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Himmelfarb Headlines - November / December 2020

BodyViz Virtual Anatomy Software

BodyVizThanks to a generous grant from the GW Hospital Women’s Board, Himmelfarb users now have an exciting new way to study anatomy, using the BodyViz virtual anatomy software suite! BodyViz is designed to let you explore 3D anatomical structures in a number of ways. In its most basic mode, you can zoom and rotate an anatomical model to view it from different angles and pinpoint structures of interest. Other modes allow you to enhance brightness, contrast, and color based on tissue density so you can highlight or filter out bone, muscles, organs, or vasculature in the area you are studying. Clipping mode, described as "digital dissection," allows you to isolate areas of interest or expose internal structures.

The BodyViz suite comes preloaded with a large library of data sets, including both human and animal models, healthy and pathological states, and different developmental stages. Because it uses the standard DICOM file format, you can even import your own data into BodyViz (have a DVD from your last MRI?) and generate your own models to explore.

For faculty, BodyViz has features that support generating your own learning objects for use in the curriculum. The software allows you to create a preset view of an anatomical structure, either labeled or with pointers to areas of interest, which can then be pushed out to your students who can interact with the object in the 3D viewer and answer questions about what they see. Himmelfarb is currently looking to partner with a small initial cohort of faculty to explore this feature in depth. Faculty interested in participating in the pilot or learning about how they can use BodyViz to enhance their courses should contact Ian Roberts ( for an initial consultation.

BodyViz can be accessed at its dedicated workstation in the 3rd floor Levine Lounge (Himmelfarb 305A), next to the glass-door entrance to the Bloedorn Technology Center. Due to social distancing restrictions, the BodyViz space is currently limited to two concurrent users. To help us maintain safe usage of the space, you will need to reserve a time slot in advance using our online reservation form. When you get to the library for your session, you will need to go to the circulation desk to check out the wireless keyboard and mouse for the workstation.

For more information on BodyViz, visit the BodyViz research guide maintained by Himmelfarb.


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