Joy S Reidenberg

Joy S Reidenberg, PhD

About Me

Joy S. Reidenberg, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, Fellow of the American Association for Anatomy, and Fellow of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.  Dr. Reidenberg received a B.A. in 1983 from Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences. She earned her M.Phil. in 1985 and her Ph.D. in 1988 in Anatomy from Mount Sinai’s Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences in New York. Dr. Reidenberg has also held appointments as a Guest Investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and as an Associate Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Reidenberg is a biomedical research scientist who studies comparative anatomy. She has examined a large variety of animals ranging from insects to humans, but her particular fascination is with aquatic animals. Much of Dr. Reidenberg’s recent work is focused on how animals adapt to environmental extremes. Current research is focused on the anatomy of whales, dolphins and porpoises, especially in understanding how they produce sounds and withstand the pressures of diving. Her anatomical research focuses on these animals as "natural experiments" from which we can learn about basic biomechanical relationships that affect all animals, including humans. Dr. Reidenberg is interested how these animals have evolved adaptations to solve problems we consider a survival challenge in humans. She hopes to learn from nature and develop protective/preventive technologies or new medical treatments for injuries and diseases based upon mimicking these adaptations. Dr. Reidenberg work has been federally funded by: Office of Naval Research, Department of Defense, National Oceanic Partnership Program, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Her research and scientific expertise has been featured in many science and educational television documentaries that have aired both nationally and internationally on PBS (USA), BBC (worldwide), National Geographic (worldwide, including Israel), NatGeo Wild (USA), Discovery Channel (USA & Canada), Channel 4 (UK), SBS (Australia), etc.  Dr. Reidenberg is internationally famous for her documentary work, being best known as the comparative anatomist for "Inside Nature’s Giants," an 18 episode series that examined the anatomy, function, and evolution of large animals, and was recognized with many awards, including: British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award (the BAFTA is the UK equivalent of an Emmy and Oscar Award), World Gold Medal Television and Film Award, Thompson Reuters Zoological Record Award for Communicating Zoology, Broadcast Award, and Royal Television Society Award.  Dr. Reidenberg's other documentary series work includes:  "Sex in the Wild," "Born in the Wild," "Brave New World with Stephen Hawking," "Big Blue Live," "Wild Alaska Live," "Mythical Beasts," "Lost Beasts Unearthed," "Lost Beasts, series II."  She has also been the featured whale anatomist in several single episode documentaries: "Science of Whales," Cracking the Humpback Code," "Decoding Humpbacks," "Whale Communication," "Jimmy and the Whale Whisperer," "Humpback Whales: A Detective Story," "Whale Detective," "Mystery of the Walking Whale," and "When Whales Could Walk."

Dr. Reidenberg has been featured twice in the British journal Nature: “Truly Gross Anatomy” (3 April 2008) which discussed how she dives into whale carcasses to study their anatomy, and “Q&A: Prime Time dissection with Joy Reidenberg” (24 June 2010) which focused on her outreach teaching of anatomy through television. She was also interviewed in O, the Oprah Magazine in a full page spread on her unusual career in anatomy called “Inside the World of Anatomist Joy Reidenberg” (April 2011) and in the New York Times - Science Times, “From Inside Lions and Leviathans, Anatomist Builds a Following” (February 2012).

Teaching is a passion for Dr. Reidenberg. Courses she has taught to medical and graduate students include: Human Gross Anatomy, Histology, Anatomic Radiology, and Structures. She currently teaches gross anatomy, histology, embryology, and imaging in the medical school curriculum.  She runs electives in Comparative Anatomy and Creative Visions, and participates in several anatomy courses for surgeons, allied health professionals, and fitness instructors. She was also an Adjunct Professor and Course Director of General Anatomy at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine.

Her energies in education have earned her teaching awards both within her institution and nationwide. She was awarded The Basmajian Award by the American Association of Anatomists for her excellence in both teaching and research (the highest national prize in her field). Dr. Reidenberg was honored with The Henry Gray Distinguished Educator Award by the American Association for Anatomy (the highest international honor in education).  Mount Sinai Alumni Association recognized her as the inagural recipient of the Award for Achievement in Graduate Education.  Dr. Reidenberg was awarded Mount Sinai's highest honor, The Jacobi Medallion, in recognition of her international reputation for outstanding research and educational accomplishments.

PROFESSOR | Medical Education
Research Topics

Aerodigestive Tract, Anatomy, Biomechanics/Bioengineering, Biomedical Sciences, Bone Biology, Brain Imaging, Cartilage Biology, Comparative Anatomy, Computed Tomography, Computer Simulation, Developmental Biology, Education, Evolution, Imaging, Larynx, Lung, MRI, Neurobiology, Otolaryngology (ENT), Respiratory, Skeletal Biology, Speech, Systems Biology, Trauma, Vocal Tract

Multi-Disciplinary Training Areas

Development Regeneration and Stem Cells [DRS]

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