Aspiring doctors of physical therapy to work on cadaver in intensive lab session

IMG_2026sKNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A first-of-its-kind class begins Monday with 66 students from South College set to begin lab work on a cadaver in an intensive laboratory setting at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Knoxville.

As strange as it may seem, the cadaver is actually a life-like synthetic human manufactured by SynDaver Labs. The students are part of a revolutionary new program designed to expedite the time it takes to complete a doctorate in physical therapy, while keeping tuition costs affordable.

“In recent years, it has become more expensive and more time consuming to become a doctor of physical therapy (DPT), which is pushing away those who can’t afford the education. At South College, we’re trying to change that,” said Dr. Michael Walker, Dean of South College’s School of Physical Therapy. “Every aspect of this program has been designed to ensure that students receive the best education possible, while minimizing the program’s overall duration and costs.”

Unlike other DPT programs, South College’s program is designed for completion of the program in two calendar years.

SAM Fionna (7)South College has embraced innovation and technology to accomplish these objectives. Using a hybrid-learning format, students participate in online instruction anywhere in the nation they can find an internet connection, attend lab intensive sessions at the Crowne Plaza in Knoxville for two weeks every quarter, and complete 31 weeks of clinical education.

“There are several problems with using real cadavers in this educational model,” Walker says. “Real cadavers increase the cost of education due to more frequent replacement, stringent use and storage requirements, and increased instructional time.  As a result, we have turned to SynDaver and state-of-the-art 3D anatomy software to create a more flexible and dynamic anatomy curriculum for our program.”

SynDaver’s Synthetic Human and partial-task trainers use synthetic tissues that are designed and modeled after living tissue.

“We have secured 10 patents on our technology and are very proud of the product we produce,” said Dr. Christopher Sakezles, founder of SynDaver Labs. “Our goal is to make medical training more accessible and more affordable.”

For more information, visit or

About SynDaver Labs
SynDaver Labs manufactures synthetic humans for training in schools, hospitals and military installations. SynDaver has the world’s largest database of live-tissue properties and all SynDaver tissues are made from water, salts, and fibers. The company currently has 10 patents on these materials, processes, and related products. SynDaver Labs is headquartered in Tampa, Florida and employs more than 100 people. The company also has an advanced research facility located in Phoenix, Arizona and is planning additional facilities in the U.S., China, Europe, and Latin America.

For media inquiries and interview requests, contact our public relations firm at (813) 279-8335 or

synjoshAspiring doctors of physical therapy to work on cadaver in intensive lab session