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Principal Investigator


Muhammad A. Spocter, Ph.D. Human Biology

Full Professor of Anatomy, Des Moines University

Senior Research Associate, University of Witwatersrand

Affiliate Assistant Professor, Iowa State University


Office Phone: 515-271-1577

Lab Phone: 515-271-7485


About: I am a biological anthropologist from South Africa. I completed my graduate training at the University of Witwatersrand (Ph.D, 2007) under the guidance of Dr. Paul Manger. I relocated to the USA and completed my postdoctoral training at The George Washington University with Dr. Chet Sherwood. In the Fall of 2011, I joined Des Moines University and established the Evolving Brain Lab with the goal of expanding our understanding of mammalian brain evolution.I am passionate about community engaged scholarship and as a first generation college student I am an ardent supporter of initiatives that help to expand STEM education.

Click to visit my  ORCID ID

Research Assistant


Kathleen Bitterman, BSc. Mathematics


Office phone: 515-271-7485

About: I am a native of Iowa and completed my undergraduate education at Iowa State University. I joined the Anatomy Department at Des Moines University in 2009. 

Major Equipment and Facilities

Nikon 80i microscope equipped for brightfield microscopy; MBF Bioscience integrated stereology analysis software; Equipment for histological sectioning and immunocytochemical staining, modified Leica SM2000R sliding microtome, Leica CryoHistostat; Mac Pro workstation, Analyze 10.0 software for 3D biomedical image visualization and analysis, NextEngine 3D Laser Scanner, Monoprice Maker 3D Printers,


Mentored Research Interns

Sophonie Nash Dusabe (Drake University) Samantha Lord (MA'17), Michael Conte (DO'17); Jeremiah Fairbanks (DO'17); Kayla Olson (MA' 15); Amy Nguyen (Drake University); Naveen Nath (DMPS); Brian Whyms (DO'16), David Cain (DPM'16), Christopher Hoisington (Iowa State University); Emma Fisher (DMPS); Ian Odigie (DPM '16);Steven Rose (DO'18); Ashraf Uddin (D0'18); Victoria Knauf (DPM'18); Lisa Le Hang (DO'19), Ella Dublin (Drake University); Ian Glidden (BMS ISU), Pavel Fillipov ((DPM'19), Brittany Wilson (DO'20), Jacob Nelson  (DO'20)


© 2011 by Evolving Brain Laboratory (EBL)

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