Joseph A. Costa PhD

Joseph Costa

Joseph A. Costa

Instructor (HS)

Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

Anatomic Pathology; Molecular and Cellular Biology

Contact Information
955 Main St.
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: 716-829-2541
Fax: 716-829-2725

Professional Summary:

I am a functional morphologist with a background rooted in physical anthropology and both human and comparative anatomy. Central to my role as an instructor is the use of digital imaging technology to visualize the human body at both the micro- and macroscopic levels.

While classic teaching methods such as dissection remain vital components of biomedical education, there is a wealth of opportunity to examine the human body more deeply through computer-aided investigation. Of particular interest to me is the impressive potential of imaging techniques such computer tomography (CT) to create both physical and virtual representations of anatomical elements. More recent techniques such as diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography (diceCT) provide the means to visualize the nuance of soft-tissue architecture and therefore contribute to more realistic digital representations of the various systems of the body. Three-dimensional (3D) printed specimen provide the means to observe both healthy and pathological specimen without the need for potentially destructive dissection. 3D meshes created from scans serve an equally important role as teaching tools, and can prove invaluable to clinicians and researchers alike.

These technologies have proven invaluable to my ongoing research on the function of the long canines of saber-toothed cats in killing prey. I employ both physical and digital three-dimensional models created from scans of fossil specimen in simulated biting experiments. In this way, I attempt to observe the response to mechanical loading on the skulls, jaws, and teeth of animals not seen for millennia. Methodologies such as these have important implications to biomedical education as well as research, and open the door for student learning opportunities both in and outside of the dissection lab.

Education and Training:

  • PhD, Anatomical Science, State University of New York at Buffalo (2018)
  • MA, Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo (2012)
  • MS, Education, St. Thomas Aquinas (2006)
  • Liberal Arts, Sara lawrence College (2003)

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association for Anatomy; "In addition to being the primary educators of healthcare profession students in their first year of training, AAA members work in imaging, cell biology, genetics, molecular development, endocrinology, histology, neuroscience, forensics, microscopy, physical anthropology, and numerous other developing areas. " (2018–present)

Service Activities:

  • Presentation at Nardin High School Delivered presentation detailing my dissertation project to extracurricular science club. Provided overview of research, methods, and findings. Followed with Q + A session.; Guest Lecturer (2019)
  • National Biomechanics Day Presented information regarding the biomechanics of sabertooth cats. Presented at one of several individual stations, demonstrating research methods. Presented imaging technology, i.e. scanning, segmentation, 3-D mesh creation, on computer, as well as printed models.; Presentor (2019)
  • Presentation at Nardin Montessori Gave presentation on animal dentition within context of my current research. Discussed tooth morphology in relation to diet as well as general cranial adaptations. Students ranged in age from 3-6. Class had opportunities to handle skulls, anatomical models, and 3-D printed objects.; Guest Lecturer (2019)
  • Girl Scouts go to Neuro School Led scouts on tours of UB brain museum. Responsible for presentation of specimen and mini lectures on neuroanatomy and pathology.; Presentor (2014–2018)

School News:

In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:

Clinical Offices:

Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

955 Main St.
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: 716-829-2541
Fax: 716-829-2725