.
Severson, A. R. "Using a computer-based program to learn human neuroanatomical structure and function", American Association of Clinical Anatomist Meeting, Denver, Colorado, January 01, 2013.
Severson, A. R. "Learning human neuroanatomical structure and function using a computer-based learning tool", Teaching and Learning Conference, Best Practices Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 01, 2013.
Severson, A. R. "Learning human neuroanatomical structure and function using a computer-based learning tool", Academy of Distinguished Teachers Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 01, 2013.
Severson, A. R. "Integrating basic science and clinical subject material into a clinically relevant skin-musculoskeletal course for first-year medical students", American Association of Anatomist Meeting, San Diego, California, January 01, 2012.
Severson, A. R. "Teaching the millennial generation of medical students", American Association of Anatomist Meeting, Washington, District of Columbia, January 01, 2011.
Severson, A. R. "Peer teaching as an educational tool for learning basic concepts of the peripheral nervous system", American Association of Anatomist Meeting, Anaheim, California, January 01, 2010.
Severson, A. R. "Learning the ins and outs of the peripheral nervous system", American Association of Clinical Anatomist Meeting, Toronto, Canada. January 01, 2008.
Severson, A. R. "Case-based learning for understanding cardiovascular development", Best Practices Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 01, 2008.
Severson, A. R. "Team-based learning as an educational strategy for learning normal and abnormal developmental anatomy", American Association of Anatomist Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January 01, 2006.
Severson, A. R. "Use of team-based learning as an educational tool for learning developmental anatomy", American Association of Clinical Anatomist Meeting, San Francisco, California, January 01, 2006.
Severson, A. R. "NeuroTime: A computer-assisted learning tool for the neuroanatomy laboratory", American Association of Anatomist Meeting, Los Angeles, California, January 01, 2002.
Severson, A. R. "NeuroTime: A computer-assisted learning tool for the neuroanatomy laboratory", American Association of Clinical Anatomy Meeting, Orlando, Florida, January 01, 2002.
Severson, A. R. "Student and faculty experiences at UMD School of Medicine using NeuroView, a computer program for neuroanatomy", University of Minnesota Duluth TechFest, Duluth, Minnesota, January 01, 2001.
Severson, A. R. "Student and Faculty Experiences Using NeuroView, a Computer Program for Neuroanatomy", Association of American Medical Colleges - Central Group on Educational Affairs, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 01, 2001.
Severson, A. R. "Student and Faculty Experiences Using NeuroView, a computer program for neuroanatomy", International Medical Education Program, Rochester, Minnesota, January 01, 2001.
Severson, A. R. "NeuroView: Learning neuroanatomical structures using a computer-based program", American Association of Anatomist Meeting, Orlando, Florida, January 01, 2001.
Severson, A. R. "NeuroView: A computer-based learning tool for neuroanatomy", University of Minnesota Duluth Sigma Xi Society Meeting, Duluth, Minnesota, January 01, 2001.
Severson, A. R. "Student and faculty experiences at University of Minnesota School of Medicine using NeuroView, a computer program for neuroanatomy", International Medical Education Program, Rochester, Minnesota, January 01, 2001.
Severson, A. R. "A computer-based learning tool for neuroanatomy", University of Minnesota TechFest, Duluth, Minnesota, January 01, 2000.
Severson, A. R. "NeuroView™: A computer-based learning tool for neuroanatomy", Association of American Medical Colleges - Central Group on Educational Affairs, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 01, 2000.
Severson, A. R. "Neuroview™: A computer learning tool for neuroanatomy", American Association of Anatomist Meeting, San Diego, California, January 01, 2000.
Severson, A. R. "Using a computer-based educational tool for learning neuroanatomical structures", Joint American and British Association of Clinical Anatomy Meetings, Cambridge, England. January 01, 2000.
Severson, A. R. "A problem-based computer program for learning neuroanatomy", Association of American Medical Colleges Meeting, Washington, District of Columbia, January 01, 1993.
Severson, A. R. "Development of software for the learning of neuroanatomical pathways involved in nervous system lesions", American Association of Anatomist Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 01, 1988.