Clapp Lab

The Clapp lab is focused on investigating virtual reality (VR), augmented reality, and tablet-based applications as a means to explore anatomy education and medical data. We’ve developed software used for the creation of instructional and clinical content. It has the potential to significantly improve educational outcomes as it provides users with easy access to explore 3D relationships. We have also found the software has application across multiple disciplines such as material science, engineering, biochemistry, and biomedical research. The use and impact of these technologies is studied in academic, clinical, and professional environments.

research project

One-hundred student Immersive Reality Teaching Lab

Anatomy students at CSU have access to the world’s first large scale deployment of virtual reality in an educational setting. Through this space we are currently investigating the retention of spatial anatomical relationships when studied in VR versus traditional teaching methods.

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research project

Remote Anatomy Education

When COVID-19 forced the university to move online, we worked diligently to bring the cadaver lab to students homes. Moving Gross Anatomy to online instruction included sending VR computers and headsets across the country, allowing them to join a common virtual classroom and interact with anatomy data, their peers and professors.

research project

Virtual Reality Modeling for Neurosurgery

Precise understanding of patient-specific anatomy is essential for neurosurgical procedures, yet this is limited by traditional viewing of medical images on 2D interfaces. In collaboration with Hokkaido University Hospital in Japan, we have been investigating the use of volumized medical imaging for presurgical planning.

research project

VR in Imaging Review for Cancer Patients

During imaging review with a patient, between 40-80% of the information presented is immediately forgotten, and up to 50% is retained incorrectly, which leads to poorer clinical outcomes. In collaboration with the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Colorado, we have started a clinical trial to investigate the use of VR for patient education to improve clinical outcomes.

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research project

Frederick High School STEM VR course

We have developed a collaborative learning opportunity designed around solving medical case studies. Frederick High School students engage with CSU graduate students using our virtual reality platform to learn to solve novel problems. This program counts as a science elective for the high school students, while our graduate students gain valuable teaching experience.

100 students Immersive Reality Teaching Lab is the world’s largest deployment of VR in an educational setting
87% of students indicated that VR promoted understanding of spatial relationships
83.3% of neurosurgical cases benefit from VR as an effective tool to understand patient-specific anatomy


Tod Clapp

Associate Professor

Chad Eitel

Research Associate III, Software Engineer

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