Dental Course Information and Faculty Contacts



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Access to the supplemental resources for this session is password-protected and restricted to University of Michigan students. If you are a University of Michigan student enrolled in a histology course at the University of Michigan, please click on the following link and use your Kerberos-password for access to download lecture handouts and the other resources.

Resources in the University of Michigan Histology Dropbox

By the end of the histology component of your curriculum, we hope that you have acquired a reasonable working knowledge of:

  1. how cells associate to perform the functions for which they are specialized, and
  2. how organized groups of cells (tissues) are arranged to form the organ systems of the body.

While the emphasis in histology is on the structure of cells, tissues and organs, structure has very little meaning without understanding the function, much of which is also presented in the other components of the curriculum. There is an emphasis to teach comparable subjects at about the same time, and we ask that you try and correlate structure and function. Most diseases cause structural abnormalities that result in the problems with which you, as a physician, must contend. One reason for studying histology (the normal structure) is so that you can better understand a pathological (abnormal) change and the consequences of that change.

You will be spending most of your time studying two dimensional sections of three dimensional structures, and will encounter a number of atypical perspectives caused by the plane of section (Imagine that you are sectioning an orange in sagittal, parasagittal, equatorial and diagonal planes. The appearance of the orange sections is quite different depending upon the plane of section--the same variation in appearance occurs in tissue and organs because of the angle of sectioning). Try to find a typical perspective for your introduction to a new tissue or organ (use your atlas as a guide). Then try to imagine what it would look like in three dimensions.

Teaching Materials

You are expected to learn histology by learning the lecture material AND by studying the slides of tissues and organs using virtual microscopy on the Michigan Histology website. The other items of materials, listed below and in the Dental Histology M+Box, should serve as the sources of information necessary for you to understand the functional significance of the structures that you view in the virtual images. A link to download the SecondLook™ Histology mobile review application will be provided to you during the first introductory lecture.

The use of one of the following textbooks or histology atlases is also recommended:

1 RECOMMENDED as atlas: Wheater's Functional Histology, 6th ed., Elsevier, 2014 by B. Young et al.

2 RECOMMENDED as text and atlas: Histology: A Text and Atlas, 7th ed., LWW, 2016 by W. Pawlina.


3 RECOMMENDED as text and atlas Junqueira's Basic Histology, 13th ed, McGraw Hill - Lange, 2013 by A.L. Mescher


All lectures and laboratory introductions take place in a designated lecture hall at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Please, consult your daily calendar for lecture and laboratory introduction hours. The lecture should serve as a study guide and starting point for each topic area. The lecture handouts will be placed in the Michigan Histology Resource M+Box (the link to the Michigan Histology M+Box can be found on the top of each subject webpage and access requires your Michigan Kerberos password). It would be very useful to read the relevant text chapter or at least the learning objectives before attending or viewing the lecture. After learning the lecture content, it will be very important to follow up by doing the online laboratory assignments on the Michigan Histology website.


Histology is a basic science course with an integral online laboratory segment that is provided by this open website. This provides you with an opportunity for "active" independent learning. As you progress through the course, we would appreciate your comments regarding things that are unclear, or that are particularly helpful in the lab guide, as we revise it every year. Please email Dr. Hortsch with your questions and comments. It is advisable to use your histology atlas while doing the laboratory exercises. Please note that performing the laboratory exercises on the Michigan Histology website is an essential part of your histology learning process as it expands and applies the facts learned in the histology lectures and provids you with an opportunity to develop analytical and scientific reasoning skills.

Copyright Considerations

Remember that most of the material on the Michigan Histology Website and in the Michigan Histology M+Box is copyrighted, especially the lecture handouts and the images and the text in the supplementary learning resources. The resources in the Michigan Histology M+Box are intended to be only used by University of Michigan histology students. Please refrain from posting this material on open or for-pay subscription websites like or as this might violate copyright laws. 

You should expect to be asked 5-10 exam questions per histology session. All of the questions will be multiple choice and may be either text- or image-based. All exam questions will weigh equally. Only the examination for the DENT510 course is computer-based and the grading is on a pass-fail basis.

If you have a histology problem, please contact the lecturer or the course director ( Dr. Hortsch at A list of the course faculty with relevant information can be found below.

For website, sever, or other technical problems please contact the LRC Help Desk.

Course Director

Michael Hortsch
Michael Hortsch
3742 Med. Sci. II Bldg.
734 647 2720