Though he wears hats as associate professor of both biology and physical therapy and as the Department of Science chair at Alvernia University, at the heart of everything Eric Recktenwald does is research. That, and his students.
A graduate of Temple University with both a BS and Ph.D. in biology, Recktenwald is passionate about his studies involving neuroscience and animal behavior, especially in frogs as it translates to humans, and he brings that passion to students at Alvernia holding similar scientific curiosities. At any point in an undergraduate’s career at Alvernia, if they want to dive into research with Recktenwald, he’s game. Juniors and seniors specifically can join the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program that Recktenwald oversees.
He's worked with Alvernia students to publish two professional research papers, opportunities he asserts as offering valuable first-hand biological research insights for budding professionals looking to gain insight about how the scientific process works.
Unique to research at Alvernia is the relatively new Virtual Dissection Lab, equipped with four Anatomage tables, which replace a traditional human cadaver lab.
“Essentially four people donated their bodies to science upon their passing and every layer, every structure, was outlined and recreated and put into a digital form where students can interact with them, practicing dissection for study and later for testing," Recktenwald explained. "I can also project images from the tables onto screens to help in the teaching process."