Profile on VBS Assistant Professor Roxanne Larsen

Larsen, Roxanne

Name: Roxanne Larsen

Job Title: Assistant Professor

BACKGROUND: Dr. Roxanne Larsen grew up on a dairy and hog farm with a hunting and fishing lodge in Lake Preston, South Dakota. She attended South Dakota State University and received her BS and MS degress in Biology and received her Ph.D. in Biology from Texas Tech University. Dr. Larsen completed her postdoctoral work in Biomechanics and Medical Education at Duke University and Duke University School of Medicine. In 2018, she was recruited by the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor.

RESEARCH TRAINING AND FOCUS: Dr. Larsen's graduate training explored evolutionary biology, genetics, and mammalogy and her post-doctoral training examined biomechanics and health professions education. When asked about her expansive background, Dr. Larsen explained, "This eclectic set of skills derives from my passion for structure and function relationships and leads to my continued involvement in educational scholarship and basic science research."

EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP: In addition to evolutionary biology and biomechanics, Dr. Larsen believes strongly in the importance of science communication – creating educational materials for diverse audiences within and outside of the University setting, and human and animal health professions education – emphasizing shared training in veterinary and medical programs.

BASIC SCIENCE RESEARCH: Dr. Larsen's primary focus in research revolves around the field of biomechanics, investigating functional mechanics of bipedal gait, but she is also an active collaborator in research projects on disease surveillance and anatomical and physiological aspects of mammalian reservoirs of disease.

CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS: With collaborators in Extension, VMC Medical Imaging, and the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center, Dr. Larsen co-leads a project on the development and assessment of physical and virtual 3D anatomical models that supports training in food safety, disease surveillance, and animal welfare in production animal programs. Seed funding was obtained from the Office of the Dean to pilot a bovine model, which highlights structures specifically relevant to meat inspection – lymph nodes, tonsils, and other specified risk materials. Dr. Larsen and her research team submitted a grant proposal to the Rapid Ag Response Funds to allow for the continued development of additional bovine and swine models. She continues to work with a variety of educators across the CVM on projects including on-line learning and professionalism and with external collaborators on the integration of radiology into gross anatomy and the biomechanics of running on uneven terrain.

TEACHING: In addition to research, Dr. Larsen also is a co-coordinator for two first-year DVM courses including Integrated Physiology and Anatomy II (Ungulates). She is also an instructor of Microanatomy I and Anatomy I. Dr. Larsen explained about changes over this last year due to COVID-19, "During the pandemic, both Anatomy I and II have undergone large amounts of re-organization, but we have been able to maintain teaching in-person labs. This would not have been possible without an amazing teaching team (Tina Clarkson, Sarah Brown, Abby Brown, Anna Landherr, Hannah Gytri) and coordination with the Office of Academic and Student Affairs." Dr. Larsen also recently published two educational papers (Health Professions Education, Radiology and Anatomy Education) and one biomechanics paper (Running and Gaze-tracking). In addition, she is the co-faculty advisor of the newly formed DVM student One Health club and has begun to serve on other graduate student committees.

HOBBIES: To maintain a good work/life balance Dr. Larsen enjoys running, other outdoor activities, birding, and assembling jigsaw puzzles.