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Edwin S. Purcell, Ph.D.

Dean of Basic Science


The University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Edwin S. Purcell to the position of Dean of Basic Sciences. Chair and Professor of Gross Anatomy and Professor of Histology Dr. Edwin S. Purcell earned a Ph.D. in Anatomy from the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas. He received his Master of Arts in Physiology and his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence.  Dr. Purcell also has an Associate and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Monmouth College, West Long Branch, New Jersey.

Dr. Purcell’s extensive medical education background has included his work as an instructor of biological sciences at Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  He moved on to become a graduate teaching assistant, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas.

He then became an instructor of biological sciences at Johnson County College, Overland Park, Kansas, followed by work as an adjunct instructor and research assistant at the University of Kansas Medical Center.  He served as Assistant then Associate Professor at Des Moines University then as Associate Professor and Director of Neuroanatomy at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. 


He then worked as Director of Medical Neuroscience and Associate Professor of basic medical science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City. Just prior to joining UMHS, Dr. Purcell was Interim Chair and Associate Professor of Anatomy at A.T. Still University, Kirksville, Missouri. He holds multiple teaching awards.


Dr. Purcell’s research has focused on interactions between the nervous and immune system. First, helping to establish the link between stress and immune suppression and later  demonstrating the ability of increased vagal activity to decrease the production of hyperinflammatory cytokines. He was a founding member of the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society. He was a member of the State Anatomical Board of the State of Missouri and is a member of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists.



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