Retired OUWB professor named first professor emeritus


Sophie Hume

Judith Venuti, Ph.D, worked ten years with OUWB.

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) proudly announced its first professor emeritus: Judith Venuti, Ph.D.

The title of emeritus is appointed for professors who have rendered honorable and remarkable service to the university, and because it is the OUWB’s first time granting emeritus status to its professor, it is even more special for Venuti.

“I’ve done a lot of different things, but (OUWB) was one job where I felt like I was making a real difference, that I was actually contributing to what was happening at the school and my voice was heard,” Venuti told OUWB news.

Venuti joined OUWB in 2011 with the very first incoming M1 class of students. During her time at OUWB, she held a variety of position titles. In 2012, she was appointed the chair position of the Department of Biomedical Sciences – previously known as the Department of Foundational Medical Studies.

She developed the Embryology curriculum for M1-M2 students, worked as Co-Director of the Reproductive Systems and Musculoskeletal System courses, and assisted in anatomy and histology laboratory courses throughout the program. She also served as members of various committees, including the Committee on Committees, the Faculty Awards Committee, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, as well as the M1-M2 Curriculum Subcommittee and the Curriculum Committee.

Her career, however, dates to far before joining OUWB. Venuti was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

Her interest in community engagement led her to become the co-chair of the Developmental Biology Program for the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. She currently works at the Casa Colibri clinic in rural Guatemala as the secretary and a member of the board of directors.

Her passion in anatomy and embryology continues as she has served on the American Association for Anatomists (AAA) Executive Committee, AAA Educational Outreach Committee, and a number of other AAA committees and task groups. The AAA presented her with the A.J. Ladman Exemplary Service Award in 2019. She was also chosen to the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neuroscience Chairs (AACBNC) Board of Directors, and both the AAA and the AACBNC have now accorded her Emeritus status.

In addition to the numerous achievements she has accomplished during her career, her teaching should also be recognized. Clinical anatomy, human prenatal anatomy (embryology), developmental biology, cell and molecular biology and allied health human anatomy and nursing anatomy are among the subjects she has taught.

She has earned multiple “Excellence in Teaching” honors over her more than 30 years of teaching in the Anatomical Sciences. Most recently, she was awarded the Golden Apple Teaching Award by the OUWB class of 2023.

According to Venuti, her biomedical research was also an important component of her profession. Her research mostly focuses on early embryonic signaling networks and on mechanisms of skeletal muscle development in molecular levels.

After ten years working with OUWB, she retired in 2020, and plans on spending half of her time in retirement on Cape Cod in Massachusetts – her hometown.