Dr. Henry Tsai


Biomedical Sciences

Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
Biomedical Sciences
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897



  • Post-Doc, 2018, Brown University
  • PhD, 2015, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • BS, 2010, University of California, Irvine


  • BMS 707, 717 Medical Human Anatomy
  • BMS 645 Clinical Gross Anatomy
  • BMS 307 Human Anatomy

Research and professional interests

Dr. Tsai is a comparative anatomist and paleontologist. His research program focuses broadly on the evolution of vertebrate locomotion, with a particular interest in sauropsids (reptiles, birds, and extinct forms such as dinosaurs). The aim of his research is to understand the mechanical functions, kinematics, and developmental significance of appendicular joints in vertebrates.

  • Morphological convergence and disparity in vertebrate limb joints during body size evolution
  • Evolution of the sauropsid (reptilian) limb joints and its significance to locomotor postures
  • Evolution and ontogeny of vertebrate connective tissues
  • Mechanical behavior and physiology of vertebrate joint soft tissues
  • Visible Anatomy: Contrast-enhanced soft-tissue staining and imaging technique


  • Tsai, H. P., K. M. Middleton, J. R. Hutchinson, and C. M. Holliday. 2018. Hip joint articular soft tissues of basal Dinosauromorpha: evolutionary and biomechanical implications for Saurischia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 37(6), doi: 10.1080/02724634.2017.1427593

Conference Presentations

  • Tsai, H. P., M. L. Turner, A. R. Manafzadeh, and S. M. Gatesy. 2018. Significance of hip kinematics for interpreting articular soft tissue function in Alligator mississippiensis. Annual Meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology.
  • Tsai, H. P., K. M. Middleton, and C. M. Holliday. 2017. The cartilage cone of archosauromorphs: implications for hip loading and femoral ossification. Annual Meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Invited Presentations

  • Tsai, H. P. 2018. Dinosaur joints: Soft tissues are the hard issues. California State University San Bernardino. Visiting Research Seminar Series,

Community Outreach

  • 2018. Science on the Silver Screen: Godzilla (2014). Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT.
  • 2010-14. MU Adventures in Education: a grade K-12 level presentation on vertebrate functional anatomy.

Awards and honors

  • Edwin H. and Margaret M. Colbert Student Poster Prize, 74th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2014
  • 1st Place, Life Sciences Research Week, University of Missouri, 2013
  • Doris O. and Samuel P. Welles Research Award, 2012
  • Jackson School of Geosciences Travel Grant, 2011

Additional resources