Gregory Highison

Gregory Highison, Ph.D.



For the last five years my major responsibilities at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine have been in teaching and administration. I have found instructing medical students to be both rewarding and challenging. I teach in the four classical disciplines of anatomy, gross, histology, embryology, neuroanatomy as well as in the medical cell biology program. My administrative duties within the department are managing the anatomical education program and overall curricular planning and development. Within the first year of medical school, the anatomical education program encompasses approximately 48% of the freshman curriculum. We have included within the framework of the classical disciplines computer-assisted instruction and a medical imaging program. My administrative duties within the medical school are split between the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs and the Office of Medical Education. I enjoy working with students, whether it be through my work on admissions committees, facilitating small groups in the Clinical Problem Solving Course, or working with medical students in the anatomical education program.


My research interest lies in the placenta. As you can appreciate, this is a very dynamic, but temporary organ. Since my research expertise is in electron microscopy and histology, I primarily use these techniques to study hamster placentas. My main interest is in the trophoblastic invasion of maternal arteries, how these cells migrate and whether these cells play a role in vascular hypertension.

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  • Cell Biology


  • Fuller EG, GJ Highison, FD Tibbitts and BD Fuller. 1994. Migration of intravascular trophoblast cells in uterine arteries of the golden hamster: a scanning electron microscopy study. J Morphol. 220:307-313.


  • Schweitzer CM, FD Tibbitts, GJ Highison, and N Rahimzadeh. 1993. Utero-placental artery: cell types and morphologies. Presented at the Western Student Research Forum at Carmel and the National Student Research Forum at Galveston in Spring 1994.


  • Blankenship T, FD Tibbitts, GJ Highison, E Fuller and B King. 1992. Persistence of basement membrane following trophoblastic invasion of maternal arteries in the hamster. Presented at the 1992 Society for Gynecologic Investigation, San Antonio, Texas. Abstract #531.