Catherine Safran Profile Image

Catherine Safran, PhD

  • Assistant Teaching Professor
Media Expertise:
  • International Relations
  • Education
  • Science & Environment
  • Health Sciences

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Developmental Biology (1994)
    University of Strasbourg (France)

About Me

I use my passion for life sciences and longstanding experience with muscular-skeletal research to introduce students to important concepts in field as various as evolution, plant & animal physiology, and environmental sciences.

My instructional strengths include emphasis on student engagement in the classroom, continuous evaluation of student learning progress, and special attention to student equity and well-being.

Research Interests

My educational research focuses on the roles of peer-mentoring and undergraduate assistants in the teaching and learning of scientific concepts.

In collaboration with Dr. Liyun Wang (University of Delaware, Mechanical Engineering), I also study skeletal growth and repair and the function of the pericellular matrix in the bone response to load.

Media Expertise

  • Preclinical models of bone & joint diseases 
  • Developmental biology of mineralized tissues
  • Cytomechanics and cell signaling 
  • Scientific teaching for pre-health professions


  • Osteocytic Pericellular Matrix (PCM): Accelerated Degradation Under In Vivo Loading and Unloading Conditions Using a Novel Imaging Approach. Pei S., Wang S., Martinez J.R., Parajuli A., Kirn-Safran C.B., Farach-Carson M.C., Lu XL, Wang L. Genes 2022, 13(1), 72; Open Access

  • Physiology Labs During a Pandemic: What Did We Learn? Advances in Physiology Education. Chen X., Kirn-Safran C.B., van der Meulen T., Myhr K.L., Savitzky A.H., Fleegal-DeMotta M.A. Open Access 2021, 45: 803-809 (PMID: 34581619). 10.1152/advan.00022.2021

  • Peer-Mentors Prove to Be Strong Assets in Virtual Anatomy and Physiology Labs. Kirn-Safran C.B., Reed A.C., and Chatman M M. January 2021, Imprint, National Student Nurses’ Association Magazine.

  • Perlecan/Hspg2 Deficiency Impairs Bone’s Calcium Signaling and Associated Transcriptome in Response to Mechanical Loading. Pei S, Parthasarathy S, Parajuli A, Martinez J, Lv M, Jiang S, Wu D, Wei S, Lu XL, Farach-Carson MC, Kirn-Safran CB, Wang L. Bone. 2020, 131:115078.

  • Inhibition of T-Type Voltage Sensitive Calcium Channel Impairs Osteoblast Response to Mechanical Stress and Prevents Load-induced OA in Mice. Srinivasan P.P., Parajuli A., Price C., Wang L., Duncan R.L., Kirn-Safran C.B. PLoS One. 2015 26;10:e012729

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

· Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS)

· National Institute on Scientific Teaching (NIST)

· Learning Assistant Alliance


  • Faculty Development Grant – Pedagogical Travel Grant (2022-2023)

  • Recipient of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society Conference Travel Award – Invited Workshop Speaker: “The Presence of a Peer-Learning Assistant in the Classroom: An Opportunity to Build an Inclusive A&P Learning Community”, 36th Annual Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL (May 24-29, 2022)

  • Recipient of the Widener University, Arts & Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, Spring 2022

  • Improvement of Teaching Grant: “Enhance the Learning Experience of First-Year Students through Peer-Mentoring” (2020-2021)

  •  Fellow of the Northeast Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching, University of Connecticut (2017)