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Eustathia Lela Giannaris PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
DepartmentRadiology
AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North, S7-143
Worcester MA 01655
Phone508-856-7898
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentNeurobiology

    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentRadiology


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United StatesBABiology
    Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, United StatesPHDAnatomy and Neurobiology
    Collapse awards and honors
    2015Outstanding Pre-clinical Medical Educator, UMMS
    2019Educational Achievement (Star) Award, UMMS
    2020Outstanding Pre-clinical Medical Educator, UMMS
    2021Educational Achievement (Star) Award, UMMS

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview

    Lela Giannaris, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Division of Translational Anatomy in the Department of Radiology at UMMS. Dr. Giannaris joined the UMMS faculty in 2010 after earning a PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology from Boston University School of Medicine. She previously worked at the Belfer Gene Therapy Core Facility at Weill Medical College of Cornell University performing preclinical testing of viral vectors for the treatment of Batten’s Disease. She earned a BA degree in Biology, with a concentration of Neurobiology and Behavior, from Cornell University. Dr. Giannaris has conducted neuroscience research on various topics, such as gene therapy for neurodegenerative diseases and quantitative neuroanatomy in aging.

    Dr. Giannaris currently serves as Chair of the first year Foundations of Medicine (FOM1) curriculum committee, Director of Anatomy and Course Co-Leader of the Development, Structure, and Function (DSF) course, as well as core faculty in the second year Brain: Track 1- Clinical Neuroanatomy course. The DSF course is the largest foundational course for first-year medical students at UMMS and integrates the disciplines of anatomy, embryology, histology, radiology and physiology. In this educational leadership role, she has been focused on effecting several changes to improve the quality of the student experience, increase integration among disciplines, and emphasize clinically relevant anatomy. Within the Department of Radiology, Dr. Giannaris has worked closely with colleagues to integrate teaching of clinical anatomy with diagnostic radiology. As part of the DSF leadership team, she was lauded with the Educational Achievement (Star) Award in 2019 for work in transforming this major foundational course into an engaging vertically and horizontally integrated learning experience for UMMS medical students. Dr. Giannaris has also been recognized by students for excellence in teaching with Outstanding Basic Science Medical Educator Awards in 2015 and 2020. She is currently overseeing the development and implementation of a longitudinal anatomy curriculum as part of the UMMS curriculum revolution efforts, a major collaborative effort with basic scientists and clinicians across the institution. She is inspired by the collaborative work and innovation that comes from engaging with colleagues on interprofessional teams. 

    In addition, Dr. Giannaris directs the Summer Prosection Program for rising second-year medical students who are interested in receiving further training in anatomy and developing educational materials to enhance the anatomy curriculum.  Each year she also engages students in the Summer Curriculum Development Program and has produced innovative curricular resources in collaboration with them. She incorporates feedback and carefully evaluates each resource and curricular element with an eye on both content and the student experience. She enjoys working with students and strives to create a positive and inclusive learning environment. 

    Dr. Giannaris’ research interests include curriculum development, implementation and assessment for gross anatomy and neuroanatomy in undergraduate medical education. She also has a strong interest in the hidden curriculum that the anatomy dissection experience offers. She works to promote humanism in her teaching and has implemented special ceremonies for students both at the start and end of the anatomy course, in addition to well-established annual anatomical gift donor memorial service. 

    In addition to her many service contributions at UMMS, Dr. Giannaris is also involved on the national level with anatomy professional organizations.  She is former chair and now presidential appointee on the Educational Affairs Committee (EAC) of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) and a member of the Professional Development Committee (PDC) of the American Association of Anatomists (AAA).

    Dr. Giannaris is also a graduate of the American Association of Medical College’s (AAMC) Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) year-long certificate program.  The program focused on four areas: 1) vision and setting direction; 2) developing people; 3) developing organizations; and 4) managing effectively. She is also a graduate of the Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) at UMMS. She is a passionate and dedicated medical educator and leader who strives to make learners and colleagues feel engaged, empowered and valued.  




    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Carter Y, Bennett DJ, Molla V, Wink AE, Collins AJ, Giannaris EL. A case of distal limb arterial tortuosity and dilation: observations and potential clinical significance. Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2021 Jun 01. PMID: 34060644.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Khalil MK, Giannaris EL, Lee V, Baatar D, Richter S, Johansen K, Mishall PL. Integration of Clinical Anatomical Sciences in Medical Education: Design, Development and Implementation Strategies. Clin Anat. 2021 Apr 27. PMID: 33905130.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Salimy MS, Luiselli GA, Yuen M, Healy RC, Shah SG, Giannaris EL, Das M, Wink AE. A case of solitary kidney with duplex collecting systems and renal vascular variants in an adult male cadaver. Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2020 Aug 04. PMID: 32748948.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Weaver DR, van der Vinne V, Giannaris EL, Vajtay TJ, Holloway KL, Anaclet C. Functionally Complete Excision of Conditional Alleles in the Mouse Suprachiasmatic Nucleus by Vgat-ires-Cre. J Biol Rhythms. 2018 Apr; 33(2):179-191. PMID: 29671710.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Rice SM, Schipani ES, Santos AMR, Sadaniantz KA, Roychowdhury P, Giannaris EL, Das M. Varicosities affecting the lower limb veins consequent to a unique variant drainage pattern of the small saphenous vein. International Journal of Anatomical Variations. 2018; 11(2):63-65.
    6. Collins AJ, Smith W, Giannaris EL, Orvek E, Lazar P, Carney JK, Gilroy AM, Rosen MP. Population representation among anatomical donors and the implication for medical student education. Clin Anat. 2018 Mar; 31(2):250-258. PMID: 29127734.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Estrada LI, Robinson AA, Amaral AC, Giannaris EL, Heyworth NC, Mortazavi F, Ngwenya LB, Roberts DE, Cabral HJ, Killiany RJ, Rosene DL. Evaluation of Long-Term Cryostorage of Brain Tissue Sections for Quantitative Histochemistry. J Histochem Cytochem. 2017 Jan 01; 22155416686934. PMID: 28080173.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Halene TB, Kozlenkov A, Jiang Y, Mitchell AC, Javidfar B, Dincer A, Park R, Wiseman J, Croxson PL, Giannaris EL, Hof PR, Roussos P, Dracheva S, Hemby SE, Akbarian S. NeuN+ neuronal nuclei in non-human primate prefrontal cortex and subcortical white matter after clozapine exposure. Schizophr Res. 2016 Feb; 170(2-3):235-44. PMID: 26776227.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Chen CD, Sloane JA, Li H, Aytan N, Giannaris EL, Zeldich E, Hinman JD, Dedeoglu A, Rosene DL, Bansal R, Luebke JI, Kuro-o M, Abraham CR. The antiaging protein Klotho enhances oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination of the CNS. J Neurosci. 2013 Jan 30; 33(5):1927-39. PMID: 23365232.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Giannaris EL, Rosene DL. A stereological study of the numbers of neurons and glia in the primary visual cortex across the lifespan of male and female rhesus monkeys. J Comp Neurol. 2012 Oct 15; 520(15):3492-508. PMID: 22430145.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Hackett NR, Redmond DE, Sondhi D, Giannaris EL, Vassallo E, Stratton J, Qiu J, Kaminsky SM, Lesser ML, Fisch GS, Rouselle SD, Crystal RG. Safety of direct administration of AAV2(CU)hCLN2, a candidate treatment for the central nervous system manifestations of late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, to the brain of rats and nonhuman primates. Hum Gene Ther. 2005 Dec; 16(12):1484-503. PMID: 16390279.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Sondhi D, Peterson DA, Giannaris EL, Sanders CT, Mendez BS, De B, Rostkowski AB, Blanchard B, Bjugstad K, Sladek JR, Redmond DE, Leopold PL, Kaminsky SM, Hackett NR, Crystal RG. AAV2-mediated CLN2 gene transfer to rodent and non-human primate brain results in long-term TPP-I expression compatible with therapy for LINCL. Gene Ther. 2005 Nov; 12(22):1618-32. PMID: 16052206.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Giannaris EL, Cleland TA, Linster C. Intramodal blocking between olfactory stimuli in rats. Physiol Behav. 2002 Apr 15; 75(5):717-22. PMID: 12020736.
      View in: PubMed
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