Dana Duren, PhD, is the Director of Orthopaedic Research at the University of Missouri. She is also the Director of Skeletal Morphology in the Thompson Laboratory for Regenerative Orthopaedics. Dr. Duren started working at Mizzou in 2016 and graduated from the university in 1993 with an anthropology degree.
As an undergraduate student at MU, Duren was interested in biological anthropology and worked under Dr. Carol Ward, who now works in the pathology and anatomical sciences department. As part of the McNair Scholars Program, Duren researched animal locomotion.
“As a student, I compared the X-rays of growing chimpanzees and growing humans,” Duren said. “When you look at the femur in adult humans, the bone is angled from the hip joint to the knee joint in a way that allows us to walk on two feet, which definitely piqued my interest as an undergraduate.”
Duren earned her graduate degree in biological anthropology at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She also earned a doctoral degree from Kent State as well.
“The skeleton is our internal structure and so I think it is important to know what we are made of,” Duren said. “From an evolutionary point of view, I want to learn more about how we got to where we are, and from a clinical point of view, we must first learn what a skeleton does under normal conditions to see what would cause a skeleton to be abnormal.”
Before coming to Mizzou in 2016, Duren was the Director of Orthopaedic Research at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. Now at her alma mater, Duren leads research projects that are funded by the National Institutes of Health and works with physicians and faculty to help them get the grant funding they need to take their research to the next level.
“When you are an undergraduate student, it is the perfect time to get your feet wet in research to see if it is something you are really passionate about,” Duren said. “It feels really gratifying to be leading research at the place where it first sparked my interests.”
Original article, “Alumna Dana Duren: A Skeletal Profile” by Brian Consiglio, was featured in the University of Missouri’s Office of Undergraduate Research March 2019 Newsletter, The Connection.