PA students work with artist to develop unique perspective of the human body

Artist Lisa Nilsson takes a tour of one of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine's anatomy labs.
Sept. 3, 2013 - Lisa Nilsson has a unique way of looking at the world around her, and, in particular, at the human body.

Nilsson, an anatomy-focused Massachusetts-based artist, recently jumped at an invitation sent by Quinnipiac's first-year physician assistant students to talk about her work and get a tour of the human neck and head in one of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine's anatomy labs.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to expand my understanding," she said. "The form, mechanics and design are just mind-boggling."

She said the opportunity to observe the dissection helped her to ensure that her portrayal of the body is accurate. "For me, the subject matter is interesting and beautiful," Nilsson said. "There's a lot of detail and complexity."
She said she enjoyed working with the Quinnipiac students. "The students have been great," Nilsson said. "It's sweet to see what they are excited about."

Dawn Colomb-Lippa, an adjunct professor of physician assistant studies and an instructor of biology, invited Nilsson to the class.

"When I teach anatomy, I try to teach not only as a science but also as a true art form," Colomb-Lippa said. "Having Lisa attend lab has reaffirmed for the students the beauty of the human body."

Jaclyn Krawiec, a first-year physician assistant student, said she was excited about the opportunity to work with Nilsson. "What she is doing ties our world with the art world," she said. "It helps to give us a greater appreciation of what we are doing."