Raymond F. Gasser, PhD

Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy
Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

1901 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112




Computer imaging technology is used to study human embryonic development. Dr. Gasser assists a local fertility clinic to determine, using vaginal ultrasound, the growth rates and other parameters of living human embryos in utero in obstetric patients with known time of conception (in vitro fertilization). A second project involves assembling a series of 3-D computer reconstructions of multiple, related structures at representative stages of development in a collection of fixed, serially sectioned human embryos. By using defined magnifications and reference points, growth movements (changes in size, shape and position) of each reconstructed structure are determined. The use of a central reference point (i.e., notochord) rather than a traditional peripheral one is necessary because the embryo is an expanding mass. 3-D growth movements reveal for the first time the remarkable, changing relationships of multiple structures in an expanding region in the rapidly growing embryo. To date, the movements of multiple ear structures and correlated changes in the size and shape of the face/brain have been determined. Dr. Gasser is very interested in future collaborative studies on the effects of biophysical phenomena (e.g., stretch) on cell differentiation in vitro. A third ongoing project involves collaboration with female pelvic surgeons and fellows on the surgical anatomy of the female pelvis to improve the outcome of surgical repair of prolapsed pelvic organs.

Selected Publications

Gasser, R.F., M. May, Embryonic development of the facial nerve, The Facial Nerve 2nd ed., 2000.

Barksdale, P.A., C.M. Gauthier, T.E. Elkins, L.L. Wall, and R.F. Gasser, Intraligamentous nerves as a potential source of pain after sacrospinous ligament fixation of the vaginal apex, Internat. Urogynecol. J. 8:121-125, 1997.