Who's Who Top Educators

Edwin S. Purcell, PhD

Title: Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Company: University of Medicine and Health Sciences
Location: Newton, Iowa, United States

Edwin S. Purcell, PhD, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at University of Medicine and Health Sciences, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in academic administration.

With more than 30 years of experience to his credit, Dr. Purcell has excelled as the associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences since 2010. During this time, he was additionally active at the aforementioned university as the chairman and professor of anatomy from 2010 to 2015 as well as the dean of basic sciences and a professor of basic sciences from 2015 to 2019. He previously served as the director of neuroanatomy and a course coordinator for neurosensory systems at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine from 1996 to 2002, the director of neuroscience and a professor of neuroscience and anatomy at the University of Missour-Kansas City from 2002 to 2004, the director of anatomy and a professor of histology, neuroscience and anatomy at Logan University College of Chiropractic from 2004 to 2007, and an associate professor of anatomy and neuroscience at A.T. Still University from 2007 to 2010. Dr. Purcell began his career at Des Moines University, advancing from an assistant professor of anatomy to an associate professor of anatomy between 1992 and 1996.

Before embarking on his professional path, Dr. Purcell pursued an education at Monmouth University, from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 1973. He continued his academic efforts at The University of Kansas, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in biology in 1979 and a Master of Arts in physiology in 1982. Dr. Purcell eventually concluded his studies at The University of Kansas Medical Center in 1993, graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy in anatomy and cell biology.

Beyond his responsibilities within the field, Dr. Purcell has participated in numerous endeavors outside of his professional circles. Since 2019, he has likewise contributed to The University of Medicine and Health Sciences as the chairman of the faculty admissions committee. A founding member of The Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society, he was formerly affiliated with The American Association for Anatomy, The American Association of Clinical Anatomists, and The Society for Neuroscience. In light of his impressive undertakings, Dr. Purcell has accrued several accolades throughout his career, including The Basic Science Professor of the Year Award from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1998 and The Outstanding Faculty Teaching and Service Award from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2000.

Dr. Purcell has attributed his exceptional success to his steadfast passion for teaching and shaping the careers of his students, as he has been able to witness a number of former students hold esteemed positions at multiple medical and academic institutions. Raised in a medical family, he is incredibly proud of his widely replicated research on psychoneuroimmunology and the stimulation of the vagus nerve, which has been accepted as common knowledge despite his initial work failing to gain traction. Looking toward the future, Dr. Purcell remains committed to his stellar work in higher education while keeping an eye toward an eventual retirement.

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