Martha Johnson Gdowski, Ph.D.

Martha Johnson Gdowski, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 603
Rochester, NY 14642

Appointment: (585) 275-URMC (8762)

Patient Care Bio

My teaching experience over the last 25 years has encompassed a variety of learning formats including didactic lecture, laboratory, journal club, and problem based learning. I have taught for four academic institutions in different capacities (The Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine, Northwestern University School of Medicine, Ithaca College, and The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry). I have taught in the following types of curricula: Undergraduate and Graduate Neuroscience, Graduate Neuroanatomy, Graduate Human Anatomy and Physiology for Physical Therapists, Graduate Medical Human Anatomy, and Undergraduate Human Anatomy.

These experiences have given me the opportunity to instruct a population of students that vary in age, life experience, race, ethnicity and economic background. Collectively, this has revealed how diversity in student populations produces a highly enriched learning environment that benefits everyone, including the instructor. Students are able to apply different elements of their knowledge and background to the group learning experience, yielding a more memorable learning experience in which students feel invested. Teaching in different formats has reinforced that enabling students to take ownership of their learning experience produces a more interactive classroom and/or laboratory experience, a more dynamic teaching experience, and personalizes learning objectives so the students retain more of the requisite information. Not all students will excel at every subject. In fact, some will struggle to learn material that is outside of the realm of their academic strengths and/or experience. A memorable and impactful educator will effectuate methods that allow each student to take ownership of their learning experience and optimize their potential, which is a necessary step in the creation of a lifelong learner. A positive impact on each student that leads them to embrace independent learning becomes amplified when students use those tools to embark upon professions that benefit others. As a consequence, a positive impact on a single student goes grows logarithmically into palpable benefit to many more people than I could possibly impact in a single classroom.

Awards & Honors (National)

National Hydrocephalus Foundation Award for Presenation of Research at the Pediatric Section Meeting of the AANS | American Association of Neurological Surgeons 1996
P.E.O. Scholar Award Educational Grant | Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O.) 1994 - 1995

Awards & Honors (Local)

Manuel D. Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching 1st Year Medical Students | University of Rochester School of Medicine Class of 2017 2014
Manuel D. Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching 1st Year Medical Students | University of Rochester School of Medicine Class of 2013 2010
First Year SMD Teaching Commendation | University of Rochester School of Medicine Class of 2012 2009
Ruggles Fellowship in Movement Disorders | Evanston Hospital Department of Neurology 1997 - 2001
Teacher Appreciation Award | Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine 1993
Graduate Assistant Award for Outstanding Teaching | Pennsylvania State University 1993
Excellence in Teaching Award | Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine 1992

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy (SMD) - Primary


PhD | Anatomy | The Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center1995
BS | Biology | Gannon University1990

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Research Associate Department of Physiology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL and the Evanston Hospital Department of Neurology, Evanston, IL; James C. Houk, Ph.D. and Lee E. Miller, Ph.D., Research Advisors 2001
Research Fellow, Department of Neurosurgery, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH. Mark Luciano, M.D., Ph.D., Research Advisor 1997